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The Proper Apparel Makes The Hunt Comfortable and More Productive

BY: SportsFan - 11/26/2013 | 12:17 PM

Most of us would not golf wearing a parka or trout fish in Montana wearing only a bathing suit. Each sport has specific apparel and gear suited to keep us comfortable during our endeavor. The more comfortable we are, the better our chances for success. This definitely applies to hunting and its diverse terrain and weather conditions. Especially during the early hunting season in the Midwest, dressing in layers is important, as fall mornings start off cool and gradually warm up by mid-day. Unlike other sports, there’s an additional aspect to hunting: we must not let the prey become aware of our presence. That’s why today’s hunting gear, from apparel to footwear, features camouflage and scent control, enabling us to blend into the environment.
 
Apparel Isn’t Just for Appearance
 
“The most popular hunting prey throughout the world is the white-tailed deer and its best defense is its nose. To give hunters a fair advantage, our company makes superior, scent-control apparel featuring Carbon Alloy Technology,” said Alex Gyllstrom of ScentLok.
 
ScentLok products found at your local Dunham’s include the Savanna Classic jacket, Savanna Classic pants and the Classic Cotton insulated jackets. To make it easier for hunters to choose the proper equipment based on climate conditions, ScentLok created weather icons (warm, cool, cold) for its apparel.
 
“Our Savanna products feature incredible price points that deliver superior results to Dunham’s customers. They’re designed to keep hunters cool while controlling odor,” Gyllstrom added.
 
ScentLok’s Classic Cotton jacket and pants, meanwhile, can be worn during the entire hunting season in our surroundings. Their design helps keep the moisture and wind away and can be layered underneath for added warmth.
 
Taking a different approach to odor control is Under Armour, the company synonymous with athletic apparel.
 
“Our exclusive UA Scent Control technology, found in products such as our Ridge Reaper line, features a blend of Zeolite fused with antimicrobial silver that lasts 10 times longer than traditional carbon scent blockers. It’s also lighter and quieter, giving hunters a big competitive advantage,” said Kevin Perry, Under Armour.
 
The Ridge Reaper line of hunting apparel features the company’s Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish to repel water without sacrificing breathability. It’s wind-resistant, wicks sweat away from the body and features a secure front kangaroo pocket with an internal ammo pouch.
 
For colder mornings, Perry recommends the company’s Ayton line of hoody, jacket and pants with their 300-weight fleece construction. They include many of the same attributes found in the Ridge Reaper line.
 
“The Ayton line delivers exceptional performance value for Dunham’s customers, allowing them to get into the Under Armour brand at an affordable price,” Perry said.
 
Apparel Care Takes Little Effort
 
The great thing about today’s hunting apparel is that it requires little care. The ScentLok products, for example, are meant to be washed only once or twice a year unless they get visibly dirty, such as getting muddy or bloody. The items have to be washed with unscented detergent or activated carbon detergent.
 
Reactivating the carbon process requires placing the apparel in a household dryer for 40-50 minutes on high heat. The carbon can be reactivated at any time, though ScentLok recommends doing so after 30 hours. The company also recommends storing the items in an airtight container or bag to ensure the apparel doesn’t pick up environmental odors.
 
According to Under Armour’s Perry, taking care of his company’s hunting apparel is even easier.
 
“Thanks to our Zeolite technology, there’s no need to place the items in the dryer to reactivate the scent control, since it’s good for the life of the garment. Simply wash and wear them,” he said.
 
Footwear to Boot
 
Dunham’s truly has hunters covered from head to toe, with specialized footwear uniquely suited to the weather and hunt location. As with the rest of the apparel, the footwear features camo and odor-neutralizing technology.
 
“Our Swamp Walker 2000 boot features 2,000 grams of Thinsulate, which is 10 times the minimum required amount. That makes these boots much warmer during the fall hunting season,” said Marty Lynch of Itasca Footwear.
 
As Lynch explained, the Swamp Walker 2000 are 17-inches tall, waterproof and feature an ankle-fit design, meaning they will stay on your foot if you have step through mud. The boots are made of print rubber, so they’re scent free. They also feature a slip-resistant outsole and a removable insole.
 
Also ideal for walking through mud is the Rocky MudSox 7284 camouflage boot. According to Mark Pitts of Rocky Brands, this boot features 800 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation and incorporates the company’s SIQ Atomic technology, which helps control human odor on the microbial level.
 
“Our MudSox 7284 boot is ideally suited for someone moving about. It features a heel kick tab, making it easier to remove the boot,” he said.
 
