Benefits of Pumpkin for Weight Loss
Discover the incredible weight loss benefits of pumpkin, how to best prepare it and how much you should eat to get maximum benefit from pumpkin - one of nature's amazing fat burning foods.
Squash, gourds and pumpkin are all classified in the same family of vegetables. You will find pumpkin growing on a long, spreading vine with big orange flowers.
Normally the rind is red, but it is not uncommon to see some with a green rind. Pumpkin meat is a bright, cheerful orange.
Pumpkin is one of the vegetables that is available in winter. You can get fresh pumpkin in the fall and the early months of winter.
Fat Burning Benefits of Pumpkin
There is less than a gram of fat in a cup of pumpkin. Pumpkins are low sodium and low cholesterol with only 2 grams each per cup of pumpkin meat. They are also full of vitamins and minerals and very high in protein. You will find: fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and calcium in pumpkin. Folate and vitamin C are found in abundance in pumpkin. The huge amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein found in pumpkins help protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. You can tell by the bright orange color of pumpkin that it is full of beta carotene - an important antioxidant. In the human body, the beta carotene found in pumpkin becomes vitamin A and performs many important functions. Foods that are rich in beta carotene may help fight cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Disease and aging and its degenerative effects are combated with beta carotene.
Be sure to pick pumpkins that are heavy and firm and don't have blemishes. You can store it in a cool, dry place for as long as 3 months if you handle it carefully.
After you cut the pumpkin open, you should eat it within a week. Once cut, keep the pumpkin pieces refrigerated in a plastic bag.
It may be hard to cut into a pumpkin. Use a knife that is sharp and has a long handle. Before you do anything else, be sure to rinse any dirt off the pumpkin. Cut it into pieces and take out the pulp, seeds and skin. Additionally, you can cook the whole pumpkin and skin it; remove pulp and seeds when it is done. Remember to poke some holes in the pumpkin so the steam can escape. When it is caramelized, remove the pumpkin from the oven.
You can boil, steam, mash or puree pumpkin and use it in soup. Mashed pumpkin makes a good vegetable side dish.
Of course, everyone loves pumpkin pie, but you could also make low fat cakes, muffins, and lots of other yummy things.
How Much Pumpkin Should You Eat?
A cup per person (mashed) is a good serving amount.
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