Fight cold and flu season by eating pumpkin

shutterstock_155131223October 5 — No one likes being sick. To fight off any icky viruses that might be floating around school this fall, try one of the foods that’s as much fun to make as it is to eat: Pumpkin.

Did you know: Adding pumpkin to your daily regimen will account for nearly 20% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. It’s widely believed that vitamin C is pivotal come cold and flu season. Pumpkins are also a great source of vitamins A, C, E and B — and it is full of the many minerals the human body needs on a daily basis, like fiber, potassium, calcium, copper and zinc. Click here for some yummy pumpkin recipes that you can make after school today! 

Pack some delicious nutritional punch with a Pumpkin Milkshake

shutterstock_156060470October 4 — Want an after-school treat that’s also good for you? Try one of our October recipes: Pumpkin Milkshake. As it turns out, pumpkin gives you even more energy than a banana because a cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium (564 milligrams vs 422 from a banana).

Did you know: Potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout — or a busy day at school — and it keeps your muscles functioning at their best. For more delicious pumpkin recipes, click here.

 

Pumpkin seeds do a body good!

shutterstock_215898946October 3 — Do you love eating pumpkin seeds? Good news, because according to the USDA nutritional database, 1 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds has only 285 calories, 11.87 grams protein, 12.42 g fat, and 11.8 g dietary fiber. That’s good stuff!

That’s not all: That same cup of roasted pumpkin seeds has 168 milligrams of magnesium, which your body needs for regulating muscle and nerve function, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and blood pressure, as well as making protein, bone and DNA. Source: Mother Nature Network

Best of all, it’s easy to roast pumpkin seeds. Here’s how: Spread the seeds our on an oiled baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until they are dry and slightly crispy. Then add about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and top with your favorite spices (salt, taco seasoning, cinnamon and sugar, or whatever else you like). Then return to the oven for about 20 minutes until the seeds are golden. Yum!

 

Pumpkins pack some powerful health perks

shutterstock_749265311October 2 — Pumpkin Muffins are more than just yummy breakfast food. Pumpkins pack some powerful perks — like keeping your heart healthy, and improving your vision. That’s because a cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A (which aids vision), particularly in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health. To add more pumpkin to your diet today, check out our pumpkin muffin recipe here.