Better suited for climbing or sitting in a tree stand is the Rocky MudSox 4784 camo boot. It features 1,000 grams of Thinsulate Ultra insulation for greater warmth, a neoprene liner and a rubber outer shell. It also features the company’s scent control program.
 
“One nice thing about the 4784 boot is that it features an open-cell foam foot bed that’s removable, allowing the customer to add more cushioning with time. This MudSox boot also has an EVA midsole that takes pressure off and reduces the weight you put onto your feet,” Pitts added.
 
Yet another rubber boot is Under Armour’s H.A.W (Hurry up And Wait) line. It’s lightweight, water-resistant, and breathable. It features an air-mesh lining that increases airflow and wicks sweat to keep your foot dry. It also features an internal heel lock memory foam that forms to your foot for a secure, customized fit.
 
“Our H.A.W. boots provides a superior level of comfort, along with warmth and protection. It’s a great boot for tree stands,” Perry explained.
 
For those looking for a leather camo boot that is waterproof, Dunham’s carries Itasca’s Cascade Extreme and Big Buck Hunter models.
 
The Cascade Extreme features 400 grams of Thinsulate and features a Mossy Oak camo nylon upper, a waterproof shell bottom, a removable liner, a dual-padded collar and traction rubber outsole.
 
For those looking for even warmer leather boots, Itasca offers their Big Buck Hunter model with 800 grams of Thinsulate. This waterproof boot features a Mossy Oak camo nylon upper, a removable cushion insole and a non-typical traction rubber outsole.
 
“Exclusive to Dunham’s is our 8220 Rocky Cornstalker,” Pitts added. “It features a full-grain leather upper, 1000 Denier Courdura nylon, Gore Tex waterproofing, 1,000 grams of Thinsulate Ultra, Cornstalker Bob outsole and Mossy Oak break up camo. It can be used for hunting or work, is an excellent cold-weather boot and it’s guaranteed to be waterproof for one year.”
 
Another multipurpose boot from Rocky Brands is the 7481 sport utility boot. It features a one-piece rubber outsole and, according to Pits, is popular with the construction industry. The 10” tall boot is dipped in urethane and features Thinsulate Ultra for foot warmth. It’s available Mossy Oak break up camo.
 
Caring for your hunting boots is easy and it’s a task that can be accomplished in minutes. Leather boots should be occasionally conditioned with leather oil, while rubber boots merely require hosing off any caked-on mud.
 
Having the proper gear and proper apparel can make any hunt more productive, more comfortable and more enjoyable. Especially if you are new to hunting, be sure to speak with a Dunham’s sales professional to ensure you are properly outfitted with apparel that is ideally suited to your terrain and your prey.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Set Your Sights on a Successful Hunt

BY: SportsFan - 11/20/2013 | 06:53 PM

For hunters, there’s no better time than fall and the thrill that the new hunting season brings. Crisp mornings spent stalking favorite prey are preceded by relentless preparation. Like any other sport or hobby, success is often dependent on the quality of the equipment. When it comes to hunting rifles, it’s difficult to surpass the quality and name recognition of Remington. Dunham’s Sports carries three specific Remington hunting rifles: the 700 ADL, the 770 and the newly introduced 783.
 
Remington 783
 
“Our Model 783 is a brand-new bolt-action rifle designed to deliver accuracy, shot after shot,” said Remington’s John Benjamin. (The Remington 783 is available at Dunham’s Sports.)
 
“The Remington 783 features a carbon steel magnum contour button rifled barrel that is threaded into a cylindrical receiver and tied together with a barrel nut. This is the heaviest sporter weight barrel that we make. It’s all done for accuracy and the receiver provides lot of mass and a solid platform to thread the barrel into,” added John Fink of Remington.
 
The 783 is available in a choice of four calibers: 270 Win, 30-06 Springfield, 308 Win and 7mm Remington Magnum. Features include a detachable magazine box with a steel latch. It’s durable, reliable and provides one-handed operation — either in or out of the gun. The 783 also features a new CrossFire™ trigger system set at 3.5 lbs. and consumer-adjustable from 2.5 lbs. to 5 lbs. Additional 783 features include a pillar-bedded stock and free-floated barrel for shot consistency and a SuperCell™ recoil pad for comfortable shooting.
 
Remington 770
 
“For those new to hunting, we offer our 770 model; it’s ideal as a first rifle,” Benjamin said.
 
