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Pumpkin Power!

pumpkinsPumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, pumpkin ravioli…it seems everywhere you go, pumpkin is on the menu. I look forward to a big slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving (which is surprisingly not too far away), but it turns out there are several good reasons to enjoy pumpkin more than once a year!

On this Motivation Monday, I offer just a few of the health perks found in fall’s signature squash:

  • Post-Workout Power!  You’ve probably heard the rave reviews for bananas as a natural source of energy. However, one cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium with 564 milligrams compared to a banana’s 422. A little extra potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.
  • Good for Your Baby Blues…and Browns, Greens and Hazels, too!:  One cup of mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin. Also, pumpkin is full of carotenoids, a fancy name for the compounds that create its orange color including Beta carotene, which has been linked to eye protection.
  • Keep Your Appetite in Check! This often forgotten source of fiber packs three grams in a one-cup serving with only 49 calories. Countless studies show a fiber-rich diet can help you stay full longer so you eat more sensibly throughout the day.

So, while it’s always a good idea to enjoy the pumpkin pie in moderation, there’s no reason not to indulge in some of the other healthy options provided by this seasonal favorite to stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous !

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