Pumpkin and Lentil Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Nutritional Benefits:

Pumpkin is rich in alpha and beta carotenes which are powerful phytonutrients shown to help prevent certain cancers, protect against type 2 diabetes, heart disease and inflammation. The carotenes are  converted to vitamin A by the body which is essential for good eye health and vision. They are fat soluble so should be eaten with a little fat to help absorb the nutrients. Pumpkins are also rich in some B vitamins as well as vitamin C and E. These vitamins have an important role in maintaining healthy skin and protecting against sun damage.

 Pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses rich are rich in protein, zinc, an antioxidant mineral which boosts the immune system, iron (important for healthy blood cells and energy levels), omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium, selenium, calcium and many other nutrients . They also contain heart healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids and can  benefit your heart, liver and immune system as well as helping to fight the onset of diabetes . They also contain tryptophan; an amino acid which is needed by the body to produce serotonin. This brain chemical helps regulate mood, appetite, digestion, sleep and memory. Low levels are linked to depression

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