Skip to main content

Autumn Health and Wellness and Pumpkins

I count down to the autumnal equinox like a kid waiting for Christmas. Living through the sweltering summer heat in Houston, Texas you might understand why I can get so excited about this time of year. And since we’ve just received our first "taste" of cooler weather, I decided to start my official fall activities a bit early with one of the most ubiquitous symbols of autumn: the pumpkin.

Amazingly healthy, the pumpkin is stuffed with antioxidants, and essential nutrients like iron, zinc and fiber. But what fascinated me the most were the numerous references to the health and wellness benefits of pumpkin and its effect on;

Prostate Cancer – For example, compounds present within the pumpkin seeds (phytosterols) are believed to lower the risk of prostate cancer. They work by shrinking the prostate and stimulating the secretion of chemicals that protect against the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (known to cause enlargement of the prostate gland at high levels).

Inflammation – With antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, regular consumption of pumpkin can help pain management by reducing joint inflammation. Pumpkins have been known to provide relief from inflammation quickly, and without the harmful side-effects of OTC anti-inflammatory medicines.

Radiant Skin – The high amount of Vitamin A, C and E as well as Zinc present in pumpkin, make it a great choice for those who want to prevent the appearance of wrinkles and to keep skin hydrated, nourished, and sporting a healthy glow.

Kidney Stones – Having up to 10 grams of pumpkin seeds daily can help prevent kidney stones preventing the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

It's hard to believe, but these are only a few of the benefits of pumpkin that I have found. So is it any wonder why it's included as one of the worlds Super Foods? In my opinion, pumpkin is wasted if you only use it to make pies. In fact, I'm currently perfecting my own recipe for a natural, organic, pumpkin body scrub - but I'll tell you more about that project in a later blog....

For now, I thought I would start slow and introduce you to a great recipe for Pumpkin Butter. I found it on one of my favorite blogs: Similar to apple butter, it's easy to make and it filled my house with the great scent of fall.

Enjoy the cooler weather and as always – Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal

Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

The Legal Stuff: I write to inform, inspire and encourage my readers to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program.


Popular posts from this blog

The Benefits of Regular Massage Sessions

Once people discover the many joys and benefits of massage, a common question arises—“How often should I schedule my massage sessions?”

Of course, there is no set answer, but studies indicate that massage at regular intervals is most beneficial to your overall health.

In a Newsweek article entitled “The Magic of Touch,” the advantages of frequent massage are considered. The following excerpts help to answer the question, “How often?”

“A weekly massage may seem an indulgence, but new research suggests it can have major health benefits...

“Since instituting a program of massage, job-specific exercises and ergonomics in 1990, the Virginia-based company [Wampler Foods] has cut repetitive-stress injuries by 75 percent...

“From assembly lines to corporate headquarters, Americans are discovering the magic of massage. At Boeing and Reebok, headaches, back strain and fatigue have all fallen since the companies started bringing in massage therapists...

Doctors have started prescribing massage …

Should You Take Supplements?

Often I am asked about supplements and their role in a healthy diet. My take is that while vitamins and minerals are essential to life, the human body cannot self sustain this requirement. Therefore, it is imperative that we eat a well-rounded, low fat diet in order to obtain an adequate variety and supply.

Unfortunately, Americans have become infatuated with supplementation. Mega-dosing has become a common practice for both athletes trying to improve their performances and the “average Jane or Joe” trying to compensate for inadequate nutrition.

Research indicates supplementation is ineffective in improving athletic performance in a well-nourished adult. That’s to say if you are eating well, taking additional doses of supplements won’t give you an edge.

In fact, excessive amounts of fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) may prove toxic since they are stored in the body and not easily excreted. Even some water soluble supplements such as vitamin B-12 have been shown to cause toxi…

What To Do When You’re Chronically Stressed

Of all the modern-day ailments that seem to affect us, none is more pervasive than stress. Everywhere you turn, there are factors lurking to redirect you from your peaceful pursuit of happiness and lock you in the clutches of “stress.”

What exactly is stress—and what more insidious effects does it cause? The dictionary defines stress as “great pressure or force; strain.” In today’s world, we think of stress as the result of too much pressure laid upon us by life, causing mental worry or anguish. This, in turn, manifests itself in tight neck and shoulders, headaches, nervous stomach, etc. But these physical and mental conditions are really only the beginning.

Studies show that stressful situations can develop into more threatening health conditions. For instance:

A sudden or unexpected stressor can activate your adrenal glands, which sends adrenaline and other hormones into your bloodstream. This brings about an increase in your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood flow to…