Cheers to Friday – Let’s Drink Wine!

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In light of it being the end of the work week and red wine being a favorite drink of choice for me, I thought I would share some of the health benefits so we can feel great while we enjoy a glass or two tonight!

Besides for the relaxation factor, many of us know that red wine can provide us with great health benefits but let’s break it down and take a look as to why it is known as a “healthy” adult beverage.

Red wine contains antioxidants which are believed to fight infection and protect cells against the effects of free radicals, which may play role in preventing and fighting cancer and other diseases.  Red wine specifically contains antioxidants known as polyphenols. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that’s gotten much attention.  Resveratrol has been shown to reducing the risk of heart disease by preventing damage to blood vessels, reducing “bad” cholesterol, inflammation and blood clotting. Additionally, researchers suspect that resveratrol may help stimulate insulin secretion or activate a protein that helps regulate glucose and insulin sensitivity – which may actually help diabetics regulate their blood sugar.

Overall, red wine in moderation (average of two drinks for men and one drink a day for women) can have a significant impact on your health.  This is not to say that you should start drinking alcohol if you presently do not.  So please consult a physician if you have any health concerns before considering incorporating a glass of red wine to your daily diet.

For those of us who have that evening glass of red wine to “relax and unwind” it very well can be justified due to the excellent health benefits we’ve seen!

Cheers to Mindful, Healthy Living!

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It’s Pumpkin Time!

It’s that time of year when I start pulling out my pumpkin spiced candles, decorating the house with fall colors, ordering pumpkin spiced lattes and pumpkin flavored donuts (occasionally of course😜), enjoying the smell of the fresh fall air, windows open, and having football on all weekend long. Nothing compares to this amazing feeling of peace and happiness.
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One thing that’s for certain is that pumpkin is ALL around us, which is so exciting as it is such a multi-functioning, excellent source of nutrition! I can’t help but take advantage of it this season. Whether I am baking pumpkin muffins, pancakes, sauce, or adding it to my smoothie, I will certainly be experimenting with all kinds of recipes this season. The good ones I will be sure to post!

This being said, I wanted to share how cooked pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds can aid in your nutrition and well-being in hopes that you may be consuming lots of it this season!
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• Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and low in calories, 3 grams of fiber and only 49 calories per 1 cup. A fiber-rich diet has been consistently known to aid in weight loss.

• 1 cup of cooked pumpkin provides you with more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids in vision.

• The antioxidant beta-carotene found in pumpkin has been researched and found to possibly play a role in cancer prevention.

• The same free radical neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay have also been known to diminish the signs of wrinkles.

• Studies have shown that pumpkin seeds are naturally rich in plant based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown to lower LDL, aka “bad” cholesterol.

• The amino acid found in pumpkin seeds has been known to be an all natural mood enhancer. Grab a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds to improve your mood!

• Cooked pumpkin is a great source of potassium, even better than a banana! 1 cup of cooked pumpkin provides you with 564 milligrams of potassium vs. 422 grams in a banana. This is a great post workout snack as it refuels the body for faster recovery.
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All of this information has been gathered from various resources and intended to provide valuable information to improve overall health and well-being.

Cheers to Mindful, Healthy Living!

Antioxidants = Pigments of Color

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Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Experts believe that damage to our cells play a huge part in a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), arthritis, and many more. Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can play a major role in fighting off this damage to our cells and keeping our immune system strong.

As my journey continues through The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I continue to see the incredible value that fruits and vegetables have on one’s health and wellness. To put it simply – incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet as much as you can, as often as you can – it’s a no brainer. The health benefits are irreplaceable.

Generally speaking, the more colorful the fruit or vegetable is, the more antioxidants it contains. A few of the major antioxidants are beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. Below you will find a list of specific fruits and vegetables that contain these powerful antioxidants.

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: Apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon

Vitamin C: Berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, orange, papaya, red, green or yellow peppers, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes

Vitamin E: Broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds