If you love pumpkin, then this is the year for you: It's everywhere. Supermarkets have gone way beyond the obligatory Thanksgiving pie. For the 2012 Halloween season you can fill your shopping cart with pumpkin bagels, bread, beer, cookies, coffee, custards, doughnuts, ice cream, muffins, pancakes, pasta, soups, and yogurt.
Consider, for example, Trader Joe's "pumkin-ified" product lineup. Numerous pumpkin products are on the store's shelves this season, including pumpkin cream cheese, granola, tea, and even pumpkin-flavored dog treats.
Is pumpkin just the latest flavoring fad, or is it here to stay? It's probably too early to know. What we do know is that pumpkin, on its own, has several health benefits to offer.
The power of pumpkin
Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, as well as a powerhouse of beta-carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A). Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and vitamin E. The seeds are quite caloric, however, so it's a good idea to limit yourself to ¼ cup serving per day.