Enhance Your Health

Health Tip of the Week: Health Benefits of Pumpkins

For me, one image more than any sums up the fall season. The pumpkin.  Big ones, small ones, decorative pumpkins, pumpkins for pies and pumpkin ale. Now that Thanksgiving is over, here are some pumpkin facts to fuel your fall pumpkin anticipation for next year.

While you may think southern New Jersey farms are a hot bed for pumpkin growing, Illinois is the actual pumpkin growing capital of the United States.

Pumpkins are thought of as a vegetable, but just like the tomato, pumpkins are actually a fruit.  Most pumpkins are grown for decoration and have the unique orange color. Believe it or not, these pumpkins are not the best for eating and lack edible flavor.

Eating, cooking and baking pumpkins are typically tan or buckskin color and their bright orange color is the flesh on the inside.

The typical spices used with the baking of pumpkin pies (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger) when combined with pumpkin flesh give off a strong scent that often elicits a deep emotional response which more than likely comes from favorable memories of family gatherings as a child. One sniff and the aromas bring you to that happy place.

Pumpkins are very nutritious and good for you. They are low calorie (49 calories per cup) and contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is good for you vision and more. Pumpkin is high in fiber and has vitamin C, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin E, B and many minerals.

Pumpkin has medicinal properties that include ant-diabetic, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Pumpkin seeds are high in fiber and contain essential minerals. One amazing benefit of eating pumpkin seeds is that they reduce your risk of developing kidney stones.

Using fresh pumpkin for your pies is a lot of work, but it is worth it. I typical gut a pumpkin and scoop all the seeds out. I bake the seeds with a little olive oil and sea salt until there are they are crispy. A few pumpkins will give you a very large bowl of pumpkin seeds that will last well past Thanksgiving.

As far as the pumpkin flesh is concerned, I cut the pumpkin into small chunks, leaving the skin on and then boil until soft. The skin peels off easily once boiled and then it is easy to mash and puree the pumpkin for your pies.

Chiropractic Thought for the Week

Here is an analogy. Think of how the inside of your body works as if your body was a lightbulb. The brighter the light, the healthier you are. Much light equals optimal function, performance and health.  Less light equals poor function, distress and ill health.

Chiropractic care, specifically the spinal adjustment would be akin to a light switch. The adjustment enhances or improves your nerve flow, increasing your inner light allowing your body to function as nature intended it to.

Pregnancy News

We all know that stress is bad for our health, but now a new study points to how stress during pregnancy can effect brain development of the unborn child. Too much anxiety during pregnancy will cause the release of the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol release during pregnancy was shown to effect the development of the unborn child’s brain that pertains to emotional and social development. While stress is unavoidable in life, especially when pregnant, pregnancy needs to be the time for mindfulness and stress relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing.

Sciatica Update

When a person has a pain that starts in the buttock and shoots down the leg as far down as the foot, this condition is called sciatica. Sciatica can be caused by herniated discs in the lower back irritating nerves that go down the leg.

More commonly, sciatica comes from a pelvic misalignment which pulls on the piriformis muscle in the glutes. The piriformis muscle then grips unto the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica which can present as pain, burning, numbness or throbbing aches.

Chiropractic care corrects pelvic alignment and relaxes the piriformis muscle which takes the pressure off of the sciatic nerve, relieving symptoms.


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