Superfood of the Week – Pumpkin

Many people believe that delving your hand into the moist and seedy centre of a pumpkin is just as scary as the ghosts associated with Halloween and that’s before the issue of actually eating it is tackled. But once you’ve faced those fears, pumpkins are a real ‘treat’ for your body’s well being. Come October, supermarkets are filled to the brim with them and most can be bought for less than a euro: a bargain not to be missed.

Pumpkin seeds carve a smile on the face of anyone brave enough to eat them as they are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is responsible for the production of serotonin helping to boost our mood. The seeds also fight ‘bad cholesterol’ which is a major cause of heart disease.

Can’t see that hottie on the other side of the lecture hall? Then grab a pumpkin and eat it like there’s no tomorrow as our orange friend contains beta-carotene and vitamin A, both of which are beneficial to healthy vision. If you’re looking to lose weight, then the pumpkin is your vegetable as it is low in calories and full of fibre putting hunger at bay for longer.

With the pumpkin, one can have the best of both worlds as it boasts high energy but also promises a good night’s sleep due to the hormone melatonin. As we head into winter, colds and flu become rampant around Ireland and the sale of chicken soup peaks. Cheap and cheerful pumpkin soup can be just as effective as it has copious amounts of vitamin C, a powerful tool for strengthening our immune system. If you crave for something sweet to eat, they can also be used to make tasty muffins and cookies.

So when you’re carving out your masterpiece this Halloween, remember that although pumpkins make great jack o’ lanterns they have a lot more to offer.

Lauren Kelly

Image Credit: rbowen

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