Pumpkins are all over the place right now. Readily available across most of North America, pumpkins have become a symbol of autumn and have a starring role in desserts, soups and loaves this time of year.

But these gorgeous orange orbs are much more than just a pretty face.

Pumpkins, like carrots and sweet potatoes, are chock full of carotenoids. Carotenoids are famous for protecting our eyes, but they can also prevent premature signs of aging, and they help us ward off disease, too.

Pumpkin flesh is rich in vitamin C which can protect against cancer, vitamin A which can boost immunity, magnesium for healthy teeth and bones, zinc which supports bone density and potassium which can prevent cardiovascular diseases.

That pumpkin is going to be an excellent source of dietary fiber which helps keep us regular! This fiber, of course, also leads to healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Pumpkins act as natural diuretics, meaning they flush toxins out of our bodies, and their L-tryptophans help to relieve depression.

And don’t forget about those pumpkin seeds!

One quarter cup serving of pumpkin seeds gives you just about 75% of the manganese you need in a full day, as well as half your recommended daily intake of magnesium as well as phosphorous, copper, protein, iron and zinc. Pumpkin seeds promote prostate health, ease symptoms of arthritis and can even protect your bone density.

Before you go out and start eating your yard decorations, remember that some pumpkins are meant for eating and some are only grown for ornamental purposes.

If you have a good supply of organic pumpkins, you should buy as much as you can fit in your freezer for the winter. The canned stuff really just doesn’t compare at all to the real thing!

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