Pumpkin: The Magical Powerfood
Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington of Real Food For Life.
Pumpkins are Big!
Pumpkins are Tasty!
Pumpkins are Healthy!
Pumpkins are Magic?
Everyone loves pumpkins, whether you are growing a 1,800 pound whopper, reaching for your second piece of pumpkin pie, or just enjoying the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits from this alkaline powerfood.
Strangely enough, the pumpkin more than any other vegetable is associated with the supernatural.
Pumpkins are Big!
The biggest fruit/vegetable ever recorded in the world was by Jim and Kelsey Bryson, from Ormstown, Quebec. You can see just how big here: Giant Pumpkin. Jim revealed that his secret fertilizer for this 1,818.5 pounds monster was maple syrup!
All the giant pumpkins now can be traced back to seeds developed by another Canadian, Howard Dil, from Nova Scotia.
Up to 10,000 hobbyists around the word enter giant pumpkin contests each year, sometimes paying up to $1,500 for a single giant pumpkin seed.
Even the word pumpkin is derived from the Greek phrase “large melon.”
Pumpkins Are Tasty…and American
The first domesticated pumpkin ever was recorded over 5,000 years ago in Central America. Seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico, dating back over 7,000 years to 5500 B.C.
Maybe that is why we have such a love for pumpkin pie. Pumpkins make an ideal filling because they are already so sweet. You can also eat the leaves and seeds and even the flowers!
Pumpkins Are Healthy For You
- Low Fat Food: Less than 15 percent of calories come from fat (if you donít have a scoop of ice-cream on it).
- High in Anti-oxidants: From the deep orange color you might guess that pumpkins are full of betacarotene (just like carrots). It turns out that they are also rich in alpha-carotene and other carotenoids. No single food provides a greater percentage of certain carotenoids than winter squash.
- Anti-inflammatory: Pumpkins have a significant amount of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. One cup of baked winter squash will provide you with approximately 340 milligrams of omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
- Great For Your Skin: The antioxidants vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha hydroxy acids help to reduce the signs of aging.
- Smart Carbs: If you cook it right and don’t add white sugar or artificial sweeteners, it is a smart carb.
These are just the benefits of the fruit. Even more powerful benefits come from pumpkin seeds.
For detailed nutritional composition click here: pumpkin nutritional facts
Pumpkins Are Magic?…
For some reason pumpkins have been associated with the supernatural. Maybe itís because the average pumpkin is the size and shape of a human head.
- The common custom of Jack-o-lanterns comes from the old tradition of hollowing out gourds and even turnips to ward off evil spirits.
- Witches were thought to turn people into pumpkins.
- In literature, pumpkins play strongly into stories like Cinderella, Harry Potter, The Great Pumpkin, Sleepy Hollow, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Diana is just now working on the ultimate healthy pumpkin pie recipe which includes a gluten-free, low starch pie crust. Be watching for it.
- Pumpkin Soup: With fresh ginger, onion, and other spices, this is fast and yummy.
- Pumpkin Pudding:† You can use this vegan pudding with your favorite pie crust to make pumpkin pie if your wish.
What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin?