The leaves are changing and pumpkin spice drinks are at every coffee place in sight. Oh, and stores are selling pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, canned pumpkin, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin beer, and actual pumpkins too. Pumpkins are taking over and we couldn’t be more excited.
Let’s be clear for a second: we are excited for real pumpkins, not that fake flavoring or canned stuff. Most people don’t realize that pumpkins are good for more than carving. They actually have tons of health benefits, but most people don’t eat them. The big carving pumpkins aren’t really meant for eating, but you can eat their seeds. To eat pumpkin meat, you just have to make sure to buy the round baby ones.
When you carve a pumpkin for Halloween, you scoop out the stringy stuff and the seeds. Instead of discarding those seeds, wash them off and roast them in your oven. Pumpkin seeds are nutritionally dense and are great for healthy snacking. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and spread your washed and dried pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet. Season them with a pinch of sea salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. You can use whatever seasonings you like to change the flavor profile. Bake for about 20 minutes and then remove to cool.
#1: You’ll Sleep Better
This is actually thanks to pumpkin seeds, more than the actual pumpkin. They are rich in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps you relax and unwind. So roast these seeds after carving a pumpkin and eat them to help you fall asleep.
#2: Protect Your Package
Pumpkin meat and seeds contain beta-carotene and other antioxidants that have cancer-fighting properties. In recent studies, pumpkin seed oil has shown that it inhibits prostate growth in rats, primarily due to the zinc content.
#3: Lower Blood Pressure
#4: You’ll Feel Full
Why is this important? When you feel full, you won’t crave those unhealthy things like chips, candy, desserts, or even soda. Pumpkins contain fiber, which keep you fuller for longer, and that helps you eat less. It also keeps your digestive system happy.
#5: Boost Your Vision
One cup of pumpkin meat contains twice the recommended daily value of vitamin A. The body converts vitamin A into beta-carotene, which helps to promote healthy vision. You get bonus health benefits because vitamin A supports healthy skin, teeth, and bones.