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Powerful Punchy Pumpkin Seeds

Maintaining a healthy diet is just as important as exercise when it comes to practicing a healthy lifestyle. Many of us are looking at new ways of introducing healthy super foods into our diets, but as our days become busier and schedules become booked up, it’s easy to pick up the wrong kind of snack foods. Say no to doughnuts and crisps and grab yourself a handful of powerful punchy Pumpkin seeds.

Not only are they deliciously more-ish, they’re easy to transport around with you during a busy working day, whilst being widely available in ready to eat packaging. Be wary that they are high in calorific content, so moderation is the key (as is the case with everything). Here are the top 4 pumpkin seed benefits which demonstrate why the pumpkin is the pumpking!

Help control stress

The naturally high level of L-trytophan found in pumpkin seeds have been shown to calm the nerves and maintain a “calm mood”. Ease your stress levels by munching on a handful of the “pumpking” seeds and taking a 5 minute break from your desk!

Glowing Skin

Pumpkin seeds contain a high level of vitamin E, preventing the early breakdown of skin cells. This helps to maintain a youthful looking glow whilst combating high levels of UV found in the sun. Perfect accompaniment for those in a warmer climate.

Lower cholesterol

Packed with phytosterol, which help to reduce cholesterol levels, toasted seeds contain healthy compounds that help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. This increases your immune response whilst helping to decrease the risk of certain cancers.

They fill you up!

Packed with high levels of protein and fibre, the pumpkin seed is great snack to turn to for a quick fill me up. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds, seasoned with a dash of salt!

5 top tips for better skin

At this cold time of the year, it can be very difficult to get enough Vitamin D into our bodies to help our skin look it’s best. Of course, there’s an abundance of perfectly acceptable creams that can transform your skin from desperation into dazzling within a few minutes.

But here at the Healthy Hideout, we like to do things a little differently. Instead of spending money on some of the best make-up products available in the marketplace, why not spend your money on some super skin improving foods. The following short-list contains just a few examples:

1. Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is now over and the pumpkins are starting to look a little sad. We certainly hope that you’d kept the pumpkin seeds from the carving stage, as they are packed with pro-skin nutrients. Bland bird food for people who don’t understand them, pumpkin seeds have been known to be packed with high levels of zinc. Zinc is very important for fighting infection and speeding up the skin healing process. Pumpkin seeds also contain essential fats which can help keep the skin feeling soft & supple whilst helping to reducing acne.

2. Oily Fish

Cold weather can leave the skin feeling dry and “shrivelled” – keeping it covered with hats and scarfs isn’t great for it either. Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish have been shown to contain a compound called astaxanthin which can help skin feel conditioned and supple. Find it abundant in salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines – don’t overdo it though. Nutritionists believe that eating oily fish at least two to three times a week is plenty.

3. Green Tea

Drinking green tea should already be part of your everyday diet, and if it isn’t we highly recommend you look into it. The health benefits from green tea are endless, helping to boost metabolism, improve skin condition and can combat heart disease. Green tea contains flavenoids, a class of antioxidant that really benefits the skin, providing protection from dangerous UV radiation and sunburn whilst helping to maintain skin structure.

4. Tomatoes

Is it a fruit or a vegatable? Well, it is infact a fruit, and a pretty clever one at that. Found in pretty much everything from salads to pasta dishes and stews, it tastes great both raw and cooked. Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene – a powerful carotenoid antioxidant found in all red fruits and vegatables which helps promote a clearer, softer skin texture. Lycopene becomes more potent when cooked, so don’t be afraid to throw your tomatoes under the grill before eating!

5. Blueberries

Very well recognised as a super food that’s worth picking up when you’re in the supermarket, blueberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants amongst fruits and vegetables. They also contain a high level of anthocyanidins which help to keep skin feeling plump and fresh. High levels of vitamin C also help toward skin healing as well as providing a huge boost for your immune system. Be sure to drop a few in your cereal tomorrow morning!

 

5 Autumn Super Foods

As the leaves begin to turn and fall off the trees, the autumnal season is starting to really shows it’s true colours. A change in landscape means that there’s new autumnal fare available on the grocery store shelves.

For maximum health boost, it’s important to buy whatever fruits or vegetables are in season. Ripe fruit always tastes better too! The following short-list are some of the best super foods autumn has to offer:

1. Pumpkins – They’re not just for carving you know – In fact the pumpkins is one of the most beneficial vegetables available for you this season. The pumpkin is naturally low in calories, containing high levels of fibre, vitamin A and water. Pumpkins are also packed with useful minerals such as potassium and calcium whilst being naturally low in fat. Try grilling or roasting  pumpkin for a delicious treat.

2. Autumnal Lamb –  With approximately 250 calories per 100grams of cooked meat, lamb isn’t considered one of the healthiest foods available. However, lamb is also a great source of protein, vitamin B12 and zinc, which are good for strong bones and the blood. Vitamin B9 and Niacin are also known for helping against the ageing process. For a tasty roast dinner treat, roast your lamb with honey mustard parsnips and pumpkin wedges – delightful.

3. Pomegranates – This tropical fruit which is at it’s best between September through to January is native to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Many professional nutritionists recommend pomegranates as they contain high levels of antioxidants, whilst offering a rich source of vitamin C, B6, A and E. The juicy seeds found in the fruit, known as arils, are delicious over salads or deserts.

4. Plums – Plums are a great natural source of calcium, magnesium and potassium whilst the purple variety is also rich in iron. Plums are also packed with fibre, and although they don’t contain too much vitamin C, you’ll find a great deal of vitamin E instead – a powerful antioxidant. Not many people know this, but plums are a natural laxative, so be careful not to overdo it!

5. Cranberries – Cranberries become ripe during the autumn season so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled. As a naturally healthy, low calorie fruit, cranberries have been known to help against various diseases including heart disease and cancer. Cranberry juice is a great way of taking the fruit on board, as the berries themselves can be a little tart for eating. If you have the berries ready to use, try pairing them with apples and pears.

Pumpkin is King!

As October begins to step into full swing, many of us will begin to notice an increase of pumpkins available on our supermarket shelves. What many of us fail to realise is that a pumpkin is not just for hollowing out and creating an award winning design! Pumpkins really are incredibly good for you, and offer more health benefits than many of us may realise. They’re also a fruit and not a vegetable, but you already knew that right?

Pumpkins – The real super food

So why are they so orange? Well first and foremost, pumpkins are loaded with the invaluable anti oxidant beta-carotene, also found in carrots and sweet potato. This has been known to reduce the risk of many diseases including cancer, whilst helping to protect us against long term illnesses such as heart disease. Pumpkins are also a great source of fibre, potassium, and magnesium which all help to keep our bodies running like a well oiled machine.

The seeds found inside pumpkins have been used since colonial times to assist with digestive problems, and even as an addition to medicine. The oil found inside the pumpkin seeds has a high level of both magnesium and zinc which has been proven to offer various health benefits from extra bone protection to anti inflammatory benefits for those suffering from arthritis. A study of approximately 400 men ranging from 45-92 years of age published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed a clear correlation between low dietary intake of zinc and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.

Incorporate Pumpkin into your diet today!

There’s plenty of ways you can incorporate pumpkin into your diet starting today! The seeds are widely available and make an excellent accompaniment to any breakfast cereal, but the fruit itself is at the height of season in October so grab them fresh whilst you can! If you’re lucky enough to get a pumpkin with the flowers still intact, be sure to not throw them away – They taste delicious!

Remember, pumpkins are not just for decoration! For more information on healthy vegetables you never knew existed (or did but just choose to ignore), check out this book from Michael Pollen.