It's that time of year: pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin spice lattes for breakfast. The squash of the season is packed with powerful benefits, so be sure to incorporate it into your diet, though there are healthier ways than coffee syrups. The health benefits of pumpkin include antioxidant and mood- and immunity-boosting properties. Be sure to store your pumpkin in a cool and dark place before cutting it, where it should last up to two months. Use this tasty winter squash in baking to replace butter, or in smoothies for an extra health boost.
Pumpkin is packed with fiber, potassium and vitamin C, all factors in supporting heart health. Potassium helps treat hypertension or high blood pressure. It also reduces the risk of stroke and helps prevent the bones from losing muscle mass. Maintaining muscle mass keeps weight stable, which is an effective way of regulating blood pressure fluctuations. One study suggested consuming pumpkin seed oil as a supplement helps reduce diastolic blood pressure by 7% and increases good cholesterol by 16%. Another found the nitric oxide in pumpkin has a positive impact on heart health.
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