November 24th, 2014Purposeful Pumpkin
David Christopher, M.H.
‘Tis the season! Which means it is a great time to enjoy a mineral dense super food that is a virtual medicine cabinet. Pumpkin not only has the color of carrots, but it is also tremendously good tasting, low in calories, and contains many specific nutrients for the eyes. In fact a slice of pumpkin pie contains 200% of the required daily intake of Vitamin A, which is so desperately needed by your eyes. It also contains a cornucopia of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which is converted by the liver to, yep, you guessed it! Vitamin A…in case the 200% in that pie wasn’t enough.
The Zeaxanthin found in pumpkin is a powerful anti-oxidant and specifically helps filter UV light, protecting the eyes and lessening the incidence of macular degeneration. It is also high in lutein which is beneficial to the health of the macula lutea of the eyes. High amounts of Vitamin C in pumpkin is great for tissue integrity, strengthening the vascular system and helping to keep skin firm and youthful. It is also loaded with the B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin, and Vitamins B-1, 2 and 6. It contains ample amounts of Vitamin K and a wide range of tocopherols, making the Vitamin E content exceptional as well. Pumpkin is also high in Zinc (one of the best anti-oxidants), Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese, Calcium, Iron, Copper, Selenium and Sodium.
Pumpkin seeds, like all seeds, help prevent cancer. They are also high in the amino-acid Tryptophan, which we have all heard is the substance in turkey that triggers sleep. It is also a pre-curser to Serotonin, a neuro transmitter linked to feelings of wellbeing. Pumpkin seeds promote good cholesterol levels, a healthy prostate, and are one of the best food remedies for ridding the body of parasites.
Enjoy the Holidays by eating more pumpkin and its accompanying spices. It will help you with weight loss, getting plenty of sleep, and feeling better for the New Year.
David Christopher is a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer.