The Nutritional Value of Pumpkins, Apple Cider
|By Carolyn Wick, Purchasing Team Lead on Tuesday, October 18, 2011|
|Pumpkins and apple cider are iconic images of fall and Halloween but their real value is in their nutritional content.||
Ghosts, ghouls, candy apples and jack-o’-lanterns – these are some of the more popular symbols of Halloween. But candy apples are not just a Halloween treat, nor are carved out pumpkins simply decors for your front gate. With both edibles making their visibility felt at every grocery store this time of the year, why not feast on them and reap the benefits that eating them gives you? You can even share them with the ghosts and ghouls - it's better to make these dead spirits your friends so they won’t come knocking at your door and scaring you on All Hallows Eve.
Apple cider is typically a drink for the autumn season, heated and mixed with other spices or served sparkling cold as a non-alcoholic substitute for champagne when celebrating events. Fresh apple cider is highly perishable but there are many commercial versions that don’t go bad so easily. Or you can opt for apple cider vinegar. Taken daily in teaspoons or mixed with cooking and baking, apple cider vinegar offers a lot of health benefits not only for you but also for your pet dog or cat.
Pumpkins are available all year round but rise in popularity come autumn with Halloween and Thanksgiving giving this humble fruit its place of honor or horror on these occasions. Pumpkins can be cooked and baked any which way – as soup, vegetable entrees, pies, puddings and other desserts. You can even roast the seeds and eat them, too. And pumpkin flavored goodies are never in any shortage this time of year, either. From pumpkin candies to pumpkin spice lattes, the flavor of pumpkin is synonymous with autumn.
Apple Cider Vinegar
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And if you think it’s the phone or tablet you’re using right now, it’s not. Proponents of apple cider vinegar swear by its beneficial effects in preventing or controlling diseases, its beautifying results and its use as a household aid. Here are some of the advantages you can get from apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar helps control and lessens the symptoms of degenerative and chronic diseases, such as arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and osteoporosis. This wonder liquid supplement contains potassium, pectin, calcium, iron, manganese, malic acid and acetic acid, which have their own specific actions to fight against chronic and acute illnesses that threaten your health.
It alleviates the crippling joint pains that degenerative arthritis brings by dissolving the toxic wastes that deposit themselves in the joint tissues, causing inflammation and aching joints.
The potassium and pectin in apple cider vinegar soak up the fatty deposits and helps in their excretion from the body, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol content in the blood vessels. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are known chronic cardiovascular diseases that can lead to heart attacks and strokes, both debilitating and oftentimes fatal illnesses.
The calcium and manganese in apple cider vinegar sustain bone density and help prevent or slow down the onset of osteoporosis that causes the stooped back in old people and increases their risks for fractures.
Regular intake of apple cider vinegar shields the body from acute infections by boosting the immune system and increasing its resistance to diseases like colds, gastrointestinal problems and fungal infections. The minerals in apple cider vinegar protect against hair loss and helps strengthen weak teeth that make can be prone to cavities. It hastens the metabolic process and aids in digestion, thereby promoting weight loss and the excretion of toxic substances from the body.
For household use, apple cider vinegar works great as a deodorizer and disinfectant. It is natural and non-poisonous, keeping your pets and children safe. Given as a supplement to dogs and cats, apple cider vinegar keeps their hair glossy and their eyes clear and bright.
The lowly pumpkin is actually a very healthy type of food, having a low caloric content, being high in fiber and containing several nutrients that help the body maintain its health and protect it from diseases. The pumpkin is a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - among them, vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, alphahydroxy acids, pantothenic acid and fiber.
At 26 calories per 100 grams, the pumpkin is an excellent food for weight reduction. In addition, it's high in fiber, aides in digestion and keeps cholesterol levels within the normal limit. The rich color is a dead giveaway for its vitamin A content, a nutrient that keeps skin clear, smooth and healthy-looking and promotes eye health and good vision.
The vitamins C and E in pumpkin gives you added immunity against respiratory infections and keeps the heart healthy. The beta-carotene that's abundant in pumpkins can help in the fight against cancer by eliminating the free radicals from the body. Vitamin A is known to protect against lung and mouth cancer while the phytosterols in pumpkin seeds keep the male prostate healthy and protect it from prostate cancer.
More than Playthings for Autumn
Now you know that there’s more to these two staples of fall than merely being props for scary tactics and games. They hold the keys to keeping your body healthy and your general physical appearance looking good. With apples and pumpkins in every corner of your neighborhood, or their products on the shelves of health stores and pharmacies, isn’t it time to appreciate the nutritional value of these iconic foods?
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