As Autumn sets in and many people are carving pumpkins ready for Halloween, I thought this would be a great time to talk about what you can do with the pumpkin flesh and seeds which are often discarded and overlooked, but one of the most valuable parts of the pumpkin and great for hormones and women's health.
Pumpkins: The Low Down
Before we start, I thought I would let you know, pumpkins are a type of orange winter squash and most of the information I give here is going to apply to other winter squashes, although pumpkin is higher in fibre and sweeter than the rest of the winter squash family.
Pumpkins are high in fibre which makes them great helping with bowel regularity which is essential for gut health, inflammation and hormone detoxification. It is also a complex carbohydrate which can help with insulin regulation for those of you with blood sugar issues or PCOS.
They also contain folate which is a key vitamin for women who are looking to conceive or who are pregnancy. The folate and other nutrients such as alpha and beta carotene, vitamin C and minerals such as magnesium and manganese help to protect against stroke and normalise blood pressure.
One key nutrient that they contain, beta-carotene, which gives the beautiful vibrant yellow/orange is particularly fascinating for women's health. It is thought that beta-carotene can help developing follicles to produce estradiol and then later, the corpus luteum to support progesterone production. These are two essential hormones to get in check for a healthy menstrual cycle.
The seeds are also great for hormonal balance too and you can check out how to use them as part of the seed cycling protocol here.
So What Can You Do With The Pumpkin Insides After Carving Your Jack O'Lantern?
I'm glad you asked. I have listed some of my favourite internet recipes for pumpkins below. Just note, whilst I have done my best to keep to recipes that are grain free and dairy free, some of them say to use canned pumpkin, and canning foods will increase their exposure to BPA, which can cause oestrogen dominance in some women.
Savouries & Sides
Spiced Roasted Pumpkin
Beetroot, Avocado & Pumpkin Salad
Beetroot, Quinoa & Pumpkin Salad
Spiced Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars
Pumpkin Pie Brownie Cupcakes
No Bake Energy Bites
Pumpkin Spiced Latte (as a side note, a friend of mine asked for the ingredients of a well known coffee chain's pumpkin spiced soy latte, only to find out that it didn't actually contain any pumpkin and wasn't suitable for vegetarians, but they still wouldn't tell her the ingredients!)
Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie
How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seed Butter
How to use pumpkin seeds as part of the seed cycling protocol to promote hormonal balance.
The seeds actually make a great beauty scrub, I made this one recently.
Did you buy a pumpkin with all the best intentions of carving and cooking it, but have no energy or time? Then I've got your back. Don't worry, you can still use it as an Autumnal workout prop with this pumpkin based workout I found.
Love the smell of pumpkin spiced candles, but you don't want to use them because you know that they contain endocrine disrupting chemicals, try this essential oil based room spray!
Read More About
The Autumn Cleanse Programme
Read more about Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
Read more about How Poop Affects Your Periods
Read more about Oestrogen Dominance