Eat your Pumpkin during Pregnancy and not just because it’s Halloween!
Fall is here with the fallen leaves, cool air and Pumpkins all around, you know it’s time to get those cozy socks out of the drawer…
Did you know that pumpkins are an excellent nutritional source, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and rich taste and are considered a superfood for pregnant women? Even their seeds are packed with zinc, manganese, copper and other micronutrients.
Here’s why you should be eating pumpkin during pregnancy
- Pumpkins are an excellent natural source of vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for normal cellular function, including reproduction and development.
- Packed with Beta-carotene, it contributes to the development of the fetus heart, lungs, bones, eyes, kidneys, nerves and circulatory system.
- Rich in antioxidants, help boost immunity levels and to protect the expecting mother and fetus from infections.
- Iron prevents anemia during pregnancy, carries oxygen to the fetus, and helps to lower the chances of premature delivery.
- Vitamin C helps in iron absorption and boosts the immune system.
- Potassium and magnesium contained in pumpkins are very important for keeping the proper blood pressure level of the mother-to-be.
- Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which is great natural laxative property, so eating pumpkin helps to relieve constipation and hemorrhoids that expecting mothers face so often.
- Pumpkin seeds are even more beneficial for pregnant women: the seeds are rich in protein, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese and phytosterols that improve the liver function and increase immunity. 1 g of seeds protein contains the same amount of tryptophan as the glass of milk.
- Pumpkin seeds also provide omega-3 fatty acids that participate in the development of the fetus’ central nervous system.
- Helps to control the level of cholesterol and thus to maintain the proper lipid levels during pregnancy.
- Zinc content helps in a proper growth and development of the baby’s brain and in enhancing the immune system of the mother-to-be.
Oh… so good Pumpkin soup
This does require some prep up time in order to peel the pumpkin, but it’s so so worth the effort! Don’t settle for the caned puree or anything like that.
1 small pumpkin (about 3.5 lb.) diced into large cubes.
2 tbs. coconut oil
1 large white onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
½ cup water
1 can of coconut cream
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste
- In order to dice the pumpkin in to cubes, use a sharp chef’s knife and cut the pumpkin in half just beside the stem. Use a large spoon and remove the seeds. Cut in half once more. Remove the stem and the other part of the stem. Peel the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler. Cut the peeled pumpkin into cubes and voila! you’re set to go with this soup.
- Heat the coconut oil in a medium size pot, over medium heat and toss the onion until its golden brown. Add garlic, some black pepper & salt.
- Add the pumpkin and ginger and mix together for about two minutes, till it absorbs all the flavors.
- Pour water and the coconut cream and if needed add some extra water, but don’t let the liquids pass the pumpkin more than an inch.
- Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and cover the pot until pumpkin is completely soft, about 20 minutes.
- Close the heat, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin in a sauce pan, over medium to low heat. Just until the seeds are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- With a hand held blender mash the pumpkin soup until it is completely smooth.
- Add Salt & Pepper to taste if needed.
- Once serving, garnish each plate with the toasted seeds.
- You can freeze the remaining soup… if by any chance there is some left ?
Enjoy your food, enjoy your body ♥