Whether you’re into trick or treating or prefer to ignore the door-knockers, this is the best season to take advantage of fall’s signature squash. There are an abundance of health benefits to eating pumpkin, so here’s a list of my favourites:
1. Sleep & Feel Better: Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan (the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving sleepiness ). Tryptophan is also responsible for helping your body make serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps us relax and unwind).
2. Boosts Vision: A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended intake of Vitamin A. (Bonus: Vitamin A also helps form & maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.
3. Post-Workout Refuel: Have you heard of the post work-out ‘Banana and Chocolate Milk’ trend? Think a Chinese medicine acupuncturist would ever encourage the consumption of chocolate milk? Heck no! Turns out a cup of pumpkin has more potassium then a banana! Potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a workout and helps muscles function their best.
4. Healthy Body Weight & Image: Pumpkin seeds and purée are packed full of fiber (which helps you feel fuller longer on fewer calories).
5. Heart Health: All that fiber also helps your heart. A Harvard study of over 40,000 males found that those who ate a diet high in fiber had a 40% lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who ate a diet low in fiber.
6. Baby Making: Zinc & fertility go together like bees & honey. It’s such an important mineral and antioxidant in preconception and pregnancy. It’s required for the production of healthy eggs, reduces the risk of miscarriage, stretch marks, perineal tears, cracked nipples, and is necessary for immune function and brain formation. It’s also an important nutrient for male fertility too. A Zinc deficiency has been linked to low sperm count and low motility.
7. In addition to all of that, from a TCM perspective pumpkin helps clear damp, reduces digestive weakness (Spleen Qi), water retention, and tired/heavy limbs.
Enjoy nature’s delicious medicine!