How Pumpkins Help Your Hormones

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It’s the season of pumpkin carving! A week from now, the streets will be lined with a multitude of glowing orange faces. Today, in your grocery store, there is probably a huge box of pumpkins sitting in the middle of the produce section. They’ll sell like hotcakes until Halloween, then you probably won’t see them again until next October.

What’s the first thing you do when you carve a pumpkin? Cut it open and scrape out the seeds, right? Do you chuck those babies straight into the compost? If so, you’re missing out!

Pumpkin seeds are good for you.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of high quality protein, magnesium and zinc. In fact, just one cup of roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds can provide nearly half of your recommended daily intake of these essential minerals.

Magnesium is essential for the production of several hormones, such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, and is required for over 300 enzymes in the body. Zinc, which is often deficient in our produce due to low levels in our soil, supports healthy immune system functioning. Zinc deficiency can cause irregular sleep, overeating, irritability, frequent infections, skin conditions, and a host of other chronic health problems.

This year, why not take advantage of a great opportunity? By munching on your jack-o-lantern’s innards instead of tossing them out, you can boost your energy with high quality protein, support your digestion and immune system – and enjoy a tasty seasonal snack at the same time!

You can eat the seeds raw to get the highest possible nutrient value, or you can try roasting them for a crunchy snack. If you’ve never done it before – or if you want to up your seed roasting game – try my sweet recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

What about the rest of the pumpkin?

I’ve got great news – you can eat that too! Pumpkin has long been a favourite of raw food enthusiasts for its high nutritional value. The raw meat of a pumpkin is a great source of cancer-fighting, anti-aging carotinoids (the pigment that is generally responsible for the colouring of bright orange fruits and vegetables).

If you want to try eating raw pumpkin meat, you may want to try some other varieties apart from the jack-o-lantern variety. Go visit your local farmers market to get a glimpse of some of the dozens of pumpkin varieties. I made this soup recipe below using sugar pie pumpkins from Good Time Farming, my local farmers here in Squamish.

Creamy Pumpkin Harvest Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pumpkin, cubed
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 pears, cored & diced
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp rosemary
  • ½ tsp cayanee pepper, ground
  • ½ tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. Cut your pumpkin in half and remove the seeds
  2. Cut away the skin and cube your pumpkin
  3. Combine ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. Serve cold or warm on your stove top if desired.

Cooking up your pumpkin meat.

If the raw pumpkin thing isn’t doing it for you, pumpkin meat can be used in any recipe that calls for any kind of squash. Soups, stews, breads, you name it! Pumpkin meat will give any of your favourite squash-based recipes a seasonal twist.

If you like what you’ve created, don’t forget to take advantage of the post-Halloween pumpkin sale at your local grocery store. Being one of a handful of foodies who are “in the know” about the versatility of pumpkins in the kitchen will give you access to some steep discounts. Remember, you might not have another chance to experiment until next October.

If you have any pumpkin tips, recipes, stories or questions, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.

Oh Yeah and I almost forgot…..here is another yummy Power of Food recipe I created last weekend to help celebrate our Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s for my Creamy Fig Pumpkin Pudding. Yuuuuuuumy!

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About Adam Hart

Adam Hart is the bestselling author of The Power of Food. When not on stage speaking, Adam can be found helping one of his many corporate clients in awakening an abundance of energy through his highly engaging stress management solutions.Contact Adam to book a demo for an enhanced corporate wellness experience.

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