Since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d post this. For the recipe, I wouldn’t add the coconut milk due to the saturated fat. I’d add almond milk, unsweetened. Laura
Pumpkin is considerably rich in vital antioxidants and vitamins. It is a very low calorie fruit; it contains no saturated fats or Cholesterol, and very low in Sodium; it is rich in dietary fibre, anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins, such as vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
The pumpkin is bright orange because of its high levels of carotenoids, this fights off free radicals which cause premature ageing, cardiovascular diseases and certain infections.As mentioned, pumpkin contains high levels of the anti-oxidant vitamin A. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A, helps protect against lung and oral cavity cancers; it is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight and skin.
The fibre helps with lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and also regulates the blood sugar levels, which helps weight control and those with diabetes. Pumpkin is great for improving HDL, (the good cholesterol), it may also help lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds contain the essential mineral zinc, which plays a role in preventing Osteoporosis. The seeds also contain alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Eating a diet rich in ALA may help prevent cardiovascular disease and its risk factors including hypertension and high cholesterol. They contain phytosterols that lower cholesterol; phytosterols can also protect against many cancers. The L-tryptophan found in the seeds, is a compound naturally effective against depression. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin, a beneficial neuro-chemical often labelled as nature’s sleeping pill.
I could continually write about the benefits of pumpkin and its seeds, it is a fantastic healthy food that can be used in many different recipes. Here is a pumpkin soup recipe you could try-
Pumpkin, chilli and coconut soup
1 medium pumpkin,
1 large onion, chopped
2.5cm piece of root ginger, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ chilli, seeds removed, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
400ml coconut milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
sweet potato chunks, to taste (optional)
Cut the pumpkin in half, then into wedges. Peel and deseed each wedge and cut the pumpkin flesh into 2.5cm Put the pumpkin in a large pan with the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. Strip the leaves from the thyme and add to the pan.
Pour in about 400ml of water, bring to the boil and cook until the pumpkin has turned to a pulp.
Add the coconut milk and season to taste with salt, then reduce the heat and leave the soup to simmer for another 5–10 minutes.
If you like, add chunks of sweet potato towards the end of the cooking.
Most people agree that healthcare options in the United States have increased, as has the cost required to obtain them. The lifespan of Americans has increased along with the desire to live a longer life, as long as we remain in good health. Longer lives may be one reason why elderly people are getting joint replacements in much higher numbers than in previous years.
A study was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association about more than three million patients with Medicare who received knee replacements. The patients were at least 65 years old and had knee surgery between 1991 to 2010. One aspect the study focused on was the impact that other health-related conditions, such as obesity, had on the surgeries. During the period of the study, the number of joint replacement procedures more than doubled and continued to increase by 162 percent by the end of the study. Besides the initial replacement surgery, follow-up procedures increased due to other health-related issues or to repair previous knee replacements. The number of people eligible for the knee replacement surgery increased during the study. The number of older Americans increased during that time and the majority cited the desire to be more active in their later years as a reason for the surgery. Nearly 60 percent of the knee surgeries performed were covered by Medicare, which pays a very small portion of the overall cost of the material and procedures.
The knee replacement surgery does very well at getting an individual mobile once again. There are several conditions that increase the wear and tear on joints, ultimately requiring replacement to maintain an active lifestyle. Osteoporosis is a wearing down of bone without being naturally replenished by the body. Diabetes causes a lack of blood flow to bones and joints reducing bone growth. Obesity puts an extra burden on joints and causes them to deform and wear out because of the extra stress of supporting too much weight. In the study, nearly 12 percent of the patients getting their first knee replacement were obese, an increase from four percent in previous years. Obesity can be a factor in arthritis, which is the primary reason for knee replacements. Those who might require mobility assistance while awaiting or recovering from surgery are well taken care of.
