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 Flow 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.
Beta-carotene the form of vitamin A that gives the vegetables that beautiful vibrant yellow/orange is particularly fascinating for women’s health. It is thought that it can help with heavy periods (menorrhagia), and can help with recurring UTIs.
Folate or Vitamin B9 is famous for being a supplement recommendation for helping with neural development in a developing foetus but it can also help with progesterone levels in peri-menopausal women.
Vitamin C can help with raising the progesterone levels in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, it can also raise oestrogen levels in women with low oestrogen so you should be aware of whether it makes any signs of low progesterone such as oestrogen dominance, PMS or luteal phase defect worse.
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.
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.
Pumpkin Based Savouries & Sides
Pumpkin Sweet Treat Recipes
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!)
Pumpkin Seed Recipes
How to use pumpkin seeds as part of the seed cycling protocol to promote hormonal balance.
Other Things You Can Do With Pumpkins
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!