Pumpkins – More Than Decorations. A picture of pumpkins sitting in a bed of leaves. text says " Pump Up With Pumpkin"

Autumn, the season between summer and winter. It is a favorite season for many who enjoy fun foods, festivities, and cooler weather. Autumn is one of the best times of year for sweets. Caramel apples, candies, pecan pies, apple pies, and yes, pumpkin (everything). Pumpkins are more than a jack-o-lantern or front porch decoration; they are considered a superfood.

A study shows that extract from pumpkin may improve blood glucose levels in diabetics. Researchers divided diabetic rats and normal rats into two groups. Diabetic rats were fed a normal diet supplemented with pumpkin extract and the other group were fed a normal diet for 30 days. The researchers reported that diabetic rats fed the extract had 5% less plasma insulin and 8% fewer insulin-positive cells than healthy rats at the end of the study.

Though no human studies have been carried out yet, animal studies have revealed that compounds found in pumpkin may help in reducing blood sugar levels.

When carving those jack-o-lanterns, don’t toss out the pumpkin seeds. Roasted pumpkin seeds are an easy and healthy snack!

Jin H, Zhang YJ, Jiang JX, Zhu LY, Chen P, Li J, Yao HY. Studies on the extraction of pumpkin components and their biological effects on blood glucose of diabetic mice. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 2013 Jun 1;21(2):184-9.

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