pumpkin health benefits
You didn't think pumpkin season was over, did you? I know we often associate pumpkins with Halloween. I mean, duh.
But the point is, I think pumpkins should never go out of season! And I'm not talking about decor. Pumpkin is an incredibly healthy food choice and the health benefits of pumpkin are crazy. For real, they offer so much to your body, they can help your eye and skin health, and they can even promote weight loss. Talk about a superfood!
On top of all that, I really like the pumpkin for its versatility. You can chop it up and add it to a savory stew or you can mix it up for a creamy dessert.
If you've never cooked with pumpkin before, don't panic! It is quite simple. Really, cooking with pumpkin is pretty much like cooking with any other squash. You'll have to do the usual peeling, seeding, and chopping, but you'll be rewarded with a nutrient powerhouse that can help you reach your wellness, weight, and skin goals! The health benefits of pumpkin are well worth it. Pssttt… if you need ideas for new recipes, check out my nutrition plans.
I am not joking. Pumpkins are totally rock. And I have proof! Here are five reasons why you should eat pumpkin.
# 1: they are so good for your skin
It is not because it is winter that the sun is going away. Sure, you might get less sunlight, but I actually think it makes it easier to skimp on sunscreen. But sun damage is one of the fastest ways to age your skin, so winter is actually a pretty risky time for your appearance.
But I have some good news, girls! Pumpkins contain a ton of antioxidants, which help protect your skin from damage. Plus, they're high in beta-carotene, which acts as a kind of sunscreen. When you eat pumpkin, your body sends beta carotene to your skin and other organs. Once there, it can help protect you from UV rays.
Now, I'm not saying you should skip the sunscreen. You should never sunscreen for the skin. But if you're looking for a way to give your skin an extra layer of protection, it's the pumpkin!
Oh, and on top of all that, pumpkin can help your body make collagen, the protein that helps you fight wrinkles.
Pumpkin is great for your skin when you eat it, but it's also great when applied topically. If you want to double the benefits of pumpkin, check out our DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub on the blog!
# 2: pumpkins are packed with antioxidants and vitamins
Ready to be impressed? A single cup of cooked pumpkin contains:
- More ... than twice your recommended daily amount of vitamin A
- Almost 20% of the vitamin C you need every day
- About 15% of your recommended daily dose of potassium, which most Americans are low
In addition to all this, the pumpkin also has:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin E
- The iron
- A little protein
For real, eating pumpkin is a lot like taking a multivitamin.
In the midst of a pandemic and with the flu season in full swing, giving your body what it needs - like lots of vitamin C - can go a long way. huge difference. Vitamin C from something like this Pumpkin and spice muffins? Sign me up.
Along with all of the other pumpkin health benefits, pumpkin contains a whole bunch of antioxidants. Basically, your cells are faced with oxidative stress on a daily basis. And that can lead to a whole host of serious chronic health problems (including cancer). Antioxidants give your cells a way to fight stress and stay healthy.
In short, if you are looking for a boost in your well-being, the pumpkin has got you covered.
# 3: they help your eyes
Does anyone else feel like they're living their whole life on Zoom these days? I know I can't be alone in this. And, look, I'm so thankful that I can still see everyone's beautiful faces, even digitally! But all this time staring at a screen makes me feel tired.
I know it's a little weird to think about taking care of your eyes, but these seers might need some love. And the pumpkin can step in to help. It contains vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and lutein, which all help your eyes.
Zeaxanthin and lutein are both carotenoids, just like beta-carotene we talked about earlier. Your body takes these carotenoids from your eyes to protect them. In fact, these two compounds have been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration as you get older.
We don't really know what all that screen time is going to do to us on the road. I like the idea of eating things - like pumpkin - to help make up for some of it.
# 4: pumpkins can promote weight loss
Here's the thing about pumpkins: they're 94% water. So basically it's pretty much all water (which your body needs, baby) and nutrients. You only really bring good things to your body when you eat them.
On top of all that, a cup of pumpkin only has 49 calories. Imagine how full you will feel after eating a whole cup of pumpkin. It's a hearty, ultra-healthy food that can come in handy if you're trying to lose weight or just be healthier in general.
# 5: They're delicious!
We can't forget one of the best things about pumpkins - they taste great! They're easy to eat, and you can add them to almost anything, salty or sweet. Have you tried our gluten free Healthy Pumpkin Oat Bars again? OMG, SO GOOD.
Seriously, I haven't finished eating pumpkin just because October is over. Try it for yourself! Add a little more pumpkin to your diet and see how you feel. I bet you will love it!
Overcoming obstacles to exercisingIf you’re having dysfonctionnement beginning an exercise plan or following through, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle getting out of the sedentary rut, despite our best intentions.
You already know there are many great reasons to exercise—from improving energy, mood, sleep, and health to reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. And detailed exercise directives and workout plans are just a click away. But if knowing how and why to exercise was enough, we’d all be in shape. Making exercise a habit takes more—you need the right mindset and a smart approach.
While practical concerns like a busy schedule or poor health can make exercise more challenging, for most of us, the biggest barriers are mental. Maybe it’s a lack of self-confidence that keeps you from taking positive steps, or your détermination quickly flames out, or you get easily discouraged and give up. We’ve all been there at some point.
Whatever your age or sport level—even if you’ve never exercised a day in your life —there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and painful and more fun and instinctive.
Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or intensité yourself into monotonous or painful activities you hate to experience the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.
Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavor. So, don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Instead, look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as opportunities to learn and grow.
