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
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)
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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