7 Reasons to make the most of your pumpkin this Halloween

It’s estimated that forty two per cent of the UK population buy pumpkins for Halloween each year but sadly there’s over 18,000 tonnes of pumpkins being thrown away each year which is a waste considering all the amazing health benefits on offer.

Pumpkins are an extremely nutrient-dense food packed with vital vitamins and antioxidants including vitamin C, lutein and B vitamins. Just one portion contains over 100% of your RDA of vitamin A, whilst 100g of the seeds deliver 110% of your RDA of iron.

A few random pumpkins facts:

1. Did you know that pumpkins are technically a fruit? It’s part of the Cucurbitaceous family (which also includes cucumbers, squash and melons).

2. Once harvested, they can keep for months if stored properly, some varieties for up to a year.

3. It’s one of the top aphrodisiacs according to Alan Hirsch, founder and director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. In one of the studies, Hirsch looked at the effects of 30 different scents on the sexual arousal of 31 male volunteers. He found that a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie[1] caused the highest level of arousal.

4. Pumpkin pie is a sweet dessert that originated from North America and is traditionally eaten during harvest time and holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

5. A carved pumpkin illuminated by candles is known as a ‘jack-o-lantern’.

6. The tradition is believed to have come from Ireland, where they used to carve faces into turnips, beet and other root vegetables as part of the Gaelic festival of Samhain.

7. In Colonial times pumpkins were the used as pie crusts and before that North Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine