This fall beauty is loaded with eye-protecting nutrients! It gets its orange color from beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, which is converted to vitamin A by the liver. Just one cup of pumpkin can have up to 200% of your daily vitamin A requirement. It’s also loaded with zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that helps to filter UV light, adding protection against macular degeneration, and contains lutein, which benefits the macula lutea of the eyes.
Pumpkin is a storehouse of other health protecting nutrients, including vitamins C, E, K, and B-complex, and the minerals zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, copper, selenium, and sodium. Bonus: it’s loaded with fiber!
Pumpkin seeds are high in the amino acid tryptophan, the same substance in turkey which triggers sleepiness. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone. Pumpkin seeds may also promote healthy cholesterol levels, are good for the prostate, and help rid the body of parasites.
If you’re not fond of pumpkin, eat other carotenoid-rich foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and spaghetti squash. Try mixing 1/2 cup of unsweetened pumpkin with 1/2 cup of unsweetened organic applesauce. Stir a little pumpkin into your plain yogurt with a little pure maple syrup or raw honey. Try my healthy pumpkin pie recipe. Eat a handful of raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds, or stir them into your oatmeal or salad.
Featured Nature’s Sunshine product: VS-C: Testing of this herbal formula has confirmed its effectiveness against the herpes simplex virus. It is used for cold sores, canker sores, and other virus symptoms. The capsules can be ordered at www.learningtobehealthy.mynsp.com.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”