Americans are obsessed. They simply can’t get enough pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING.
From pumpkin-spice coffee to pumpkin-flavored cereal, “pumpkin” products line grocery store shelves all season long.
And of course, there is America’s favorite fall treat… pumpkin pie.
But here’s the thing. You, me, and likely every other American you know has been living a pumpkin pie lie our entire life.
And I have to warn you, you might want to sit down for this one. Because it’s a doozy. It’s liable to shake you to your core.
Once again, we’ve been hoodwinked by Big Food.
You know those cans of “100% pumpkin” filling you and everyone else you know use to make pumpkin pies, cakes, and, when you’re feeling fancy, even pancakes?
Well, it turns out it isn’t even technically pumpkin.
The vast majority of canned “pumpkin” puree is actually another winter squash called Cucurbita moschata.
It’s much closer to a butternut squash than the traditional fall pumpkin we all know and love. And it’s NOT the pumpkin we’ve always believed was in those cans.
Beware of Big Food’s deceptions
Okay, so maybe I oversold the shaking to your core part.
But while I AM joking a bit here, there is a serious issue at the core of this story. And that, of course, is that it is common practice for food manufacturers to deceive us.
And a random squash stuffed in a can with some “squash spices” is just the tip of the Big Food iceberg. Grocery store shelves are lined with processed foods that, from label to marketing, are designed to erase our hesitations, so we will buy them.
That is why I’m so passionate about encouraging you to make the switch back to cooking from scratch whenever possible.
The food is fresher, tastes better, and is healthier. And you always know exactly what you’re putting in your mouth.
America’s favorite fall flavor is packed with nutrition
Now, about that pumpkin…
Ironically, when it comes to America’s favorite fall flavor, most folks never eat the real deal. And that’s a shame. Because this classic fall veggie is brimming with potential health benefits, you’re missing out on.
But it’s NOT too late. We have a couple more weeks of pumpkin season left. So it’s time to embrace all this winter-squash has to offer. Roasted pumpkin makes a delicious side dish. And it can add an extra pop of flavor to soups, stews, and even salads.
So let’s take a quick look at what makes it so good for you.
Pumpkin is packed with healthy fiber and antioxidants. Plus, it’s loaded with a long list of powerful nutrients your body needs, including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, potassium, niacin, and B6, to name just a few.
Top 3 health dangers dodged with PUMPKIN
In fact, this nutrient-dense vegetable can offer you some serious protection against three of today’s most devastating diseases diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
1. Diabetes: Pumpkin is what nutritional experts call a “functional” food. And that means it has health benefits that go beyond just nutrition alone.
In the case of diabetes, we can start with the veggie’s high fiber content. Pumpkin is brimming with soluble fiber. That means it helps slow down digestion, heading off sugar spikes and improving your blood sugar control
But then, on the slip side, pumpkin can help your body do a better job of absorbing the glucose once it does hit your bloodstream. It helps move corrosive and damaging sugar out of your blood and into your tissues. And once there, it can be burned for energy or stored to be used later.
2. Cancer: Pumpkin is one of the single best sources of beta-carotene there is. Your body converts this vital nutrient into cancer-fighting vitamin A. Diets rich in vitamin A can help men fight prostate cancer by suppressing tumors and slowing the disease down to a crawl.
Plus, the power couple beta carotene and zeaxanthin can help build a barrier against polyps and colon cancer. And fiber, a natural foe of colon cancer, adds to the protection.
3. Heart disease: You probably couldn’t dream up a better veggie for supporting heart health than pumpkin. It’s packed with heart-friendly potassium, beta carotene, vitamin C, zeaxanthin, and fiber.
In fact, the studies show the mix of powerful nutrients in pumpkin could help prevent heart disease, lower stroke risk, shore up blood vessel linings, and improve cholesterol levels.
So what do you say? Want to join me in ditching the canned “squash spice pies” this year and try some REAL pumpkin instead?