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Health Benefits and Uses for Pumpkin

by Linnea Lavell

As Halloween and Thanksgiving approach many of us are using pumpkins for decorations or in making pies but do you know the nutritional facts on this beautiful orange plant?

According to the USDA Nutrient Database, one cup of pumpkin (cooked, boiled, drained and without salt) contains:

  • 49 calories
  • 1.76 grams of protein
  • 0.17 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of cholesterol
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates (including 2.7 grams of fiber and 5.1 grams of sugar)

Consuming one cup of canned pumpkin would provide well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 20% of the daily value of vitamin C, 10% or more vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, manganese and at least 5% for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothentic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. 

Preparing and using fresh pumpkin provides the most nutritional value but canned pumpkin is a good choice too.  Just make sure if you use canned pumpkin that it does not contain any added sugars, syrups or salt.

There are many ways to incorporate pumpkin into your diet. Look for sweet pumpkins or pie pumpkins for cooking which are smaller and sweeter.  Make your own pumpkin puree instead of canned pumpkin. Here are a few ideas on adding pumpkin to your diet.


  1. Use pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin when baking in place of oil or butter.
  2. Make a quick pumpkin chocolate yogurt by combining Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, honey and cocoa powder.
  3. Add pumpkin butter to toast, cookies, crackers, oatmeal or anything else.
  4. Pumpkin dip for apples, veggies, pretzels.
  5. Use pumpkin puree in your morning smoothie.
  6. Pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin can also help our pets. It can calm an upset stomach, keep that pudgy pooch feeling full so they don't eat as much and hopefully loose a couple of pounds, helps promote support for their immune system, keeps skin and fur healthy and helps to prevent cancer. 

This fall try something new and add some pumpkin to your diet, it's easy to do and you may realize some great health benefits. 







Migration of the Monarch Butterfly

by Linnea Lavell

Starting in September and October eastern and northeastern monarch butterflies begin their migration from Southern Canada and the United States to Central Mexico in what is described as one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Monarchs fly south using several flyways then converge in Central Texas to form a single flyway the remainder of their migration. In March, they start their return trip arriving back north around July.  What is truly amazing is that no single butterfly will make the entire round trip. 

Monarchs only travel during the day so they need to find a roost at night.  When they roost they gather close together during the cool autumn evenings. Tens of thousands of butterflies can roost in a single tree.  Ideal trees for roosting are pine, fir and cedar trees as they have thick canopies that moderate the temperature and humidity at the roost site.  In the mornings, the monarchs will bask in the sunlight to warm themselves.

Monarchs overwinter in the same 11 to 12 mountain areas in the States of Mexico and Michoacán from October to late March.  They roost for the winter in the oyamel fir forests at elevations of 2400 to 3600 meters (nearly 2 miles above sea level). The mountain hillsides of the forest provide an ideal microclimate for the butterflies.  Temperatures there range between 0 and 15 degrees Celsius.  With a lower temperature the butterflies would need to use their fat reserves. The humidity in the forest assures the monarchs won’t try out which allows them to conserve their energy.

The monarchs know their way to the overwinter sites even though this migrating generation has never been to Mexico before.  While researchers are still investigating the directional aids used by monarchs to find their overwinter location, it appears to be a combination of magnetic pull of the earth, the position of the earth and other aids. 

The western populations of monarchs which are those west of the Rocky Mountains have a similar migration only they overwinter sites on the coast of California.

There are monarch migration sites which will show sightings for Summer and Fall of 2016 and give projections as to when peak migrations will occur.  There are also multiple festivals and events that celebrate this beautiful migration of the monarch butterfly.  In Grapevine, TX, the Butterfly Flutterby is being held on October 15 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is an event for the entire family so come out to Grapevine Botanical Gardens for the Butterfly Flutterby.






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Contact Information

Photo of Linnea Lavell Real Estate
Linnea Lavell
Lavell Realty, LLC
P.O. Box 1243
Little Elm TX 75068
Fax: 877-488-1740