If a pumpkin could get Cinderella to a ball, imagine what it can do for your blood pressure!

Pumpkin has many ingredients known to lower hypertension especially magnesium. Magnesium helps transport calcium and potassium throughout the body and aids in nerve and muscle function, blood sugar maintenance and metabolism. If the body does not have enough magnesium then too much calcium enters the muscle cells, causing them to contract, and squeeze the arteries leading to hypertension. Magnesium also ensures that the endothelium – inner arterial wall – is functioning properly. Endothelial dysfunction disrupts the mechanics of vasodilatation and constriction, which can also lead to high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. Increasing magnesium intake can decrease high blood pressure. The recommended daily intake of Magnesium is 320mg/day for women and 420 mg/day for men.

Pumpkins weren’t just good to get Cinderella to the ball! They are an excellent source of magnesium. Their seeds can also help reverse hypertension due to their high zinc content. Inadequate zinc can make your arteries lose elasticity, resulting in inflammation. One study found that pumpkin seed oil exhibits antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects through a mechanism that may involve the generation of serum nitric oxide. Here is a must-try pumpkin recipe!

Pumpkin Ravioli

The use of pumpkin, instead of meat and cheese typically used in ravioli recipes, keeps this dish at 162 calories and 5 g of fat and 17mg of cholesterol per serving. It also contains 6g of protein, 102mg of calcium, 22g of carbohydrates, 2g of fiber, 2mg of iron and 505mg of sodium per serving.

      Ingredients

    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
    • 24 wonton wrappers
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 tbsps. unsalted butter
    • Chopped parsley

      Method

    • Combine 1 cup pumpkin, 1/3 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
    • Spoon about 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper.
    • Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal.
    • Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt; cook 7 minutes, and drain in a colander.
    • Place 1/2 cup broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in pan; bring to a boil. Add ravioli, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with parsley.

Enjoy!

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