I heard through the grapevine that a friend was raving about her new discovery of the yogurt-applesauce-flax seed combo that I blogged about last month. And it made me happy. Because I am a freakshow about this combo, myself. I just can’t get enough.
However, I happen to have some pumpkin puree sitting around. So I added a heaping tablespoon to my already swoon-worthy yogurt mix (plain yogurt + chunky, homemade applesauce + flax seeds), along with a couple dashes of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, for good measure.
Rival alert! So delicious that Honey Dude even liked it. What’s more, that one tablespoon of pumpkin added a gamut of nutrition. I knew I liked pumpkin for a reason!
This is inspiration enough to take those little sugar pumpkins to the crock pot. They certainly made a sweet table decor. But oh, they were made for more. While I go prep another batch of puree, check out the complete list of health benefits put out by nutrition-and-you.com. And don’t be concerned. I still have at least two more pumpkin recipes to share.
Health benefits of Pumpkin
- It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dietitians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
- Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.
- With 7384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as beta-carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.
- Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from “age-related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
- The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
- It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.