If you haven’t had a slice of pumpkin pie yet this holiday, then you’re doing it all wrong! Pumpkins have some fantastic health benefits that are hard to pass up. This abnormally sizeable orange squash is packed full of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Starting with vitamin A, the orange color of pumpkin is due to beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A has been shown to be great for the immune system, eye health, and even your skin! High amounts of vitamin C are also present in this substantial orange fruit that can help boost the number of white blood cell count in the body, help boost collagen production, and even benefit heart health. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant, along with vitamin c, that has been shown to neutralize free radicals in the body, reducing risks of cancer.
Pumpkins themselves are excellent low-calorie food that is high in fiber. This perk means you can eat a higher surplus, achieve a fuller feeling, and know that you have eaten a lower calorie food. They even have a potential to help your body protect itself from the UV of sunlight through beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin E. Don’t miss out of grandmas homemade pumpkin pie this winter! Just try to watch the sugar…
Don’t throw away those seeds! Especially you “guys.”
After scooping out the pumpkin, take those seeds and bake them at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Lightly salt them if necessary. This nutrient-dense pact food is full of energy and protein. A 1 cup serving has 12g of protein, 12g of healthy fats, 34g of carbohydrates, and 12g of fiber.
These Seeds contain high vitamin and mineral content. Zinc being one of those minerals is excellent for your immune system, cell function, and sexual health in men. They also contain plant-based omega-3s, high fibers, and other vitamins that will help your heart health. The oils of pumpkin seeds are thought to help the prostate of men and even help women going through post-menopausal stages. Eat some of these little fellas in the evening to help take advantage of the tryptophan, which is an amino acid that the body converts into serotonin and then melatonin. This perk will help you reach an optimal sleep. These are only some of the fantastic benefits of the pumpkin seeds!
With the holidays here, we are bound to gain some extra pounds these next few months. Whether you're sitting with family around the dinner table, out at the mall shopping for that next big thing, or bar hopping with your friends, a bad decision is just around the corner.
Here are my 3 tips to help you fit in those favorite jeans this January that don’t include counting your macro-nutrient numbers or trying the latest fad diet.
1. Nom nom nom. Chewing your food slower is something you might have heard your mom tell you when you were a little one. Well, she was on to something! Chewing your food slowly will give your body a chance to register when it is full more quickly. It does this through the hormone “leptin” which is your bodies way of telling you when to put down the fork! Rather than stuffing your face quickly and by-passing the built-in monitor we all have, chew until the food becomes a mush consistency to allow the digestive enzymes to take over!
2. Try to get some rest! Believe it or not, a good night sleep is correlated with eating less “bad” food in a day. Not only is the quantity of sleep important but the quality of sleep is possibly even more important. People who have bad nights sleep are more likely to be tempted by those sweet, crunchy, salty foods we all love to binge on. Don’t believe me? Check this article out! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763921/
3. We are all victims of it. At the dinner table, getting “seconds” is a debate in the mind of some and a “Duh” moment for others. Challenge your self to see if you can limit to eating 1 plate every meal. That means no cheating a few hours after! Portion control can have a very large impact on your body fat percentage in the long run.
I hope these tips can help your goals of staying in shape this holiday season! Be sure to look out for more blogs about increasing your well being, upcoming workout programs, and fitness guides.