It really is the Great Pumpkin for you and your pet

small pumpkin

Pumpkins at the road side stands and at every market you go into is a sure sign fall has arrived. Seeing a pumpkin for some reason just makes me happy. It makes me think of family being together, of laughing kids making jack-o-lanterns, of baking and of having loved ones at your table. It also brings back a good memory of my two sons. They were probably in fourth and seventh grades of school. They decided they wanted to plant pumpkins to enter in the “County Fair best pumpkin competition”. We broke up an area of ground. They planted the seed, watered and waited. They were faithful to water and keep fresh dirt against the roots. When they finally had baby pumpkins they really went to work taking care of them. Once the fruit begin growing they got creative. They decided if milk made them grow it would make their pumpkins grow. They put straws in the dirt around the pumpkin poured milk through the straw. To make a long story short, my fourth grader won 1st place in pumpkin division and seventh grader won 2nd in ornamental division. They were so proud and we were proud parents. Proud of how they had stuck to their plan of growing pumpkins.

Did you know a pumpkin is actually a squash? Squash and pumpkin are part of the gourd family. Like most foods there are several varieties of pumpkin and squash. When a child colors a picture of a pumpkin it is usually always orange. Pumpkins actually come in different colors and shapes. You might see a solid white pumpkin, white with green stripes, orange with yellow and orange spots or one with “warts”. You have the big traditional orange and round pumpkins that are usually used for jack-o-lanterns at Halloween. The smaller hard shelled ones come in several color variations and are called ornamental pumpkins. These smaller ones are used in fall decorations. Ornamental pumpkins can also grow to be quite large. The smaller ones have a sweeter taste and some people refer to them as a pie pumpkin.

Why is it we only think of eating pumpkin in the fall? Even though the season of the pumpkin is fall it is available all year in canned and frozen form. Pumpkins are loaded with vitamins and health benefits. We could use the extra benefits all year long.

Even the skins of the pumpkin are loaded with health benefits. The skin is loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C,E,B,K and minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, copper and magnesium. The skin alone offers the health benefits of lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, immune function, fetal development and helps with bone health.

Because of the low calorie count the skin of the pumpkin adds in weight loss. One cup of pumpkin only has 50 calories and is loaded with fiber. The perfect food for a weight loss program.

What family has not roasted the seed from their jack-o-lantern? Even the seed offers health benefits. They offer zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Pumpkin seed oil aids in prostate health. Pumpkin seed strengthens bones and with their anti inflammatory benefits aids in relief of arthritic joints. They are full of protein and essential fatty acids.

There are even health benefits hidden in the great pumpkin for your pet. Follow the link below for more health benefits for you. You will also find out how pumpkin can be healthy for your pet.

Go out get that pumpkin and enjoy the fun family time it can bring. Buy an extra one for the health benefits they bring.

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