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It’s fall, so why not incorporate pumpkin into a healthy diet

Canned pumpkin pie and canned pumpkin pie mix are often packed with sugar.

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Everybody knows pumpkins are for carving Jack-o-lanterns to put on the porch at Halloween but did you know that pumpkins are packed with nutrients and are healthy to eat too?  Dr. Geri Williams from Ideal You shared advice for incorporating this fall favorite into a heathy diet. Dr. Williams said the best way to eat pumpkin is steamed or baked, just as you would any other squash.  She said canned pumpkin is convenient but cautioned to read the label and steer clear of anything that says “canned pumpkin pie or canned pumpkin pie mix” because these are often packed with sugar.  Dr. Williams said you can use pureed pumpkin to make home-made pumpkin soup, pumpkin pudding or add a couple tablespoons of pureed pumpkin to vanilla stevia, real whipped cream, or coffee.  Then add some pumpkin pie spices for a healthy version of Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Dr. Williams said pumpkin is rich in potassium, higher than the same amount of bananas, so it can be a great post-workout food that helps in muscle recovery. On top of that, she said pumpkin also contains an impressive level of vitamin A and vitamin C.  It is a wonderful source of fiber.  Just one cup of cooked fresh pumpkin contains nearly three grams of fiber. Fiber has been shown to be beneficial for weight loss in several studies.  Pumpkin can also aid in elimination and digestion for humans and their pets.  As for the seeds, Dr. Williams said one ounce of raw  pumpkin seeds packs  8.6 grams of protein and a powerhouse of Omega 3 fatty acids.  Pumpkin seeds, or the powder from pumpkin seeds, can help with sleep too.  She said the seeds contain relatively high amounts of zinc and tryptophan and both these nutrients help the brain make Serotonin which is a hormone that helps the body relax , fall asleep, and also stay in deep sleep.  Dr. Williams urged people to use caution though if they are watching the scale.  She said all nuts and  seeds are high in carbohydrates as well as the other nutrients, so limit daily intake to about ¼ cup of raw seeds daily and if you’re watching your blood pressure, go UNSALTED too!

It’s not too late to Lose 20 to 40 pounds before Thanksgiving with the “Fantastic Fall Promotion.”  Viewers who visit www.idealyou.us or call 844-904-6973 can schedule a free, no-obligation weight loss consultation and receive $200 in FREE groceries when they decide to sign up.         

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