The Remington 770 is bolt-action, center-fire rifle and is available in most deer-hunting cartridges. It features a synthetic stock with hammer forged barrel and 60 degree bolt throw and includes a pre-mounted and boresighted 3-9x40mm scope.
 
“This is a very good, functional working rifle. Dunham’s carries it in a variety of calibers, for whatever game you are pursuing,” Fink explained.
 
The 770 is available in blued with black synthetic stock and molded sling swivel studs. It’s priced below the Remington 783.
 
Remington 700 ADL
 
For more seasoned hunters, Dunham’s Sports offers the Remington 700 ADL hunting rifle. It features a black synthetic stock with swivel studs, a pre-mounted and boresighted 3-9x40mm scope and an X-Mark Pro trigger set at 3 1/2 lbs. from the factory.
 
“The Remington 700 delivers legendary action and is revered by hunters for its accuracy,” Benjamin said.
 
“We introduced the Remington 700 in 1962 and since then, it’s the standard by which all other rifles are measured. It’s going to deliver on durability, accuracy and reliability. You can hunt with this rifle for your entire life, then hand it down to the next generation,” Fink explained.
 
The Remington Model 700 ADL is available at Dunham’s Sports.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Pointers on Pointers

BY: SportsFan - 11/12/2013 | 12:55 PM

So you’re decked out in your camo, have your weapon of choice, your tree stand or blind is set up and the truck is packed. But now what? What do you do once you get out there to ensure that you’re able to lure that trophy buck to make all your hunting buddies jealous?
 
Baiting Basics
 
In order to make sure you get as many deer in your area as possible, there is an endless array of different techniques and products designed to assist with your big hunt. Attractants, mock scrapes and rubs, mineral licks, and even deer urine have been formulated to be as effective as possible in luring deer to your desired hunting area.
 
But with all products, there are techniques that should be followed to ensure that they are used in the most effective manner possible. Ron Bice of Wildlife Research Center, Inc. offers some insight. For scrape locations, Bice explains, deer normally visit their scrapes at night. Scent drippers at scrape sites force a deer to alter his routine of visiting his scrape, bringing him right into your crosshairs.
 
Drip, Drip, Drip
 
“When using hunting scents, the method you use to set up the scent can increase the effectiveness of the product,” explains Bice. “We’ve developed several scent dispensers and methods, which we feel are the most effective ways to use hunting scents. For example Magnum Scrape-Drippers® are great for use at natural and mock scrape locations. They’re a special device that drips the scent out in a regulated manner. The important thing that makes them so different and effective is that they drip daytime only.”
 
On Your Mark-ings…
 
Another technique, as offered by Todd Weston of Wildgame Innovations/Evolved/Synergy, utilizes various markings left by deer at a given site. Using a mineral attractant in the correct manner will get the deer visiting your site over a long period of time.
 
“First, find the heavy thick cover in your area and start with mineral attractants like Deer Cain and Black Magic,” Weston said. “Mix with a small amount of water for immediate effectiveness. Look for signs like large tracks, droppings, rubs or signs of grazing on fresh growth. Once the deer locate your site, refresh the attractant every 30 to 60 days, and the deer will establish frequent visits.”
 
If you’re unsure of what products are best for you, there are some things to consider. According to Weston, if you have the ability to regularly check your site, powder forms can be beneficial. However, if you’re only able to make it to your site one or two times per month, then block-type feed and attractants will last longer. Finally, liquid or gel products that last only a short time in the elements are best if you’re on a shorter hunting trip. No matter your hunting excursion, there’s an abundance of products to make your hunt a success.
 
Staying Stealthy
 
With all of the varieties of products and techniques available to get as many deer in your hunting area as possible, hunters can’t forget that their smell will repel deer from long distances. Luckily, though, there have been many advances in the technology of blocking human scent from dispersing into the air. Consumers can look for products like Wildlife Research Center’s Scent Killer spray as one avenue to prevent a hunter’s scent from scaring away any deer.
 
“Anytime you hunt or scout for whitetails, you should be concerned about reducing human and other odors. Scent Killer® products can really help,” explains Bice. “Spraying your clothes with Scent Killer spray may be the easiest and most critical single thing you can do in the effort to eliminate human odor. It will dramatically reduce the human odor passing into the air from your body. It will also minimize the human odor being left in your stand area and your trail to it, dramatically reducing scent transfer.”
 
One of the most important things to remember when hunting is that a deer’s most powerful defense is its nose. Bice explains that thousands of deer avoid humans countless times each year, often without the hunter noticing, because the deer smelled the hunter.
 
