Thursday, September 20, 2012

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.

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