It’s officially autumn and with the change in seasons comes a wealth of fantastic food, including pumpkin - a squash well associated with this time of year.You might not be aware of how awesome pumpkin is for your body and just how adaptable it can be, so we’re here to give you a rundown of the fantastic benefits of bringing pumpkin into your diet and some of the brilliant ways to use it.
Why we should all be eating pumpkinIt might surprise you just how beneficial pumpkin can be, so if you’re looking to maintain or improve any of the below, now’s the time to stock up on this superfood, before winter takes it away again! Excellent eyesight - Bursting with vitamin A, just a cup of cooked cubed or mashed pumpkin can give you more than your recommended daily amount of this incredible vitamin, that helps to improve your eyesight, particularly in lower light. A healthy heart - It’s not just the flesh of pumpkin that provides plenty of health benefits, but the seeds too! Enriched with phytosterols - a naturally produced plant chemical - enjoying a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds can help to low cholesterol and help your heart. Super Supple Skin - Eating pumpkin can provide your body with beta-carotene (which you’ll often see listed in the ingredients of anti-aging products). What’s great about beta carotene is that it improves the elasticity in your skin, meaning that the result is younger looking skin for longer - who doesn’t want that! Feel good all day, every day - Amino acids found in pumpkin seeds can help to produce serotonin, a helpful mood booster for when you’re feeling low. For days when you could do with that extra pick-me-up, grab a handful of these tasty seeds and add them to your MOMA porridge or bircher muesli for breakfast! Recover and recuperate - Pumpkin is perfect for a post workout snack! A cup of mashed or cubed pumpkins contains even more potassium than banana, which is great for recovery following exercise. Have a great night’s sleep - Whether it’s at breakfast, lunch or dinner, including some pumpkin into your daily diet can help you to enjoy a better night’s sleep and have you waking up feeling great. This is due to the levels of tryptophan in the squash - which can help your body to feel sleepy at night - combined with the serotonin which will help you to wake up feeling happy.
Pumpkin Spiced Porridge: Our favourite way to use pumpkinWhile Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are taking the world by storm, there are many other awesome ways of enjoying the fantastic taste of pumpkin, along with the health benefits it can bring too. We’ve already mentioned scattering some pumpkin seeds onto your MOMA porridge or DIY bircher muesli for breakfast, but for a bit of variety, why not use the pumpkin flesh to enjoy a belly warming bowl of pumpkin spiced porridge?
Pumpkin Spiced Porridge RecipeBegin by making some homemade pumpkin puree (this takes the most time so is best done the night before it’s needed).
- Simply scoop the flesh out of your pumpkin and cut into chunky cubes.
- In a saucepan, cover the pumpkin with water and bring to the boil.
- Cook the pumpkin for at least 20 minutes or until it is soft.
- Leave to cool and then blend.