Pumpkins are abundant this time of year and have many health benefits. With their bright orange color, they are rich in carotenoids which keep the immune system strong and beta-carotene which is a powerful anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. Beta-carotene can help prevent the build-up of cholesterol in arterial walls. Pumpkins also contain alpha-carotene which is believed to slow the aging process and prevent cataract formation. They are high in fiber and also potassium which is associated with decreasing the risk of high blood pressure. Pumpkins also contain zinc, an immune system booster that also improves bone density. Organic canned pumpkin is a good substitute if you don’t feel like carving and is easy to incorporate into many recipes.