Tag Archives: foods that make you healthier

What Are The BENEFITS of Pumpkin?

With the Halloween season getting closer, a lot of attention will be paid to the pumpkin. Yes, the thing we all carve and stick candles into, and the fruit we use to make delicious pies during the holiday season. However, why do a lot of us regulate pumpkin consumption to just these specific times?

Pumpkin has incredible health benefits – I’m going to give you five  reasons why you should eat more pumpkin, and not just save it for the holidays!

1. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure

Pumpkin flesh is rich in Vitamin A, Potassium, and Fiber, all of which are vital players in keeping your blood pressure in check. Potassium plays an important role in sodium regulation in the blood, and adequate intake of potassium can lead to decreased risk for hypertension.

2. Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer

Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene – it’s what gives the pumpkin it’s signature orange color. Fortunately, beta-carotene has been shown in research to have an inverse association with developing colon cancer cells. What this means is that the beta-carotene in pumpkin acts as a reversal mechanism in the presence of colon cancer cells. How cool is that?

3. Helps Immune System

Like mentioned earlier, pumpkin is high in Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Along with the previous benefits talked about above, these two molecules provide a serious tag team defense for your immune system given their immense nutrient dense health immunities.

4. Helps Women Who Are Trying to Have Children

There are numerous women who have trouble with fertility in America, yet who knew that the pumpkin had the potential to help those women? According to a Harvard Study, women of child-birthing age who ate more iron from plants (such as pumpkin), were shown to have increased levels of fertility. Vitamin A also plays a key role in this as well because it helps regulate and stimulate lactation enzymes and hormone synthesis.

5. Helps Eye Health

Rule of Thumb in nutrition: If a vegetable or fruit is orange or red, chances are it will help with eyesight. This goes back to the beta-carotene found in pumpkin. Along with Vitamin E (also found in pumpkin), the two team up to provide not only eyesight improvement, but also fight against eyesight degeneration.

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What Are The Benefits of Cranberries?

Cranberries grown wildly.
Cranberries grown wildly.

We all know cranberries play an important role during the Thanksgiving feast, but how big of a role do cranberries play inside of our bodies? How healthy are they? Are they indeed, like some doctors like to call them, a “super food”? In short, yes.

Cranberries are extremely beneficial to your body, and after reading this, you will be able to drop some knowledge bombs on your relatives whenever they say, “Hey, could you pass me the cranberry sauce?”

1. Cranberries Can Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Research has revealed specific polyphenols in cranberries that aid in the reduction of cardiovascular disease. What are polyphenols? In short, polyphenols are micronutrients that we get from food that have scientifically

Cranberries can help prevent Cardiovascular Disease!
Cranberries can help prevent Cardiovascular Disease!

been shown to reduce diseases, cancers, and the like. So how does this cranberry polyphenol work inside the body? Once digested, the polyphenols prevent the build up of platelets in the blood, as well as reducing overall blood pressure due to the fact that cranberries are natrual anti-inflammatories.

2. Cranberries Play Key Role in Urinary Tract Infections

Commonly known as UTI’s, urinary tract infections affect both men and women, but mainly women. If you’re reading this and you knew one fact about the health benefits of cranberries before clicking on this article, this was probably the fact you already knew. This is cranberries’ one-hit-wonder, if you will. Think of it as the “Gangnam Style” in the cranberries album of benefits. But why are cranberries so important in the treatment of UTI’s? It all has to do with a little guy named proanthocyanidins (another form of polyphenols), or PACs, for short. PAC’s are basically condensed tannins, and are extremely

UTI's aren't fun, but you can treat them with cranberries!
UTI’s aren’t fun, but you can treat them with cranberries!

powerful antioxidants in the body. PAC’s role in the body is to remove dangerous free oxygen radicals from the cells.

So how do these guys help prevent urinary tract infections? PAC’s do this by reducing the adhesion (sticking together) of certain types of bacteria that gather along the urinary tract walls, which then fights off infections and recurrent UTI’s. Pretty impressive for a cranberry, right?

3. Cranberries Are Serious Cancer Fighters

To round out this powerful fruit’s arsenal, cranberries wouldn’t be complete without giving you a dose of incredible cancer-fighting nutrients. How do they do this? Scientifically, it’s complicated, but I’m going to try to break it down for ya. Cranberries have a plethora of ways to fight cancer. First, cranberries can block the expression of MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases), then they can inhibit ODC (ornithine decarboxylase enzymes) which is crucial because ODCs, once expressed, have shown to lead to seizures in the brain, and the inhibition of them is used to treat many different types of cancers. These cranberries than

Cancer fighting is something cranberries are excellent at!
Cancer fighting is something cranberries are excellent at!

stimulate QR’s (quinone reductase enzymes), and finally they trigger apoptosis–programmed cell death–which has shown to kill and eliminate tumor cells.

So, as you can see, cranberries do a lot more than you thought! Heck, they did a lot more than I thought before I dug into the research. So how can you use this information?

I write these articles so that not only are you using MealFit to make better dietary decisions in your life and for your family, but I like writing these articles to help the community of MealFit learn what actually goes on inside the body once these healthy foods are introduced.

Plus, you can use these little nuggets and pearls of information as an amazing conversation starter, or something to break the ice with on a first date (actually, don’t do this, she/he will probably think you’re a nerd, but who cares!)