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The wind is shifting. The temps are cooling. The leaves are beginning to dance off of their branches.

That could only mean one thing.

It’s Fall!

And with fall comes all the cozy and warm feelings you can stand. Warm socks. Fuzzy sweaters. Hot tea. Bonfires. Cider. Cocoa.

And, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.

There may be something to the pumpkin spice craze. Namely, the pumpkins. They aren’t just good for decorations and frou-frou coffee drinks. They are veritable powerhouses in the game of healthy living.

Read on to see how pumpkins can pump up your health!

Nutrients. Pumpkins are loaded with nutrients. Vitamins C, E, potassium, and beta-carotene are key players in giving the pumpkin its punch. Potassium has a positive effect on blood pressure and beta-carotene, being the powerful antioxidant that it is, can help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes. It’s also responsible for giving pumpkins and orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color. The body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A giving an added bonus. Vitamin A is responsible for keeping the immune system, skin and nails healthy. It may also reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration.

Fiber. Pumpkins are also high in fiber, aiding in weight management. Fiber slows the rate of sugar absorption in the body. It also promotes smooth digestion. With a healthy intake of fiber, the risk of colon cancer can be reduced.

Lower blood-sugar. Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed powder, and pumpkin juice, in animal studies, have proven to reduce blood sugar. This is good news for people with Type 2 Diabetes. The impressive magnesium content found in pumpkin seeds may be responsible for its hopeful effect on diabetes. In an observational study with over 127,000 people, researchers found that diets rich in magnesium were associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in men and a 34% lower risk in women.

That’s not all pumpkins are good for. There are a plethora of benefits when it comes to these plump orange orbs of autumn goodness. You can incorporate pumpkin into your diet with these delicious and autumn inducing recipes.

It shouldn’t need to be said, but we’ll say it anyway: adding pumpkin flavor or calling it “pumpkin spice” DOES NOT confer these nutritional benefits. You have to actually eat pumpkin or it’s seeds to get any sort of health benefits.

If you’re still hanging on to the last few days of summer, go ahead and soak up the sun. But, Autumn is coming, and she’s bringing with her a beautiful, delicious, powerful way to stay healthy.