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Pumpkins often bring to mind images of fall bonfires, jack-o’-lanterns, hay rides, and seasonal desserts, not to mention the pumpkin spice hype — but some people miss pumpkin’s potential as a superfood. They’re actually one of the most nutritious fruits out there. Loaded with antioxidants and disease- fighting vitamins, these gourds aren’t just for carving. Pumpkins are a bona fide superfood.One glance at a pumpkin’s bright orange color, and you’ll see the source of its beta-carotene. Your body uses beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A, which is important for eye health. Vitamin A helps your retina process and absorb light correctly. Just one cup of pumpkin provides you with more than 200% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A. Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, substances that may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration.Pumpkin contains magnesium, which is important for muscle regulation as well as the regulation of the nervous system. This makes it an ideal post-workout snack. One cup of pumpkin provides 14 percent of the daily recommended intake.Raw pumpkin has only 15 calories per 1/2 cup, and is full of iron, zinc, and fiber....

Obesity (BMI of 30 or greater) is linked with a higher risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. There is evidence to support a strong relationship between weight loss and cancer risk reduction. Obese individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery to aid in weight loss appear to have a lower risk of obesity-related cancers when compared to obese individuals who have not had bariatric surgeryEndometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus): Obese/overweight women are 2 to 4 times as likely to develop endometrial cancer. Extremelyobese women are about 7 times as likely to develop this cancer. The risk increases with weight gain in adulthood, particularly among women who have never used menopausal hormone therapy.Esophageal adenocarcinoma (cancer of the esophagus): People who are overweight/obese are 2 times as likely to develop this cancer and people who are extremely obese are more than four times as likely.Gastric cardia cancer (cancer of the upper part of the stomach): People who are obese are nearly 2 times as likely as a person with a normal weight to develop cancer in the part of the stomach that is closest to the esophagus.Liver cancer: People who are overweight or obese are up to...

Most of us have heard a flight attendant give their spiel about giving yourself oxygen first, before supplying it to your children. The basic premise makes sense: we are not capable of taking care of others if we don’t first take good care of ourselves.So what exactly is self-care? It essentially means paying attention to our own physical and emotional needs and taking positive steps to care for ourselves. The problem is when life gets stressful and we get busy taking care of other people’s needs, we often stop taking care of ourselves. If we start making self-care a daily habit, however, we are more likely to continue taking care of ourselves when life gets hectic and we most need it.Some of the most important areas of self-care practice include:Nutrition: As you most likely already know, good nutrition is vital for weight loss after surgery. In addition, eating healthy foods helps you feel better and be more energetic. Much like an Olympic athlete only puts the cleanest, most nutritious foods in their body, you need good nutritional intake in order to be your best. Avoid all processed foods and be sure to fuel your body with plenty of fruits, vegetables,...

Bananas are one of the world's most appealing fruits. Global banana exports reached almost 18 million tons in 2015, according to the United Nations. About half went to the United States and the European market. Americans eats about 11.4 lbs. of bananas each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it Americans' favorite fresh fruit. Bananas may have been the world's first cultivated fruit. Archaeologists have found evidence of banana cultivation in New Guinea as far back as 8000 B.C. The banana plant is classified as an arborescent (tree-like) perennial herb, and the banana itself is considered a berry. A bunch of bananas is called a hand and a single banana is a finger.A wide variety of health benefits are associated with the curvy yellow fruit. Bananas are high in potassium and pectin, a form of fiber. They can also be a good way to get magnesium, and vitamins C and B6. Bananas’ fiber can help keep you regular and one banana can provide nearly 10 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin B6 can also help protect against Type 2 diabetes. In general, bananas are a great weight loss food because they taste sweet and are filling, which...

There’s a saying that goes a lot like this, ‘show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.’ You may wonder what that has to do with alopecia or hair loss? We start by doing some detective work. By taking a look at the surrounding evidence, we can make an educated conclusion about the cause of someone’s hair loss. Oftentimes, we may be experiencing anemia, hormonal imbalances, hyperthyroidism, or other health concerns. All of these have side effects that can lead to hair loss. Getting to the root cause of any type of health challenge is generally the best course of action. We are aware of at least 6 or 7 different types of alopecia. I’ll be sharing information with you in regards to the two most common types. They are androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium. What’s make them so different and how may they be affecting you? Androgenetic Alopecia is sometimes called male or female pattern thinning. This type of hair loss often affects the hair growth cycle. The hair follicles are being encouraged to shrink and takes longer for the new hair to appear. There’s a genetic component to this as usually hereditary. Telogen Effluvium is...

September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) awareness month. PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among women. While the cause of PCOS is still unknown, some of the symptoms include weight gain, especially around the midsection, and infertility. We see many women who use weight loss surgery as a tool to address the symptoms of PCOS, especially if they are wanting to start a family. After weight loss surgery, we talk to our patients about when it is a good time to start a family as part of our ongoing patient education. This is a great example of how we can help address risks, side effects and related diseases that need to be taken into consideration with any weight loss surgery. Education is a significant part of our surgical weight loss program. No matter what stage of the process you are in or what diagnosis you have that accompanies obesity, we have the resources to help support your weight loss and nutritional needs.By Eric Smith, DO...