Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pumpkins: Not Just For Pie Anymore!

I know it is not pumpkin season, however the amazing benefits of pumpkin can be found in canned pumpkin puree that you can purchase at any time of year.  Give the little article below a read and find out how you can incorporate this 'superfood' into your diet now.


Yahoo! Canada Lifestyle
Posted Fri, Apr 23, 2010
Pumpkins: not just for pie anymore!


"Pumpkins aren't just for carving thanks to their new-found superfood status (see below). Plus they're amazingly versatile: Pureed, mashed, or cubed, pumpkins' mildly sweet taste can go even sweeter or savory, depending on how you spice it.


At restaurants, look for pumpkin soups, bread, muffins, pumpkin-flavored pasta dishes (think gnocchi or ravioli), and decadent desserts, from cheesecake to gelato.


At home, keep a few cans of pumpkin puree on hand and stir a big spoonful into almost anything: soups, stews, yogurt, curries, pancakes, even meatball mixtures.


In fact, there may be nothing you can't pump up with pumpkin -- including coffee: Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte boosted the chain's sales 11% when it debuted! Need an extra prod to try pumpkin in something besides pie? Here are a half-dozen reasons to go for the gourd.


1. It could cut your cancer risk. A diet high in carotenoids can lower the risk of breast cancer, and beta-cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid that's particularly plentiful in pumpkin, may help protect against lung cancer. Aim to get your beta-carotene from foods like pumpkin, since supplements don't offer the same cancer protection.

2. It fills you up for very few calories. A ½ cup of Libby's canned 100% pumpkin puree packs in 5g of stomach-satisfying fiber (20% of your daily intake) for only 40 calories. By comparison, a slice of whole-wheat bread has 2g of fiber and costs you 70 calories.


3. It's got the goods to protect your vision. Pumpkin delivers a duo of sight-saving carotenoid antioxidants (lutein and beta-cryptoxanthin) that reduce the risk of age-related cataracts and sight-stealing macular degeneration.


4. It keeps your body humming. Pumpkin is a great source of potassium, which keeps your cells, nerves, and muscles running smoothly. Healthy potassium levels also help keep blood pressure in check and can lower the odds of stroke and heart disease.


5. It gives your immune system a . . . boost. A ½ cup serving of pumpkin delivers a war chest of immune-boosting vitamins and nutrients, including alpha and beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, and enough vitamin A to last you three days!


6. It gives your bones a little extra love. You'll also pick up a little extra bone-building calcium with each serving. Plus beta-cryptoxanthin defends against joint-destroying rheumatoid arthritis.


P.S. Wondering about canned versus fresh pumpkin? Canned is a little less sweet but, surprisingly, it's a little more nutritious. It has more fiber, beta-carotene, potassium, iron, and folate than fresh. It also wins huge points for convenience! And all that filling fiber pays off in more ways than appetite control: Eating a high-fiber diet can make your RealAge up to 3.5 years younger.




9 comments:

  1. For years now, my spaghetti sauce and homemade soup has contained pumpkin puree, a way to sneak in extra nutrition to my g/children! They never caught on and I didn't dare mention it! I have even put it in my breakfast muffins!

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  2. There's a whole arsenal of fruits and vegetables to eat for their health properties. Here is another to add to the list and surprisingly the canned variety is just as good as fresh. Thanks for this informative post about pumpkins.

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  3. that is great stuff...i like the pumpkin spice latte...yum. i like pumpkin...

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  4. I use fresh to make pies, but I keep canned on hand. I use it for baking, but I see some other ways that interest me. Thanks Bonnie.

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  5. I never would have thought that it was so nutrient dense. Nor would I have ever considered adding it to some of the thing you listed above. I like pumpkin and hope to remember to get some to have on hand. Does it help boost memory? Wait, what was this about again? ;)

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  6. Hi Bonnie

    down under we eat a lot of pumpkin...always with a roast dinner, often in mash with potato, it is great diced and slow baked then cooled and tossed on salad with fetta cheese, or just steamed as a veg on the plate. It is one of my favourite veges.
    and of course we eat pumpkin soup by the gallon, or we would say litre....

    Happy days

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  7. I LOVE pumpkins! I give canned pumpkin to my dog when she gets irregular! TMI, I know...

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  8. Who knew? I know I like the pumpkin scones at Starbucks!

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  9. Good info to know. I also love canned sweet potato and use it as I would the pumpkin. mmmmmmmm

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