Fit Minute | Why Pumpkin Promotes Anti-Aging

pumpkin_adobestock_117487967‘Tis the season for pumpkin! Here are the nutrition bullet points that make them well worth eating:

  • Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene (an important antioxidant).
  • Beta-carotene (a bright orange plant pigment) is converted to vitamin A in your body.

Vitamin A is for Anti-Aging

Foods rich in beta-carotene:

  • May reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.
  • Offer protection against heart disease and some degenerative aspects of aging, including cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Keep your skin soft and smooth. Vitamin A rebuilds body tissues and helps control the production of sebum (oil) that lubricates your skin.  If you’re deficient in this vitamin, you’ll end up with dry, scaly skin.
  • Destroy free radicals, that is, the by-products of oxidation from normal metabolic processing. These little scavengers cause cellular damage and are responsible for aging skin.
  • Attack the free radicals that break down your skin’s elastin and collagen – the vital components of youthful, firm and resilient skin.

pumpkin-seeds_adobestock_24256286Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are a good souce of fiber and healthy fats and an excellent source of iron — especially for vegans. A handful of pepitas (about 85 little seeds) contain about 1 mg. of iron. That’s about 4% of the recommended amount of iron you need each day.

Iron is essential due to its oxygen-carrying capacity. An iron deficiency can impair muscle function, normal function of the nervous and immune systems, and can limit your work capacity during exercise.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Roast and season pumpkin seeds and kernels for a bone-building high-fiber snack. To spice them up, sprinkle them with garlic powder, cayenne and smoked paprika. Also, try some Super Moist Pumpkin Bars for a boost of vitamin A!

Is Your Diet Causing Your Wrinkles?

concept of aging and skin care. face of young woman and an old woman with wrinkles isolated

Concerned about aging and looking older than you really are? Then don’t eat white sugar. Why? Because processed sugar binds to and eventually weakens the collagen in your skin. Save your money if you’re buying expensive skin creams, but eating processed sugar — the number-one ingredient to avoid if you want firm, resilient and radiant skin.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and one of the most revealing places where aging occurs.  Over time, your skin may lose its original ‘snug fit’ and begin to wrinkle and sag due in part to your collagen cells breaking down. Collagen is the main structural protein in connective tissue that provides strength to the skin. It’s abundant in blood vessels, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and bone as well.

The sugar-collagen reaction can lead to premature wrinkles and sagging. Sweet Tooth = Wrinkles. All those sugary donuts, Danishes and cookies may be hard to resist despite knowing they could end up settling on your hips and waistline, but perhaps thinking about them showing up as wrinkles on your face and neck or as ‘crepey’, loose skin may help strengthen your will to resist them.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Remember… sugar speeds up the aging process. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits every day to get the essential components for healthy skin – AND a strong heart! Eat 8-10 total servings daily of fruits and vegetables. That is, 5 or more vegetable servings + 3 fruit servings. Get Real Food! Coming soon… why your heart needs collagen too! 

VIDEOS: Watch Karen’s videos on what to eat for healthy skin. Get science-based info on skin nutrition in less than 3 minutes.

Top Anti-Aging Foods: Part 1 | Best Diet for Your Skin (02:53)
The skin needs essential vitamins to function and look its best.
Discover which ones you need and where to get them. Karen Owoc, The
Health Reporter, provides an overview of the foods to eat to get the key
vitamins necessary for healthy, youthful and glowing skin.

Top Anti-Aging Foods: Part 2 | Best Diet for Your Skin (02:36)
Healthy skin needs essential minerals and fats to do its job and to look its best. Find out which ones you need and where to get them. Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, identifies the essential fatty acids and minerals that keep your skin smooth and radiant.

Fit TV | Best Diet for Your Skin – Part 1


VIDEO: The skin needs essential vitamins to function and look its best.
Discover which ones you need and where to get them. Karen Owoc, The
Health Reporter, provides an overview of the foods to eat to get the key
vitamins necessary for healthy, youthful and radiant skin.  Producer/Editor: Karen Owoc. Director of Photography: Michael Davich. TheHealthReporter.tv

Bullet Point Media, LLC

Avocado-Mango Salsa

mango_Ataulfo honey-mango

Mangos are in peak season, so find ways to include these refreshing tropical fruits in your daily eating plan. They’re filled with nutritious goodness, flavor, and antioxidants.

Here’s why this colorful fruit makes the A-list of Fountain-of-Youth Foods. Pair it with avocados, an amazingly healthy superfood, that’s rich in fiber, healthy fats and phytonutrients and you’ll have a naturally creamy salsa for fresh fish, chicken or tortilla chips.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe avocados, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • Juice from 3/4 of a whole lime
  • 1-2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/16 of 1 jalapeño, diced (use more or less based on your desired level of heat)
  • 1 large ripe mango (other than the Honey Mango variety), diced
  • 14 oz. Pineapple-Honey Mango Salsa* (see below)

1. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl and serve.

*Pineapple-Honey Mango Salsa (Tastes great on its own!)

  • 4 honey mangos (a.k.a. Manila or Ataulfo Mango), diced
  • 1/4 of 1 small fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1/16 of 1 jalapeño (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. red onions
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 of 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lime

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: Look for honey mangos that have some ‘wrinkling’ on the outside. They may look like they’re older, but that’s when they are sweet, creamy in texture, and ripe! Also, if you’re in a hurry, mix in your favorite prepared guacamole (I like Whole Foods’ fresh guacamole) with the fresh mango, jalapeño and Pineapple-Mango Salsa.

Orange Fountain-of-Youth Foods

The spectrum of colors that line the produce aisle — from robust red to vibrant orange to every shade of green — contain fruits and vegetables rich in nutritious organic pigments. To get a broad range of nutrients in your diet, eat foods in all colors and varieties. On your next excursion to the supermarket though, be sure to specifically shop for the color orange. These sunny foods are essential for firm, youthful and healthy skin. Here’s what’s good in them:   Continue reading “Orange Fountain-of-Youth Foods”