Happy Halloween! Let’s make great use of all those pumpkins!
What a wonderful time of year it is- Fall! With Halloween in the air and Thanksgiving on the way we are surrounded by pumpkins everywhere! From carved pumpkins that are scary, funny, pretty or relay messages (i.e. my son and future daughter in law's countdown and wedding date) we love seeing them all!
In addition to the emotional side –going to the pumpkin patch, the fun of carving or the family working on it together that pumpkins offer, it’s most important to note pumpkin is healthy for you too! Pumpkin as an anti-cancer food is often forgotten about most of the rest of the year. So what makes pumpkin help fight breast cancer?
First, pumpkin seeds contains Phytoestrogens; a plant compound that acts like the human estrogen. These can help prevent breast cancer by binding to estrogen receptors to assist by inhibiting the estrogen effects according to a study. Many breast cancers are caused by and feed from estrogen, even male breast cancer.
The Beta-carotene content of pumpkin is converted in the body into Vitamin A which is another form of Antioxidant. These antioxidants help to protect the body against free radicals which can cause cancer. One cup of pumpkin can deliver 17mg of beta carotene, making it one of the highest sources.
Fiber has been shown to be a necessary component for lowering the risk of developing breast cancer when comparing those who consume the most to those who ate the least. Pumpkin is considered a good source of fiber.
Pumpkin is also considered to be low calorie. There are several studies out that do support a lower calorie diet with a lower incidence of breast cancer. Most of us know already that obesity plays on a large concern of overall good health. It’s important to not “feed” the cancer cells, which is why a diet higher in vegetables, fruits and low glycemic foods are so important. “Contrary to normal cells, most malignant cells depend on steady glucose availability in the blood for their energy.” “Cancer cells thrive on glucose and starve on fats and ketones, which are food-derived energy units that are plentiful in low-carbohydrate diets.”
Whatever your recipe of choice is, fresh pumpkin can have enormous benefits! So if you choose to make your grandmother’s famous pie, add it to your smoothie (yummy!), or puree it and freeze it for a host of different recipes, pumpkins are more than just fun, they’re scary good for you too!
Modah Ani- I Am Thankful
Vicki Singer Wolf, Co-Founder, Editor