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Eating Pumpkin Aids in Colon Cancer Prevention

Maria Steinhauer

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

It is possible to enjoy a healthy dessert even during the holidays! Pumpkin is a great subtle flavor to pair with chocolate, and it’s a vegetable with lots of fiber and antioxidants for colon cancer prevention. It is time to take advantage of this seasonal orange squash – not just for decoration – but also for colon health!

Health Benefits of Pumpkins

The rich orange color of pumpkin is due to an important phytonutrient called carotene. The body converts carotene into vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that can protect against cancer and disease. Carotene and the multiple flavonoids in pumpkins, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, help protect cells from free radical damage that can lead to disease. You also get the benefits of vitamin C, vitamin E and many other vitamins and minerals when you eat pumpkin.

Pumpkin is also excellent for colon health because its fiber content helps promote regular bowel movements and keeps the colon clear. For years, studies have shown that increased dietary fiber intake can decrease your risk of colon cancer. In fact, a low-fat, high-fiber diet has been associated with a lower risk of colorectal adenoma (or polyp) recurrence.

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles Recipe

These Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Truffles make a healthy dessert for something different than the usual pumpkin pie. Indulge in a seasonal pumpkin-flavored truffle!

Ingredients (makes 25-30):

  • 7 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sifted coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 4 pitted dates, chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of pumpkin spice
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup dark chocolate chips
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Combine pumpkin puree, coconut flour, almond butter, chopped dates, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, pumpkin spice and cinnamon in a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, place chocolate chips, rest of vanilla extract (½ teaspoon), pinch of sea salt and melt together in a small saucepan on medium-low, stirring frequently.
  3. In mixing bowl, combine chocolate and pumpkin mixture and stir until mixed well. Then place bowl in fridge for 30 minutes to firm up a little.
  4. Place shredded coconut in a small bowl. With your hands, grab a little pumpkin-chocolate mixture at a time and form 1 inch balls the size of truffles. Then roll each into the shredded coconut.
  5. Place truffles in a single layer in a covered dish and refrigerate overnight.



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