Fall is here, and that means pumpkin has found its way into coffee creamers and baked goods. Let’s look at a few of the benefits.
Pumpkin, bitter melon, and other gourd seeds and fruits are loaded in vitamins and minerals. They are used across ayurveda to treat vatta imbalances. Among gourds, pumpkin is the most popular. It is earthy, grounding, and comforting. That’s likely because it contains tryptophan. This can make you feel relaxed and calm. After eating a bowl of pumpkin soup or a handful of pumpkin seeds, you may even notice that you sleep better. Cinnamon and nutmeg are warming spices that often accompany pumpkin. To balance its flavor profile in savory dishes, fat from coconut milk or acid from balsamic vinegar can change it up and make it more interesting.
Pumpkin is also pacifying for pitta doshas. Like other orange vegetables, pumpkin is rich in beta carotene which means it is rich in vitamins A and D. These vitamins have been shown to aid in eye health, asthma, heart disease, and certain types of cancers. Studies have also shown that it can be helpful in regulating blood sugar and blood pressure. Last, it can aid in weight loss. It is low in calories and filled with fiber, which can help you feel fuller longer.
If you are looking for ways to incorporate pumpkin into your diet, remember that fresh roasted pumpkin will have more vitamins and minerals (and fewer preservatives) than canned. The texture of fresh pumpkin is also fluffier– like a baked potato, whereas canned pumpkin can be off-putting. Consider substituting baked pumpkin in recipes that call for potatoes, sweet potatoes, or carrots. And if you’re already tired of pumpkin, consider substituting butternut squash, acorn squash, or sweet potatoes in your seasonal recipes–especially savory recipes!
Consult with your doctors before making any changes to your diet.
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