In a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention published early this year, it is estimated that more than 40 percent of the American population will be obese by 2030. The current obesity rate is around 35 percent. The implication is that obesity-related medical procedures will continue to rise, as will the cost of our overall health care system. The additional burden on the healthcare system could range from $45 billion to $65 billion.
Obesity is one area of a person’s health that most people can control. Few people have conditions that cause obesity without some assistance. As our population gets older and we have the chance to live longer, we’re faced with a huge problem that can be solved. It will be the individual’s attention to their own health and weight that will bring these numbers down. These studies highlight the impact that our weight and attitude about health have on the cost of our healthcare.
Watching our weight, reducing the number of obesity-related illnesses and resulting surgeries, as well as spending fewer days in the hospital, will pay off for us all in the future.
You’ve heard the term baby boomers, right? More than likely you’ve connected the expression with people who were born between 1946 and 1964, who are known for growing up with “Leave it to Beaver,” experiencing the Vietnam War and seeing John F. Kennedy serve as president. Well, now baby boomers may be remembered for living a vegetarian lifestyle.
According to a 2012 Harris Poll conducted for the Vegetarian Resource Group, about 2.5 million Americans over the age of 55 have adopted a vegetarian diet. The big question is “why are baby boomers choosing a plant-based diet?”
One of the main reasons is to improve health issues. The Washington Post reports that doctors say “this demographic group is heading into prime time for health issues and sees vegetarianism as a way to protect their bodies.”
It is known that strokes are more prevalent in middle-aged people; older women are more prone to osteoporosis; and the more red meat consumed, higher the risk for cardiovascular disease. So, embracing fruits and veggies over meat can help in these areas.
All sorts of research exists out there, but here’s one example showing how forgoing meat is good for the body. Harvard researchers discovered in April 2012 that the more red meat one person eats the easier it is to develop heart disease. By adding just 3 ounces of meat to your daily diet, in addition to what you already consume, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increase 16 percent.
“Vegetarianism can be used as a way to combat many conditions that plague boomers: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity. We now know, for example, that such a diet can lower your blood pressure,” John Salge Blake, Boston University’s registered dietician, said.
Some of the most famous vegetarian baby boomers include former President Bill Clinton,Sir Paul McCartney, Michelle Pfeiffer and even talented actor Sir Ian McKellen.
As you know, Clinton suffered great health risks and after having a heart attack and undergoing a quadruple bypass surgery he quickly switched over to a vegan diet. He turned his life around and reaped the health benefits of saying sayonara to animal products.
Are adults over 50 taking note from these public figures? This just could be.
Allyson Koerner is a graduate from Emerson College where she obtained her Master’s in Print & Multimedia journalism. Passionate about writing, reading and entertainment, she is looking to make her way into the journalism profession.
Five Major Poisons Inherently Found in Animal Foods
Protein, fat, cholesterol, methionine (a sulfur-containing amino acid), and dietary acids, which are all superabundant in animal foods, are poisoning nearly everyone following the standard Western diet. Most people cannot fathom this, because it takes four or more decades of consumption before disability, disfigurement, and death become common from these endogenous toxins. This long latent period fools the public into thinking there is no harm done by choosing an animal-food-based diet. If the case were one of instantaneous feedback—one plate of fried eggs caused excruciating chest pains, paralysis from a stroke followed a prime rib dinner, or a hard cancerous lump appeared within a week of a grilled cheese sandwich—then eating animal foods would be widely recognized as an exceedingly unwise choice. Similar failures to appreciate slow poisonings from our lifestyle choices are seen with tobacco and alcohol use. If one package of cigarettes were followed by a week on a respirator or a bottle or two of gin caused hepatic (liver) coma then no one would indulge in these instruments of long-drawn-out death either. The difference defining the failure to take long overdue actions is that the dangers from tobacco and alcohol use are universally known and accepted, whereas almost everyone considers red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products necessary parts of a healthy diet.
