Monday, 24 October 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

The end of October is nearing and what does this mean? Halloween! And what comes with Halloween? Pumpkins!
I bet you didn’t realize that pumpkins are actually filled with many vitamins and minerals and the vibrant orange colour is a dead give away of its high concentration of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Beta-carotene can be converted to Vitamin A to prevent vision related problems, it can enhance immune function, promote healthy cell communication and improve reproductive health.
Pumpkin seeds are often over looked and are actually a very nutritious and delicious snack. For all you fella’s out there, pumpkin seeds may promote prostate health through means of antioxidants, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids. Zinc also protects and maintains bone mineral density, especially in the hip and spine. These seeds contain a good amount of phytosterols (approximately 265mg/100g), which have the ability to lower cholesterol, improve the immune response and potentially reduce the risk of some cancers. Pumpkin seeds are also good sources of iron, vitamin K, protein and many other minerals.
Pumpkin seeds can be added to a variety of different dishes for added nutrition like a salad, to a granola recipe, a stirfry, etc. So this weekend, when you’re carving your pumpkins and getting ready for the big night, don’t forget to roast up those seeds for a nutritiously tasty and inexpensive snack!

Here’s a quick recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds:

1. After hollowing out the pumpkin, separate the seeds from the stringy pumpkin pulp.
2. Rinse the seeds to remove any remaining pumpkin
3. Lay seeds out on a paper towel to dry
4. Place pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat (about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil)
5. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325° F until toasted, approximately 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
6. Let cool and enjoy!

In lieu of salt, you could add your favourite seasonings like a Cajun seasoning blend, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, etc.

From Kendra!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

More Reason to Love Omega-3's!

We've all heard that Omega 3's are an amazing supplement to consume. They reduce risk of Alzheimer's, lower cholesterol, help control ADHD but now they are being shown to be a player in helping reduce your risk of osteoarthritis. Read more if your interested!!!

From Jeffrey!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Why we love Coffee!

I thought this was an interesting article, especially since there's been alot of buzz about coffee and it's protective benefits relating to diabetes. Coffee contains hundreds of active phytochemicals which have been shown to exhibit protective benefit. However, the article discusses that the caffeine in coffee, when consumed with a high fat meal (ie. coffee and a muffin for breakfast, or coffee and a doughnut) the two can have additive "insulin de-sensitizing" effects. The article also states that: "The only reason coffee is beneficial is because of the severe deficiencies in the plant-derived phytochemicals in the diet of most Americans, and coffee at least supplies something." (Fuhrman)

Click Here for the Article!


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fair skin and increased Vitamin D supplementation

Vitamin D is considered a “hot topic” in nutrition these days, as there is increasing research in confirming if, and discovering how, it increases longevity and overall health in humans. Vitamin D is also unique in the fact that it is very hard to find a food source that is rich in it. Other than fortified products like milk and OJ, high levels of Vitamin D occur naturally in very few foods – namely the flesh of fatty fish, fish liver oil, and some mushrooms [1]. The main source of Vitamin D for humans is the sun; where our bodies naturally produce the vitamin upon skin exposure! Of course cloud coverage, latitude, and time of day will affect intake but researchers suggest that an average of 15-20min of sun exposure twice a week is sufficient enough to maintain Vitamin D levels [1]. 

A recent article published in Cancer Causes and Control [2] brings to light the issue of fair skinned people not meeting the suggested adequate intake levels of Vitamin D. It is well known that people with sun allergies and de-pigmentation disorders (such as vitiligo – most notable had by Michael Jackson), must attain Vitamin D via supplementation. However it had never occurred to me that there would be people without such disorders that would also have a hard time attaining the required levels.

This UK study highlights the fact that very pale people, and those with melanoma, burn easily in the sun, and therefore cannot be exposed long enough to attain the Vitamin D levels necessary for adequate health. Fair-skinned people have an increased risk of skin cancer due to the fact that they burn very easily upon exposure to the sun. This study also suggested that melanoma patients should attain their Vitamin D intake via supplements instead of from the sun. 

This study is especially important in northern countries like Canada, the UK, Scandinavia, and Russia where sun exposure is limited throughout the year, so residents already have lower Vitamin D levels, and the majority of people tend to be fairer skinned. 

[1] Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D

[2] Pale People May Need Vitamin D Supplements

From Maggie!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Hey there NANS friends,

I found what I consider perfect examples of the knowledge and skills gained from our program applied to the real world.
The first link is a trailer to an amazing documentary called "Forks over knives." I guarantee you that you don't want to miss checking it out!
The second link is a trailer dealing linking cancer and food.



Let me know what you guys think.

Fred Choy