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Pumpkin Seeds and Skin Health- Re-Visiting a Classic Recipe.

This is the perfect time of year to re-visit a classic…pumpkin seeds!

Pumpkin Seeds contain omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, are rich in minerals and protein and are a concentrated source of iron, zinc and magnesium.  They are also a  good source of the anti-oxidant vitamin E which can improve your skin health

Vitamin E helps maintain the integrity of mucus membrances and protect tissue cells from free radical damage. Left unchecked, free radicals can attack the skin’s structure, leaving it vulnerable to wrinkling, infection, and other damage. Vitamin E has also been shown to diminish redness, stretch marks and scarring.

Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fates that are considered essential because they are necessary for life and health, yet they cannot be made by our bodies. Therefore we must get them through diet. Omega-3s are thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits and help prevent heart disease, while omega-6s support skin health and lower blood cholestorol.

Omega-6 fatty acids are not discussed as often as omega-3 fatty acids, however these essential fatty acids are critical components in proper cell development and the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. A lack of essential fatty acids in our diet can lead to skin disorders including a higher risk of skin infections such as dermatitis and eczema, as well as lowered immunity to ward off other types of skin conditions. Research also indicateds that linoleic acid (LA), the mother compound of omega-6 fatty acids, may be beneficial in treating acne,  psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Pumpkin Seeds are high in calories, so should be eaten in small amounts. The nutritional value in pumpkin seeds is highest when the seeds are raw, but they are usually eaten toasted or roasted.

Add a handful to a salad and they add a satisfying crunch.

Spinach Salad with Pumpkin Seeds:

Servings: 4

8 oz. young spinach leaves

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

1/8 tsp. each cumin, salt, cinnamon, ginger

3 tbsp. of sunflower, grapeseed or olive oil

squeeze of lemon juice

Roasted Seeds: Place seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet, coast with seasoning and light roast them in a 160-170°F (about 75°C) oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for a short time at a low temperature you can help to preserve their healthy oils.

Toasted seeds: In a large skillet toast seeds over medium heat for 2 minutes stirring often. Add seasonings. Continue to cook and stir.Spread on wax paper to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until smooth. Combine the spinach, cranberries, cheese and pumpkin seeds. Serve with the dressing.

Pumpkin seeds, dried,
Nutritional value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 559 Kcal 28%
Carbohydrates 10.71 g 8%
Protein 30.23 g 54%
Total Fat 49.05 g 164%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 6 g 16%
Vitamins
Folates 58 µg 15%
Niacin 4.987 mg 31%
Pantothenic acid 0.750 mg 15%
Pyridoxine 0.143 mg 11%
Riboflavin 0.153 mg 12%
Thiamin 0.273 mg 23%
Vitamin A 16 IU 0.5%
Vitamin C 1.9 µg 3%
Vitamin E-γ 35.10 mg 237%
Electrolytes
Sodium 7 mg 0.5%
Potassium 809 mg 17%
Minerals
Calcium 46 mg 4.5%
Copper 1.343 mg 149%
Iron 8.82 mg 110%
Magnesium 592 mg 148%
Manganese 4.543 mg 198%
Phosphorus 1233 mg 176%
Selenium 9.4 µg 17%
Zinc 7.81 mg 71%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß 9 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 1 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 74 µg

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