The Art of Selling Slow Poisons: Distract the Consumer
Sellers of animal foods for human consumption draw in customers with the marketing strategy of “unique positioning”—each industry tries to make its merchandise stand apart from other foods by promoting a nutrient that is especially plentiful in its product. Over time this effective advertising approach has meant that the mention of calcium brings to mind milk and cheese, iron has become synonymous with beef, and eggs are well known as the “best source of high quality protein.”
Because these highly sensationalized nutrients are always plentiful in basic plant foods, illnesses from deficiencies of these nutrients are essentially unknown, as long as there is enough food to eat. Thus, there are no real nutritional advantages to choosing red meat, poultry, dairy, and egg products with an especially high density of one particular nutrient. Ironically, milk and cheese are iron deficient, and red meat, poultry, and eggs (unless you eat the shells) contain almost no calcium.
Focusing on the abundance of an individual nutrient accomplishes an even more insidious marketing goal; it diverts the consumer’s, and oftentimes the professional dietitian’s, attention away from the harmful impact on the human body of consuming all kinds of animal foods. In my 42-years of providing medical care I have never seen a patient sickened by eating potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, rice, beans, fruits, and/or vegetables (unspoiled and uncontaminated). However, during my everyday practice I have witnessed (just like every other practicing medical doctor has) a wide diversity of diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer, from eating fresh killed and/or collected, as well as processed and/or preserved, animal-derived foods.
A Simplified View of Animal-food Poisoning
Animal foods—be they from cow, pig, or chicken muscles or the ovum of a bird or the lactation fluids of a mammal—are all so similar in their nutritional makeup and their impact on human health that they should be considered as the same (see the comparison tables at the end of this article). In order to avoid the confusion created by the marketing strategy of “unique positioning,” lets look at different kinds of animal products mixed together to make one food; and compare them to their antithesis, starches.
If I were to blend together red meat, chicken, eggs, and cheese, which most Americans do three or more times a day in their stomachs, the end product would be a highly acidic mixture of mostly protein, fat, and water—each individual food having contributed a similar amount of each component. A blend of various starches—beans, rice, potatoes, and sweet potatoes—would produce an opposite in composition.
The dairy product industry has been milking school lunches for profit since the National School Lunch Program was introduced more than a half century ago. The federal government spends more money on dairy products than any other food item in the school lunch program. But it’s time to get milk out of school lunches. Abundant research shows milk does not improve bone health and is the biggest source of saturated (“bad”) fat in the diet—the very fat that Dietary Guidelines push us to avoid. So PCRM recently petitioned the USDA to stop requiring milk in school lunches.
The nutritional rationale for including milk in school meal programs was based primarily on its calcium content. Milk was presumed to promote bone health and integrity. Time and again, this has proven false. Milk-drinking children do not have stronger bones than children who get their calcium from other foods.
A study published by the American Medical Association in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine this year showed that active children who consume the largest quantities of milk have more bone fractures than those who consume less. This was not surprising. Prior studies show that milk consumption does not improve bone health or reduce the risk of osteoporosis and actually creates other health risks.
Milk is the number one source of saturated fat in children’s diets. One in eight Americans is lactose intolerant. More than 1 million U.S. children struggle with milk allergies, the second most common food allergy. And milk also contains sugar in the form of lactose, animal growth factors, and occasional drugs and contaminants.
Calcium is an essential nutrient. But if children get calcium from milk, they miss the beta-carotene, iron, and fiber in vegetables. Children can get all the calcium they need from nondairy sources such as beans, tofu, broccoli, kale, collard greens, breads, cereals, and nondairy, calcium-fortified beverages, without any of the health detriments associated with dairy product consumption.
In this video, I explain more about eating for healthy bones:
Times have changed. So should school lunches. To safeguard the health and well-being of the nation’s schoolchildren, the USDA should issue a report to Congress recommending that Congress amend the National School Lunch Act to exclude milk as a required component of meals under the National School Lunch Program.
