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Eating Pumpkin Pie during the holidays may be just a start. Pumpkin has a lot of potential to improve our overall health throughout the year. Perhaps we should consider including pumpkin in our daily diets, and not always in sweet treats. Pumpkin fruit is best consumed cooked with boiling being a popular method. Pumpkin can be consumed like any other squash and the seeds can be kept and roasted.

A summary of major nutrients in pumpkin and pumpkin seeds include Beta carotene. Calcium, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Copper, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Amino Acids and Fatty Acids. Pumpkin fruit is a great source of healthy fiber. In fact, pumpkin is one of the best sources of Beta carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A.

Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are becoming ever more popular. Perhaps this is because the seeds are a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, protein, fiber, and minerals such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. They are a fast and quick snack being offered toasted, raw, and sprouted. Brands that carry pumpkin seeds include Go Raw, Eden Organic, and NOW Foods. We also carry them in our bulk departments.

Potential Activity of Pumpkin

Anti-microbial

Pumpkin has been associated with broad-spectrum anti-microbial components to help inhibit bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites. Both the pumpkin flesh and seeds help to protect the body from infectious disease causing organisms.

Anti-oxidant

Pumpkin fruit extracts have potential antioxidant activity that may be beneficial for those who are pre-diabetic, diabetic or those with vascular injury.
Pumpkin seed oil has a good amount of Vitamin E, or tocopheral – a known antioxidant. Vitamin E is also great for the skin, supporting immune function, preventing inflammation, and promoting eye health.

Anti-carcinogenic

The boiled fruit, seeds and seed oil exhibit anti-carcinogenic properties. For example, eating more Pumpkin Seeds has been associated with lower risk of gastric, breast, lung and colorectal cancers and carotenoid pigments in the seeds and fruit are linked to prevention of prostate cancer.

Anti-diabetic

Pumpkin is a promising food in new research on combating diabetes. The fruit and seed compounds are helpful in aiding the absorption of glucose and balancing liver glucose levels. Consumption of pumpkin may be linked to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Though further research is needed, here are some research results:

Fruit

  • a-Amylase inhibition
  • a-Glucosidase inhibition
  • Reduced Blood Glucose
  • Increased Insulin levels
  • Improved glucose tolerance

Seeds

  • Increase in insulin secretion
  • Increase in b-cell mass

The health benefits of pumpkin are still being explored and verified. Overall, pumpkin is an overlooked food source and honored mostly as a holiday party favor. Perhaps we can change that!

Sources:
What are the health benefits of pumpkin? by Megan Ware RDN, LD
Medicinal and biological potential of pumpkin: an updated review by Yadav et al
Featured photo from boulderlocavore.com – Here’s a recipe they posted on your roasting your own pumpkin seeds!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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When we’re not feeling the best we can sometimes forget what we can do for ourselves to feel better… even though that’s when there is the most urgency! Brain Fog at its finest. Here is a list of easy remedies for Cold and Flu symptoms if you find yourself with a fever, stuffed nose, sore throat, headache, body-ache, or generally not feeling well.

  • Elderberry
  • Garlic and Aged Garlic
  • Propolis
  • Epsom Salt Bath
  • Gargling
  • Healthy Habits
  • Tea Blends (a nice list below!)
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There is myth, lore, legend and magic associated with Elderberry, in addition to its revered health benefits. Taking a little trip into the history and ethnobotany of Elderberry proves to be a fun time. This small tree has been with humans for a long time. Many Native American nations have reported extensive knowledge on uses for various parts of Elderberry. Seeds found in Switzerland Neolithic pole-dwellings hint that Elderberry was cultivated as early as 2000 B.C.E. and discovered a long while before that time. In written history, Hippocrates (460- 370 BC) and Pliny the Elder both noted Elderberry’s medicinal properties.

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The recipe contains the superstar mixture of Star Anise, Cinnamon, Ginger, Turmeric, Honey, Lemon. If you have access to fresh Turmeric and Ginger Root – this is the best! Here’s how to make a delicious and revivifying drink at home with bulk ingredients.

Quick Home Made Hummus

Making hummus can be quite a chore if one starts with dry beans. Consider prepping a quick hummus with pre-cooked chickpeas aka garbanzos. There are a few tips and tricks in making the best hummus possible with pre-cooked garbanzos. In this wonderful blog recipe, Cooking + Kate says to boil the beans with baking soda before using them and to use ice cold water in the recipe. The quality of ingredients here will also make all the difference in the taste of quick hummus. A good hummus also includes Tahini – which is also featured in the Cacao Walnut Energy Bites recipe above!

We carry some high quality chick peas and tahinis in our stores.

From Cooking+Kate
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Gluten Free, Raw, Vegan option

Ingredients

  • 4 Medjool Dates
  • 3 TBSP Cacao
  • 2 TBSP Coconut Oil
  • 2 TBSP Tahini
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 TBSP Honey (optional for added sweetness)
  • Dash of Salt (optional)
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When considering bolstering and supporting a child’s immune system with herbs the most prevalent concerns seem to be safety, efficacy (will the herbs even work for intended use?), and effectiveness (will the herbs work at all?). As a lot of readers know, many folk medicine and herbalist remedies have been used for a long time but are not necessarily supported with scientific documentation. The purpose of the piece is to cover some herbs with immune action that are found to be generally safe and offer a few guidelines on determining doses for children.

bug repellents

Though we can walk into a store and purchase spray on bug repellent, traditional ways to keep bugs away included certain plantings, hanging plants in the home, burning plants as fumigants and making infused oils to apply to skin or clothing. Plants traditionally used to repel bugs have been proven to be quite effective.

A table from a public DEET report

For some using herbal, DEET-free bug repellent is a preference, maybe simply for the sake of using essential oils instead of wearing a DEET cologne. For others there is likely a concern that DEET is at least mildly toxic. Sometimes DEET is used lackadaisically. The purpose of the post is to give a reminder that DEET can be dangerous if used improperly. As a warning there are some examples of animal testing in this post below in the green box.

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Bone Broth has become new branded name for an ancient tonic food. There’s history behind why we gravitate towards chicken soup when we’re sick – like the Jewish folk tradition of prescribing chicken soup for sickness. Why? Probably because it works for us and it is likely entwined into our lineage.

Ancestors were maybe boiling carcasses as a primal instinct and natural byproduct of the advent of fire. In Traditional Chinese Medicine bone broth and herbal stocks were used over 2500 years ago. For Vietnamese pho marrow rich bones are chosen. And then there’s noodle slurping Ramen! Broth making is a mythical tradition that spans across cultures and time.