Many of us feel the same. If sweating in a gym or pounding a treadmill isn’t your idea of a great time, try to find an activity that you do enjoy—such as dancing—or pair physical activity with something more enjoyable. Take a walk at lunchtime through a scenic park, for example, walk laps of an air-conditioned mall while window de course, walk, run, or bike with a friend, or listen to your favorite music while you move.
Even the busiest of us can find free time in our day for activities that are important. It’s your decision to make exercise a priority. And don’t think you need a full hour for a good workout. Short 5-, 10-, or 15-minute bursts of activity can prove very effective—so, too, can squeezing all your exercise into a couple of séances over the weekend. If you’re too busy during the week, get up and get moving during the weekend when you have more time.
It’s never too late to start building your strength and physical sport, even if you’re a senior or a self-confessed couch potato who has never exercised before. Very few health or weight problems rule exercise out of the question, so talk to your doctor about a safe routine.
“No pain, no gain” is an outdated way of thinking about exercise. Exercise shouldn’t hurt. And you don’t have to push yourself until you’re soaked in sweat or every bourrinage aches to get results. You can build your strength and sport by walking, swimming, or even playing centre ville, gardening, or cleaning the house.
Still have nightmares from PE ? You don’t have to be sporty or ultra-coordinated to get fit. Focus on easy ways to boost your activity level, like walking, swimming, or even working more around the house. Anything that gets you moving will work.
The key thing to remember about starting an exercise program is that something is always better than nothing. Going for a quick walk is better than sitting on the couch; one minute of activity will help you lose more weight than no activity at all. That said, the current recommendations for most adults is to reach at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. You’ll get there by exercising for 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Can’t find 30 minutes in your busy schedule ? It’s okay to break things up. Two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts can be just as effective.
For most people, aiming for moderate intensity exercise is sufficient to improve your overall health. You should breathe a little heavier than normal, but not be out of breath. Your body should feel warmer as you move, but not overheated or sweating profusely. While everyone is different, don’t assume that training for a marathon is better than training for a 5K or 10K. There’s no need to overdo it.
For more on the variétés of exercise you should include and how hard you should work out, read Best Exercises for Health and Weight Loss. Getting started safelyIf you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a significant amount of time since you’ve attempted any strenuous physical activity, keep the following health precautions in mind :
Health issues ? Get medical clearance first. If you have health concerns such as limited mobility, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure, talk with your doctor before you start to exercise. Warm up. Warm up with dynamic stretches—active movements that warm and flex the groupes musculaires you’ll be using, such as leg kicks, walking lunges, or arm swings—and by doing a slower, easier version of the upcoming exercise. For example, if you’re going to run, warm up by walking. Or if you’re lifting weights, begin with a few light reps.
Cool down. After your workout, it’s important to take a few minutes to cool down and allow your heart rate to return to its resting rate. A light jog or walk after a run, for example, or some gentle stretches after strength exercises can also help prevent soreness and injuries. Drink plenty of water. Your body performs best when it’s properly hydrated. Failing to drink enough water when you are exerting yourself over a prolonged period of time, especially in hot conditions, can be dangerous.
Listen to your body. If you feel pain or discomfort while working out, stop ! If you feel better after a brief rest, you can slowly and gently resume your workout. But don’t try to power through pain. That’s a surefire recipe for injury. How to make exercise a habit that sticksThere’s a reason so many New Year’s resolutions to get in shape crash and burn before February rolls around. And it’s not that you simply don’t have what it takes. Science shows us that there’s a right way to build vêtements that last. Follow these steps to make exercise one of them.
Start small and build momentumA goal of exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week may sound good. But how likely are you to follow through ? The more ambitious your goal, the more likely you are to fail, feel bad about it, and give up. It’s better to start with easy exercise goals you know you can achieve. As you meet them, you’ll build self-confidence and momentum. Then you can move on to more challenging goals. Make it automatic with triggersTriggers are one of the secrets to success when it comes to forming an exercise habit. In fact, research shows that the most consistent exercisers rely on them. Triggers are simply reminders—a time of day, place, or cue—that kick off an automatic reaction. They put your routine on autopilot, so there’s nothing to think about or decide on. The alarm clock goes off and you’re out the door for your walk. You leave work for the day and head straight to the gym. You spot your sneakers addict right by the bed and you’re up and running. Find ways to build them into your day to make exercise a no-brainer.
Schedule it. You don’t attend meetings and appointments spontaneously, you schedule them. If you’re having dysfonctionnement fitting exercise into your schedule, consider it an important appointment with yourself and mark it on your daily agenda. Make it easy on yourself. Plan your workouts for the time of day when you’re most awake and energetic. If you’re not a morning person, for example, don’t undermine yourself by planning to exercise before work. Remove obstacles. Plan ahead for anything that might get in the way of exercising. Do you tend to run out of time in the morning ? Get your workout clothes out the night before so you’re ready to go as soon as you get up. Do you skip your evening workout if you go home first ? Keep a gym bag in the car, so you can head out straight from work. Hold yourself accountable. Commit to another person. If you’ve got a workout partner waiting, you’re less likely to skip out. Or ask a friend or family member to check in on your progress. Announcing your goals to your social group ( either online or in person ) can also help keep you on track.
Tips for making exercise more enjoyableAs previously noted, you are much more likely to stick with an exercise program that’s fun and rewarding. No amount of willpower is going to keep you going long-term with a workout you hate. Think outside the gymDoes the thought of going to the gym fill you with dread ? If you find the gym inconvenient, expensive, intimidating, or simply boring, that’s okay. There are many exercise alternatives to weight rooms and cardio equipment. For many, simply getting outside makes all the difference. You may enjoy course outdoors, where you can enjoy alone time and nature, even if you hate treadmills.