Ah, finally – fall has arrived after a very long, hot summer! Pumpkins, in various forms, are appearing on grocery shelves, farmers markets, produce stands, etc. Outside of carving them for Halloween, and eating them in the form of pies, what do we really know about them?
Here are some interesting nutrition facts – one cup of cubed pumpkin only has 30 calories, but it does have 8 grams of total carbs, and only 0.6 grams of fiber. Within those 8 grams of carbs are 3.2 grams of sugar. While it may not be the best choice for a very low carbohydrate diet plan, it certainly is not something to avoid entirely.
Pumpkin contains vitamins A, C, D, B6 and B12, as well as calcium, iron, and magnesium, making it is a good antioxidant. Not bad! It may be good for one’s eyes, in that it has vitamin A, but is also a good source of carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Zeaxanthin may offer some protection against age-related macular disease in the aging population (hello baby boomers).
Pumpkin seeds contain dietary fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids, known for assisting in heart repair. The seeds are also a decent source of protein and contain no cholesterol (for those of you who have too much).
Pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan, an amino acid also found in turkey and helps to make us sleepy! Does this make it a good bedtime snack? Try it out.
Pumpkin may help us fight bacterial infections. The vitamin A may also protect our skin, especially from wrinkles! The carotenoids assist in neutralizing free radicals in our skin, thus slowing down the aging process a little. The pulp of the pumpkin has the antioxidants, so if you are carving a pumpkin for decoration, keep the pulp and add it to soups, stews, or make pie filling, etc.
Try not to eat too many grains and sugars this holiday season – but definitely consider including pumpkin in some form.
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You may not even know if you are on the path to developing autoimmune disease – not to mention the fact that you may already have a diagnosis. Autoimmune diseases are at least three times more prevalent now than they were a few decades ago. Alarming!
The term autoimmune means your immune system is attacking itself – so in order to start the healing process, instead of trying to treat one organ where some activity may be happening – it’s time to heal the entire immune system so it will behave again,
Practitioners of functional medicine and other holistic approaches see the human body as a whole, rather than just parts, and operates on the notion that that each biological system impacts others as they function synergistically.
So, let’s stop trying to manage symptoms and live with it, and instead focus on healing the immune system.
As you might know, about two-thirds of your immune system lies within your gut. One major irritant in autoimmune expression is having a leaky gut. The lining in your gut has become loose and undigested foods, microbes, toxins, etc. can get away through the loose lining and escape into the bloodstream.
We have also heard a great deal about gluten, which is known to contribute to autoimmune, and gluten is pro-inflammatory. Some smart doctors are advising us to steer clear of all grains, especially wheat, avoiding gluten-free products.
Heavy metals like mercury and molds are also dangerous to the immune system. Mercury may be one of the top three most toxic substances the world has ever seen. Infections from bacteria and viruses are also being linked to autoimmune, so it is important to get rid of these invaders effectively.
High stress – and who does not have this – can also be a trigger for autoimmune.
So, getting on a sensible, anti-inflammatory diet, knowing what you are sensitive to, adding some appropriate supplements, and perhaps even running some of the much more affordable DNA tests are ways you can approach your healing. Learning how to be mindful is an excellent way to manage stress and enhance healing in the body and mind.
Do not listen to people – even highly credentialed people – who tell you it cannot be done and must be managed by drugs. Believe that you can do this – many people are getting very “miraculous” healings. Just ask me – I know personally!
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Most of us are aware that the standard treatment protocols for heroin addiction are the usual from medical model dominant practitioners – more drugs, more drugs, and more drugs. These, of course, are of the prescription kind, and include drugs like methadone, suboxone, vivitrol, and a number of newly-FDA approved ones…all guaranteed to give you short- and long-term side effects!
How well do they work? See for yourself. In spite of all the attention and money this crisis has been receiving, addiction and its often-times lethal after-effects are still rampant and raging.
Government funding is available for medications currently being prescribed. However, those practitioners who have become disillusioned and have moved toward other approaches are literally popping up everywhere, usually in the private realm of treating entities.
In fact, there was recently an Addiction Summit for the public held online in August of 2018, and through this we can see that a new model – seeing addiction as a spectrum – has emerged thanks to Dr. Paul Thomas. This is a more holistic approach, and likely to have better empirical outcomes.
Nutritional changes seem to be a central issue in changing the scope of addiction treatment. I wholehearted agree that nutrition forms the foundation of helping a person heal and become fully healthy again.
There are other alternative options. A few of these are:
While I personally would recommend nutritional and supplement (biochemical restoration) approaches, and one can effectively go through withdrawal with few if any symptoms using NAD, or IV Niacin, I think it is prudent to utilize multiple approaches as adjunctive means of support, according to how well clients respond to them. Talk therapy would be much more effective with a healthy brain in a healthy body!
For more information on holistically healthy approaches to all aspects of healthy lifestyles, please visit healthandwellnessonline.org, and sign up for our email list to get updates!
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.