Let’s talk pumpkin and keep this week alive with Thanksgiving! Christmas usually takes over at the slightest hint that fall is near, so today’s blog will be all things pumpkin before we get Ho-Ho-Ho wild! You might be wondering why? Besides the fact that I just love pumpkin everything, there is some important pumpkin health benefits for her and him, especially with mood and fertility through postpartum.
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Pumpkin Health Benefits
The orange coloring to the pumpkin is the biggest clue that this food is packed with beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), which will keep your eyes sharp and skin glowing, not to mention an immunity boost! I am always known to promote a rich, colorful and vibrant diet! Okay, so what else? Let’s dive in a little more:
- Magnesium – this ancient mineral is one that most of us are low in and don’t even realize! It is essential for more than 300 different enzymatic processes in the body. Some signs that you are low are: constipation, muscle cramping, intense sweet cravings – just to name a few. The pulp and seeds of a pumpkin are rich in magnesium
- Protein/Fatty Acids – a lot of us don’t realize that pumpkin is high in protein and fatty acids. This will keep your cholesterol regulated and improve brain function. Take THAT Mom brain!
- Antioxidant – pumpkin is an anti-inflammatory fruit. This list of benefits from this includes: improved joint health, organ health and keeps stress levels down
- Vitamin C – immune system powerhouse and healthy collagen levels
- Fiber – needed to wash out the toxins in your body!
- Zinc – this is the section I will go through the most. Pumpkin is loaded with zinc and it plays a vital part in protein synthesis and helps to regulate the cell production in the immune system. Zinc is found playing a big role in multiple organs of the body, including thyroid function which is essential for fertility, birth and postpartum.
There are so many surprising facts behind pumpkin and fertility, for both men and women!
Men – Zinc has been known to increase semen levels and testosterone levels and along with vitamin E, improve potency.
Women – Zinc plays a vital role in egg production, follicular fluid levels and regulating hormones (also known to help reduce the size of fibroids)
Zinc is a huge player in labor and delivery! Pregnant women are at more of a risk of low zinc levels and like magnesium, many of us don’t realize it. Because zinc helps to regulate hormone levels, this can aide your body with labor and delivery. It can also help prevent preterm labor and keeps immune system strong, which can help reduce possibility of infections. So – make sure you take a good quality prenatal during and even beforehand (if you are planning on becoming pregnant) and load up on foods with zinc such as my beloved pumpkin!
Your body burns through a lot of your zinc levels to get through labor and delivery, therefore a good quality multi-vitamin is recommended to keep taking (preferably your prenatal or a postnatal kind). Zinc deficiency or low levels can enhance the effects of “baby blues” or whenever you are feeling low (even when not in the postpartum period).
*Keep note with any of these nutrients – don’t take any excess supplementation for them unless your Doctor prescribes it. My suggestions are food based only.
Bottom line is: don’t skip out on the wonderful benefits that pumpkin can offer! That should help you feel better when you reach for an extra serving of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving! (or maybe that is just me!)
Speaking of Thanksgiving dinner, are you hosting it this year or attending someone else’s house? If you are not hosting, I put together a quick guide below for some hostess gift ideas. All under $30! If you are an Amazon junkie like me – then you still have time with the two prime to order! (Don’t worry – I don’t even have all my hostess gifts for this Holiday season yet either! Or perhaps a hostess gift wasn’t on your radar at all – it’s all good mamas, getting through our day is challenging enough!)
Happy Pumpkin Eating!
The Busy Mom Quick Thanksgiving Hostess Gift Guide
1 – Long Lasting & Amazing Smell! I picked this up the other day at a local shop here in CT. Also Available online: A Cheerful Giver Holiday Homecoming Farm Fresh Collection Candle, 20 oz
2 – LOVE LOVE LOVE Chalkboard Cheese Trays! You can switch it out with new foods and designs to fit every party theme. Shop:Mini Slate Cheese Boards – Serving Trays for All Occassions – Modern Style – Easy to Clean – Set of 6 Slate Trays – Chalk Included – 6 x 0.1 x 8.75 Inches
3 – Wine Bags – ALWAYS a hit!Shop: Enjoy Wine Bag, Enjoy Wine Bottle Bag Burlap, Wine Lover Gift, Hostess Gift
4 – Starbucks Coffee – enough said. Got mine at my local Starbucks but you can order online too! Shop: Starbucks 2 Mug 4 Piece Holiday Gift Set with Cocoa and Coffee
5 – And of course tea! I think this set is so fun! Shop: Tea Forté WARMING JOY Presentation Box Featuring Seasonal & Festive Tea Blends – 20 Handcrafted Pyramid Tea Infusers (Red and Silver)
P.S. – if you haven’t jumped on board in my Healthy Mom Happy Baby Facebook Group – join us! I’d love to have you there. Each week, I give exclusive extras to the group. In response to today’s pumpkin obsession blog, Co-Founder of HMHB Donna Cassity and I will be going live with a pumpkin spice sugar scrub recipe and making it show!