Halloween is always an exciting time of the year! However, keeping it healthy can be a challenge when sugar is a major ingredient in many treats. The good news is that, you can still indulge in all the flavors of the season whilst nourishing your body; The secret is in keeping it natural!
Both chocolate and pumpkin are staples in the month of October, but the key to enjoying these foods in a healthier way is to consume dark chocolate that is 75-85% cacao over milk chocolate, and to roast your own whole pumpkin over using canned/pureed forms.
Both dark chocolate and pumpkin offer a wide range of health benefits.
- Enhances Mood and Cognition: Dark chocolate causes the release of endorphins and contains the amino acid tryptophan that is used by the body to produce the chemical serotonin, that makes us feel happy. It is a good source of magnesium, which is something we can all us a little more of (talk to us to learn more)! Chocolate also contains a small amount of caffeine which can increase concentration, memory and alertness.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that are important for cardiovascular health, many studies have shown that including dark chocolate in the diet in the long run can strengthen the blood vessels, increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol, and lower blood pressure.
- Protects the Skin: Dark chocolate contains many minerals and vitamins that nourish the skin and help in the regeneration of new cells. It also prevents the formation of wrinkles by protecting against UV rays and the breakdown of collagen.
- Boosts Immunity: Pumpkin is rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A) both of which help the immune system function more effectively, by enhancing cellular communication, growth and division, and prevention of damage caused by invading pathogens and inflammation. It is also a great source of fibre, which contributes to gut health and immunity.
- Strengthens Eye Sight: Pumpkin is rich in antioxidants that decrease inflammation in the eye and prevent the onset of age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration. The eye also requires vitamin A, which is rich in pumpkin, to produce the proteins required for color and night vision.
- Prolongs Aging: Pumpkins high vitamin and mineral content help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.
See a couple of delicious recipes you can try by clicking the link below and ENJOY!