If you haven’t already noticed, pumpkins are starting to pop up in supermarkets and farm shops all over the place in preparation for people to carve them for Halloween.
However, anyone not celebrating the Samhain festival, can still make use of pumpkins by eating them!
Pumpkins, which are part of the gourd family, have some great nutritional benefits, which is why we recommend our service users and anyone else out there, particularly the elderly, eat plenty at this time of year.
They are a great source of potassium and beta-carotene, which is a carotenoid that converts to vitamin A. Research has shown that vitamin A plays an important role in supporting the immune system.
Diets high in carotenoids may help prevent the development of metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, all of which collectively increases your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
Pumpkins also include calcium, magnesium, vitamins E and C, which can reduce the risk of age-related eye disease, as well as some B vitamins.
Just three tablespoons count as one portion of your five a day and there’s lots of ways you can eat pumpkin too.
You can blitz it up and make it into a delicious soup, roast it with other veggies and eat it alongside your Sunday lunch or toss the cooked pieces into a tasty salad.