To learn more about the dangers of milk and other dairy products, visit PCRM.org/Health.
The benefits of resistance training go far beyond sculpting a lean, toned body
Jun 25, 2012 | By Linda Melone
We know: You don’t want bulging biceps or thunderous thigh muscles like Lance Armstrong. No woman does. But that doesn’t mean you should skip the weight room.
Lifting weights has some surprising perks that you can’t get from cardio alone. Research shows that just two strength-training sessions a week can help you burn more fat, sculpt lean muscles, feel more energized, and so much more. Here are eight reasons you should start lifting today.
1. You’ll burn more calories
Although cardio burns more calories than strength training during your 30-minute sweat session, lifting weights burns more overall. It all goes back to building muscle. It takes more energy (calories) for your body to maintain muscle cells than it does fat cells. So by lifting weights to add more muscle mass, you’ll boost your metabolism and turn your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine.
2. You’ll maintain muscle and feel better in your clothes
Research shows that between the ages of 30 and 70, women lose an average of 22 percent of their total muscle. What’s even more upsetting is that over time, the muscle void is often filled with fat. One pound of fat takes up 18 percent more space than one pound of muscle, so even if the number on the scale goes down, your pants size might go up. The best way to stay tightly packed? Keep strength training!
For best results, Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, author of Beat the Gym, recommends two to three total-body strength workouts per week for 30 minutes each session. Include three to four days of cardiovascular exercise, either on the same days or alternate days.
3. You’ll build stronger bones
Lifting weights can be your best defense against osteoporosis—a disease affecting 10 million Americans, 80 percent of which are women, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. “When you lift weights you engage muscles that pull on the tendons which, in turn, pull on the bones,” says Holland. “This added stress makes bones stronger.”
4. Your heart will be healthier
It may seem counterintuitive that weight lifting helps lower blood pressure, since blood pressure actually goes up during and immediately after your strength session. But research shows it’s a powerful way to protect your ticker in the long run. “As muscles contract, blood is pushed back up to the heart,” says Irv Rubenstein, PhD, exercise physiologist and founder of S.T.E.P.S., a fitness facility in Nashville, TN. “The heart then recirculates this oxygenated blood back to the muscles, which keeps the cardiovascular system in better working order.” Plus, maintaining lean muscle mass enables you to do more work overall, further enhancing this effect, Rubenstein says.
5. You’ll remember where you left the keys (and everything else)
Muscles strengthen both your body and your brain. According to a new study published in the May 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a combination of mentally stimulating activities like using a computer and exercise (which included walking and other cardio as well as strength training and sports activities) helped protect brain functioning in older adults. The combination of computer use with moderate exercise decreases the risk of memory loss more than either one activity on its own.
6. You’ll be happier and less stressed
Move over, runner’s high! Weight training also has the power to induce pleasure by releasing endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical in your brain. Research shows that resistance training can help beat the blues. One Australian study found that people who did three strength workouts a week (chest presses, lat pull-downs, and biceps curls) reported an 18 percent drop in depression after 10 weeks. In addition, exercise reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, relieving feelings of anxiety and agitation.
7. You’ll reduce your risk of diabetes (or improve quality of life if you already have diabetes)
Lifting weights helps improve the way your body processes sugar, which can help prevent diabetes. And if you already have diabetes, research shows that extended periods of strength training improve blood sugar control as well as taking a diabetes drug. In fact, the combination of strength training and aerobic exercise may be even more beneficial than drugs.
8. You’ll improve balance
Ever try to put on one sock while standing on the other leg? Without strength training, this simple act can feel more like a circus trick over time. The reason: fast-twitch muscles fibers we use for strength training deteriorate with age. (Aerobic exercises use mostly slow-twitch fibers.) “The fast-twitch fibers assist in speed and power movements and contract quickly and with sufficient force to catch yourself when you lose your balance,” Rubenstein says. “Resistance training maintains the ability of these fibers to activate.”