Pumpkins aren’t just for decorating. Their bright orange colour is a sign that they’re rich in plant nutrients. One cup of cubed pumpkin provides twice the amount of beta carotene that you need in a day. Beta carotene speeds up healing and helps fight off damage to healthy cells from aging and the environment. The body turns some beta carotene into into vitamin A, which is needed for vision, healthy bones and the immune system. That’s why Canada’s Food Guide recommends getting at least one serving of orange fruit or vegetables everyday.

One serving is half a cup of cooked, cubed pumpkin. Don’t forget the seeds! Pumpkin seeds, also known as “papitas” are an excellent source of magnesium. One quarter cup provides half the magnesium you need in a day. Magnesium is needed for strong healthy bones and for nerve and muscle function. It also helps to keep your bowels moving. Pumpkin seeds also phytosterols, plant nutrients that may help to lower your LDL or “lousy” cholesterol. Which can help to reduce your heart disease risk. Diets rich in foods that contain beta carotene may reduce your risk of some types of cancer and heart disease. Did you know? Supplements can make it easier to get too much of a nutrient. That’s why its a good reason to choose foods when you can. What’s your favorite way to use pumpkin? Tweet us at ELLICSRkitchen, or or leave a comment below. .

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