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Pumpkin Power

 
Pumpkin has more to offer than just being a Halloween decoration or flavoring for fall lattes. This fall staple can have many positive health effects. Check out these great health benefits below:
 
1. Blood pressure: Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds contain lots of potassium and magnesium which can help lower blood pressure.

2. Antioxidants. The orange color of pumpkins is due to beta-carotene. This antioxidant may reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and asthma. Another compound in pumpkin is lutein, which helps protect eye sight.
 
3. High in fiber. 1 cup of canned pumpkin has almost 7 grams of fiber.
 
4. Blood sugar control. Besides being high in fiber, pumpkin pulp and seeds contain a compound that slows absorption of sugar from foods. Both factors can help regulate blood sugars.

5. Boosts immune health. Pumpkin is high in vitamin C and vitamin A which can help boost your immune system. This can come quite in handy this time of year.
 
 
Fresh, uncut pumpkins can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to two months! If you don’t want to cut up a whole pumpkin, grab a can of 100% pumpkin puree. Avoid the pumpkin pie mixes as these have a lot of added sugars. Enjoy this fall treat!
 
 
Pumpkin Sage Soup
Servings: 5
 
Ingredients:
 
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup shallots, diced 
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
5 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth 
1 Tablespoon fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt for garnish (optional)
 
Preparation:
  
1. Heat large sauce pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil to heated pot.
2. Add shallots and saute until tender, about 4 minutes.
3. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
4. Add pumpkin and broth to the pot, along with sage, salt and pepper.
5. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered for 15 minutes.
6. Pour cooked soup into a blender or use immersion blender to blend until smooth.
7. Garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sage. 
 
 
Serving Size: 1 cup

Nutrition Information per Serving: 131 calories, 4 grams total fat, 0.9 grams of saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 7 grams protein, 300 milligrams sodium, 838 milligrams potassium, 4.6 grams sugar
 
 
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