By Dr. Roopa Chari, M.D.
Oct 28th, 2013
With Halloween coming up here are 2 great Superfoods that are healthy, delicious and nutritious!
Pumpkins are not only a great Halloween decoration, they are delicious and loaded with nutrients. They are classified as a fruit since it is a fleshy plant that has seeds and comes from a flower in the gourd family.
Boost immune system
Pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, the phytonutrient which gives pumpkins that great orange color and vitamin C, both which support a strong immune system. The anti-oxidant beta-carotene, may even play a role in preventing cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Health magazine reported that pumpkins can also give you healthy looking skin. The carotenoids in pumpkin that boost your immune system and get rid of free radicals can also help keep your skin wrinkle-free!
Pumpkins are low in calories and are a good, overlooked source of fiber so they can keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
Pumpkins are also a great “energy food” since one cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 mg. of potassium. Foods high in potassium give your body the ingredients necessary to provide energy for physical activity and keeps your muscles, organs and nervous system functioning at their best.
#2 Pumpkin Seeds
When carving your pumpkins, be sure to save the pumpkin seeds!
Boost immune system & Beauty Secret
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids that build a strong immune system and enhance the natural beauty of your hair and skin. The plant sterols in pumpkin seeds have also been linked to fighting certain types of cancer.
Balance Blood Sugar
They are also a good source of protein which helps to balance your blood sugar levels (especially if you have indulged in Halloween candy).
Quality Sleep & Enhances Mood
Pumpkin seeds have high levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which converts into melatonin, an antioxidant and neurotransmitter that promotes high quality sleep. It’s a good idea to snack on pumpkin seeds at night to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Tryptophan is also important in the production of serotonin, another neurotransmitter which may help you to have a brighter outook on life and enhances your mood.
Nuts and seeds, including pumpkin seeds are rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to lower LDL cholesterol.
Pumpkin seeds are beneficial for prostate health. Pumpkin seeds regulate and maintain the fluid balance. Studies have shown that pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols which are responsible for shrinking the enlarged prostate gland. Pumpkin seeds also contain chemicals which stop the conversion of the hormone testosterone into di-hydro testosterone or DHT which has been shown to be elevated in prostate conditions. Pumpkin seeds have been used by people in Europe suffering from Prostate disorders.
* Soak 1 tablespoon of raw (ideally organic) pumpkin seeds in a bowl of water overnight. The following morning rinse the seeds and add them to your smoothie and eat them throughout the day as a snack.
We wish you a very Happy Halloween!
About Dr. Roopa Chari, M.D.: "Dr. Roopa Chari is a medical doctor in Internal Medicine and her brother Deepak Chari is an Engineer and Certified Biofeedback Specialist at The Chari Center of Health, an advanced integrative medical center in Encinitas, CA. * Sign up for a FREE 15 minute holistic medical consult with Dr. Chari and/or a FREE 30 minute Stress & Anxiety Relief session with Advanced Voice Biofeedback with Deepak Chari here or call (760) 230-2711."