Dr Pepper Hernandez

~Pumpkins are very Nutritious~

Well, it’s that time again for pumpkins to be sold everywhere and people to enjoy them for the festive season. They are bright, colorful and of course a must for the next few months. So here are some facts about pumpkins. Did you know that genetic history of the pumpkin is so intertwined with the squash, the gourd that it’s sometimes difficult to tell them apart. Generally speaking a pumpkin is something you carve, a squash is something you cook, a gourd is something you look at. Though it’s really not that simple, it’s also not that difficult. The answer is in the stem.  Pumpkins and squashes and gourds all belong to the same genetic family – Cucurbita. Within that family are several species or subgroups – Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita moschata. The pepo species is usually recognized as the true pumpkin. Varieties within this group have bright orange skin and hard, woody, distinctly furrowed stems. But the group also includes gourds, vegetable marrow, Pattypan summer squash, scallop summer squash, gray and black zucchini and summer crookneck squash. Ok now….

So after all that, did you know how nutritious those beautiful gourd-like squash really are? For starters they are an excellent source of beta carotene which you may have guessed. Eating them have been proven to decrease the rick of cancer in smokers. Since they are low in calories they are an amazing food to have in pie, smoothies, or made into pudding. Did you know that they also provide Vitamin A as well as rich in B-complex. Minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus can be found our little friends.

Pumpkins are a very good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which we all know are great for the brain functions. Speaking of the brain, the seeds are amazing as well. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of tryptopan which is known to be converted into GABA in the brain. This is my favorite part….GABA is a powerful amino-acid and is a neurotransmitter that helps nerve impulses communicate; basically, GABA helps transmit nerve signals. Pumpkin seeds are also know to help with prostate problems. These seeds are also anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic and how I love that.

Remember just like any other food make sure you are getting the best quality for assurance of keeping its integrity. That being said choose organic, local and try to dehydrate the seeds or bake at a low temperature such as under 125, rather that baking to keep them as close to raw as possible. That way you get the most possible benefit from this amazing gift.

 

So enjoy the season and all it brings.~ Dr. Pepper Hernandez, ND Simplyrawsome.com

Medical Intuitive, Holistic Nutritionist, Cannabis Therapist, and much more