A Few Minutes to Zen with Rikki Alrutz

Harvest the Benefits of Pumpkin!

Happy Fall Everyone!  This is one of my favorite times of the year, not just because the falling leaves are so beautiful, but because it’s pumpkin season!  I will sample (and probably love) anything that contains pumpkin.  The more natural, the better; though even pumpkin cookies, pies, dips, muffins, and lattes make my yummy list.  Here are some of the reasons we should all indulge in this luscious fruit:

  • Pumpkins are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals.  Both the flesh and seeds provide many health benefits, especially when eaten in their most natural and organic form.  In fact, the compounds that give pumpkins their bright orange color can protect us from developing such diseases as lung cancer

  • Pumpkins include a number of antioxidants, including Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene, which are wonderful for the immune system

  • Pumpkins contain Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, and Protein

  • Pumpkins are great for the digestive system, since they contain so much fiber

  • Pumpkins boost our immunity due to their high iron content

Experiment with some of these heathy ways to enjoy this delicious treat:

  • Try eating pumpkin puree (no added sugar); maybe stir pumpkin puree into soup or chili.  It won’t change the taste, but you will reap the benefits

  • Try a pumpkin soup or homemade pumpkin bread recipe

  • Mix pumpkin puree, milk, and raisins into your favorite oatmeal for a super start to your day

  • Of course, one of the fastest and best ways to enjoy the health benefits of pumpkins is to snack on the seeds–raw and organic!

For all of you animal lovers out there, pumpkin is also amazing for your dog’s or cat’s urinary and digestive health and is found in many healthy pet foods.  Don’t let your animals eat the beautifully carved pumpkins outside your doors, however, as they may contain bacteria.