Are You Pumped for Pumpkin?
We're Wondering if There Is Something Behind All of this love for Pumpkins...
As soon as there is a faint scent of Autumn in the air, everything magically turns into pumpkins. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin candles, gourds of assorted colors, shapes, and sizes magically appear everywhere. But why? Why are moms seemingly so obsessed with pumpkin?
Could there be something more to it than pumpkin spice and everything nice? We at BeauGen wanted to know. So we did a bit of research on the fixation over orange orbs and found some great information to share.
It turns out that pumpkins are full of nutrients and a great food for just about everyone, especially moms and babies.
Why Moms Can Keep Loving Everything Pumpkin:
Breast Milk Boost
You read that one right. A couple of studies were done to explore how pumpkin may impact a mother’s ability to produce breast milk. Studies like this one have shown that pumpkin is a galactagogue! What's a galactagogue? These are foods that have been found to naturally increase breast milk production in women. The study found that women in cultures who traditionally cook more with pumpkin were found to have a higher supply of breast milk than those for whom pumpkin is not a staple.
Packed with Antioxidants to Reduce the Chance of Chronic Illness
You want to be around to enjoy as much of your children’s lives as possible. But chronic illnesses and cancer can seriously affect your health. The antioxidants in pumpkin have been found to help reduce the risk of these illnesses.
Bursting with Vitamins
While there are many things to love about Fall, the flu is not one of them. Pumpkin is full of vitamins that will boost your immune system, so you can stay healthy and get the most out of all of the corn mazes, apple picking, and pumpkin patches this year.
Beta-carotene, vitamin C, lutein, vitamin E, and antioxidants all unite to boost collagen and protect your skin from UV rays. Pumpkin is your secret weapon when it comes to healthy, glowing skin! You can learn more in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In fact, pumpkin is so good for your skin it has been linked to burn healing.
Pumpkin can help protect your heart in two ways. First, antioxidants can prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to the walls of your blood vessels. Remember LDL is the “bad” cholesterol and when it builds up like this it leads to heart disease. Second, pumpkins are a great source of potassium. Potassium has been shown to both lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of strokes.
Pumpkin for Babies
Moms aren’t the only ones who are pumped for pumpkin. Babies love the taste of pumpkins. Plus pumpkins have a number of different health benefits for babies.
Vitamin A is essential for the healthy development of your baby’s eyes. Pumpkin is chalked full of it! Some say vitamin A will help speed up the development of your baby’s eyesight, but it will definitely help to keep your baby’s eye healthy no matter what rate their vision develops.
Boosts Immune System
It might not seem likely, but pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin C. We all know and love vitamin C as adults for its ability to help us get and stay healthy, but for babies with developing immune systems, vitamin C is especially important.
When you first begin introducing new foods to your baby, it might take some time for their digestive system to grow used to these new foods. If your baby’s digestion is a bit off, adding pumpkin, which is high in fiber, can help to regulate their system.
Turkey isn’t the only culprit making you sleepy on Thanksgiving. Did you know that pumpkin contains tryptophan? Pumpkins also include magnesium, which is known for its calming properties, and it also helps encourage sleep. Whether you’ve hit a sleep regression or just want to help your baby fall asleep, pumpkin is a great natural sleep aid.
Incorporating Pumpkin Is as Easy as (Pumpkin) Pie
We’ve seen pumpkin in just about everything. There’s pumpkin pancakes, cookies, pies, cheesecakes, bundt cakes, and even brownie recipes. For those who are looking for healthier alternatives, Pinterest can be a wealth of recipes for pumpkin and granola muffins, nutritious cookies (yes they’re a thing!), low-calorie bars with cream cheese icing, and more!
Making Pumpkin Puree for Babies
- 1 Sugar Pumpkin
- Breast milk (or water or formula)
- About six large Apples
You’ll also need:
- Baking Sheet
- Large pot with tight fitting lid.
Grab a baking pumpkin (also known as sugar pumpkins). Clean it, and cut the pumpkin in half.
Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, face down. Roast at 400 degrees for 40-60 minutes or until the flesh of the pumpkin can be easily scooped out with a spoon. Allow the pumpkin to cool and then scoop the flesh into a blender.
Straight pumpkin can be a bit bland. If your little one isn’t a fan at this point, consider steaming and adding apples to your puree.
To steam, peel and cut apples into chunks. Bring about 2 inches of water to boil in a pot, add apple chunks and place a lid on your pot. Steam for about 8-10 minutes, or until the apples get a bit soft.
Add breast milk, formula, or water to create the right consistency for your baby. You can refrigerate this for up to a week, and freeze the extra.