Benefits of Pumpkin

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This lovely guest post is from the amazing Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Food Toxin Expert; Leann Forst. She is the creator and author of ‘Groovy Beets’ which is an inspirational health blog with tons of nutritional information and healthy recipes. Check her out! 🙂 And since October just ended I thought we could all use one more month of pumpkins. Read below to find out all the great benefits:

6 Reasons Why You Should Eat Pumpkin
Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes…the number of yummy recipes you can make with pumpkin is endless! And for good reason, because adults and kids alike LOVE pumpkin. It’s so sweet, creamy and delicious and fills the room with an irresistible aroma when baked. As if this isn’t enough reason to eat more pumpkin, then here are 6 more that you may not be aware of:
Cancer Prevention – like their orange cousins the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash, pumpkins are loaded with the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is linked to cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Fiber to Fill You Up – Most people should consume between 20 and 35 grams of fiber each day, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, but many people don’t get more than 15 grams. Fiber helps you digest your food efficiently, which helps your body absorb the nutrients from your food. One cup of pumpkin puree provides you with 7.1 grams of dietary fiber.

Digestion Support – Pumpkin puree contains about 10 percent of your daily requirement for potassium as well. You need adequate amounts of potassium to support healthy digestion.

Weight Loss – Pumpkin is a very low calorie vegetable and contains only 80 calories and one gram of fat. This makes it great for people watching their waist line.

Better Vision – A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Heart Health – Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which is beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.

Don’t think you have to go grow and carve your own to get to the good stuff on the inside. But you do have to be selective on which packaged pumpkin you purchase (say that 3 times fast☺). Choose plain canned pumpkin since a cup of canned pumpkin puree with salt can contain over 500 milligrams of sodium!
Be aware that pure canned pumpkin is different than canned pumpkin pie mix, which is a less healthy product because of its high sugar content. A cup of canned pumpkin pie mix contains 71 grams carbohydrates, with many of them from added sugars, while a cup of pure canned pumpkin has 20 grams of total carbohydrates and no added sugars. Each cup of canned pumpkin pie mix contains 281 calories on average.

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Leann Forst, MBA, CHHP
Board Certified Holistic Health Coach
www.groovybeets.com
Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, Leann had been in sales and marketing for 20 years until her life turned an abrupt corner when faced with challenging health issues for herself and her family that traditional medicine could not help. As a die-hard researcher and determined mother, Leann healed her family and went on to becoming a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Food Toxin Expert studying over 100 dietary and healing theories at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, the World’s Largest Nutrition School. Leann teaches moms to identify food toxins and triggers that are making their family sick. Please visit Leann at www.groovybeets.com for free health tips, recipes, guides and e-Book.

Do you know your Onions!?

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We all have come across this question of which onion to use when cooking in the kitchen, and if not you must be an onion genius!In a nutshell this is which onions go best with foods and dishes:

Yellow Onion (Most Commonly Used): Best for almost any dish: roasts, meat dishes (pot roast, rack of lamb, roast chicken, etc.) or as a flavor base for sauces, soups and stews.  When this onion cooks, it sweetens up and browns quickly. SO….If you are unsure which one to use, your best bet is to go with a yellow onion!

Sweet Onion (Second Most Common): Best for frying, making soups such as French onion, or for baked gratins, or onion rings. Sweet onions are very similar to yellow ones–except its much sweeter and when you cut into it, it makes perfect rings. It is very sweet without being too pungent or “spicy” as many onions tend to be..If you’ve ever ordered the “Bloomin’ Onion” from Outback Steakhouse, this is definitely the onion they use. YUM!

White Onion (Crunchiest & Sharpest): Best for salsas, stir-fried vegetables, or any other veggie dish where you want to add a little extra crunch. You will notice white onions being used most in Mexican dishes.They are extremely crispy because they have a higher water content.

Red Onion (Easiest to Eat Raw): These are actually one of my favorite..They are best for guacamole, pickling, slicing thin for salads, grilling (for burgers, sandwiches, or even to eat alone!). My favorite way is to grill them for fajitas. 🙂 Red onions are a lot milder, crisp, sweet, and they have a slight bitter aftertaste (so be sure no to kiss anyone after eating them!). *As a fun fact, red onions cause fewer tears while slicing.

Shallot (Most Subtle): Best for salad dressings, mignonettes, and cooked vinegary glazes, or garnishes. Though a shallot is not technically an onion, it has a similar flavor and is less overpowering. Shallots have a little kick to it while being sweet at the same time. I am most familiar eating shallots when eating my favorite shellfish, oysters. They go perfectly as a light vinaigrette sauce.
(Oysters on the half shell from Cafe Fina)
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Fruit & Veggie Season Chart

I have been looking for a simple seasonal fruit & veggie chart for work and I finally came across this! This handy chart will make my life so much easier. It is so disappointing when your favorite fruit or veggie isn’t in season and they don’t taste as good as you are expecting. Well now you know so you won’t have to waste any more money on sour fruits and veggies!

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Chart adapted from And Then We Saved