It’s Pumpkin Season: Pumpkin anti-inflammatory
It’s pumpkin season and the fruit takes spotlight this month. We want to highlight something great about pumpkins that isn’t just about carving faces or pumpkin spice everything. Did you know that pumpkin is an anti-inflammatory? Including pumpkin in your diet can help reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s response to an irritant. This irritant could be a foreign object, blunt force or it could be microbial. Dr. Bhatt explains “Think of inflammation as the body’s natural response to protect itself against harm. There are two types: acute and chronic. You’re probably more familiar with the acute type, which occurs when you bang your knee or cut your finger. Your immune system dispatches an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the area, creating visible redness and swelling.”
Other signs of inflammation that may not be as obvious as indicators of acute inflammation, include constant and prolonged periods of fatigue, anxiety, depression, and digestive issues.
Pumpkin is anti-inflammatory
In a recent post we discussed the changing season and how it may cause inflammation, we introduced some anti-inflammatory foods to have in your diet to help fight inflammation. And, here we focus on pumpkins, the mighty orange gourd that we love for their jack o’lantern characters, their seeds for snacking and even more importantly (no not PSLs) we love them for their inflammation fighting properties.
Pumpkin is an anti-inflammatory (and any orange colour fruit or vegetable) because they are rich in carotenoids. Carotenoid is the bright orange pigment and they also happen to be great sources for anti-oxidants. “Carotenoids are beneficial antioxidants that can protect you from disease and enhance your immune system. Provitamin A carotenoids can be converted into vitamin A, which is essential for growth, immune system function, and eye health.” Additionally, pumpkins contain B-carotene, lutein, polysaccharides, phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, and peptides. This combination makes pumpkins a powerful source to fight inflammation.
If you’re new to cooking with pumpkin check out this great introduction to cooking with pumpkin.
You probably won’t look at that jack o’lantern quite the same way again. So, embrace this plentiful fall fruit and try some new ways of incorporating it into your diet.