130 Gallery Drive, McMurray, PA 15317
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Cross the Bridge to a Healthier Lifestyle.

Ask Sunny

Health Benefits of Pumpkins

Dear Sunny,

What are the health benefits of pumpkins?

— Curious

Dear Curious,

Cinderella’s fairy godmother turned a pumpkin into a coach to take her to the ball, Linus patiently waited for the Great Pumpkin to leave him Halloween treats and the Headless Horseman threw a pumpkin at Ichabod Crane in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. But there’s even more to a pumpkin than becoming a Halloween Jack O’Lantern!

A pumpkin’s bright orange color signals it is rich in carotenoids, immune boosting antioxidants encouraging overall good health. Beta carotene converts to active vitamin A in the body. Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help keep the eyes healthy by preventing macular degeneration and cataract formation. Its small boost of potassium content can help lower the risk of hypertension. They contain good amounts of iron, copper, manganese and fiber.

Tasty pumpkin seeds are anti-inflammatory and promote overall prostate health. Studies have also revealed that they may help prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation. They are high in protein and essential fatty acids.

Create a family tradition by not only designing and carving the Halloween pumpkin, but also roasting its seeds.

To roast pumpkin seeds:

  • After cleaning out the pumpkin in preparation for carving, sort the seeds from the pulp.
  • Wash and drain in a colander.
  • Dry them out on a cookie sheet for 24 hours.
  • Toss them with melted butter or oil and season them with sea salt, garlic salt or other seasoning.
  • Spread seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Bake at 300° for approx 45 min or til golden brown.
  • Stir occasionally.

There are plenty of creative ways to prepare pumpkins Ð pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter, pumpkin ravioli and, of course, pumpkin pie! So be sure to purchase an extra pumpkin or two for these delicious autumn treats. And for those not as adventurous, we carry Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin and Pumpkin Pie Mix.

Check out Houston’s annual Pumpkin Festival, being held this year October 12-14. With over 175 food and craft vendors, music and entertainment, children’s games and activities and a parade, there will be something for everyone!

Make your day a sunny day,
Sunny