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Monday, October 20, 2008

One for the Porch, One for the Plate!

When you grab a pumpkin for your fall porch this year, grab one for your plate, too.

Why? Two really good reasons: Pumpkin makes an incredibly rich and flavorful base for all sorts of soups, stews, and desserts. And it’s absolutely packed with blood-pressure-friendly nutrients.

Halloween Help for Your HeartPumpkin flesh is crammed full of phenols -- a type of health-promoting antioxidant that’s found in many plant-based foods. But pumpkin phenols may have particularly body-kind qualities. In cell studies, phenols from pumpkin flesh put a damper on the same enzyme that some blood pressure drugs target to reduce vascular tension. In other words, the phenols in pumpkin may help keep blood vessels relaxed, which means better blood pressure and better heart health.

Save the SeedsWhen you scoop out your pumpkin, save the seeds so you can roast them. Pumpkin seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid -- a healthy fat that also helps protect blood vessels. No time to cook fresh pumpkin? No problem. Use canned pureed pumpkin. It’s precooked, tastes great, and is just as good for you.

BTW, cooking pumpkin seems to enhance its phenolic properties.

I love Pumpkin seeds and so as hubby and Jacob. We also love Pumpkin Pie; my son is addicted with Pumkin Pie as long it is cooked the old- fashioned way. I like it with cream chesse.

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