Traverse Your Terrain
 
Spending some time in the field scouting your terrain is the best way to learn your area and find the best locations for deer. If there’s an area with markings that show deer have been there, it’s likely they’ll be back. Weston offered one more tip: “Remember to go where the deer are!”
 
Whether you’re looking for your first trophy or you’re running out of space on the walls of your hunting cabin, there are countless products and techniques to both lure deer to you and keep your scent protected. Thanks to great companies like Wildlife Research Center and Wildgame Innovations/Evolved/Synergy, it’s never been easier for hunters to find the right product to get as many deer as possible. And with the help of knowledgeable Dunham’s Sports hunting experts, you’ll have no problem bagging that buck.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Nutrition for the Flu and Cold Season

BY: SportsFan - 10/29/2013 | 12:38 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The flu season is here. Stay healthy with good nutrition; it’s important to keep your immune system healthy and ready to protect you against germs and viruses. There are specific guidelines for your nutritional regimen that will help boost your immune system.
 
• Protein. A variety of studies have demonstrated that a diet that doesn’t include high-quality protein can result in depletion of immune cells and hinder the ability of the body to make antibodies. High-quality protein sources include seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds.
 
• Vitamin A. Vitamin A supports antibody function and fights infection by promoting healthy skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system. In fact, recent research found a strong connection between vitamin A deficiency and upper respiratory infections. Great sources of Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, and eggs.
 
• Vitamin C. Vitamin C stimulates the formation of antibodies and boosts the immune system. A powerful antioxidant, it is vital for recovery from infection. Give your system a boost of C with citrus fruits, red bell pepper, strawberries, and tomato juice.
 
• Vitamin E. Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and may improve immune function. Include vitamin E in your diet with fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils such as sunflower or safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanut butter, or spinach.
 
• Zinc. While zinc has received a lot of attention for it’s ability to support immune function, recent studies have shown that too much can actually have a negative effect! Food, with it’s balanced makeup of different nutrients is an excellent source. Zinc is found in Swiss chard, collard greens, and both summer squash and winter squash.
 
• Glutathione. Glutathione has been called the ‘mother of all antioxidants,’ and the ‘body’s most important antioxidant.’ It is a molecule that is found in every cell. Researchers believe it not only an antioxidant, an immune system booster, and a detox agent, it can help your body repair damage from pollution, infection, drugs, poor diet, aging, and more! The good thing is, your body makes it. You can support glutatihone with garlic, onions, broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and green tea.
 
Exercise also helps the immune system fight off simple bacterial and viral infections, and don’t forget to drink water! It helps move white blood cells and other immune system cells through body while removing toxins from the blood. Finally, get enough sleep, Sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function, making you more vulnerable to germs and viruses, and harder for you to recover!
 
Eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, exercise and get enough sleep to keep your immune system strong! It’s your body’s built-in protector!
 
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Diet and Depression

BY: SportsFan - 10/22/2013 | 11:27 AM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Depression affects more than 21 million Americans each year. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States for individuals between the ages 15 and 44. Sudden changes, stress, illness or any of various life events can spur depressions. The good news is that studies show that a healthy diet may significantly reduce the risk of severe depression.
 
Research at the University of Eastern Finland included over 2,000 middle-aged or older men who were tracked for an average of 13 years. They found that those following a healthy diet have a much lower risk for depression. In Spain, scientists from the Universities of Las Palmas and Navarra studied a group of 10,094 individuals over four years, and found that those who followed a classic Mediterranean diet were 30 per cent less likely to develop depression. Researchers from University College, London who studied 3,486 civil servants over five years had the same results. It is thought that while different aspects of the diet may have specific benefits, it is the combined effect of a well-rounded healthy diet that has a biggest impact on mood.
 
In addition to the benefits of a healthy diet, a study by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute that included 265,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71 found that those who consumed over four cans or cups of soda per day were 30 per cent more likely to develop depression, in comparison with those who didn’t drink soda!
 
The Mediterranean diet in the Spanish and British studies consists of legumes, fruits, nuts, cereals, veggies and fish. It is lower in meat; alcohol and dairy consumption is moderate. It uses olive oil rather than butter, which many believe is an important a factor in the reduced risk.
 
It’s important to note that the Finnish study did not use the Mediterranean diet, but found that a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, berries, whole-grains, poultry, fish and low-fat cheese was also associated with a significantly lower risk for depressive symptoms.
 
You have a cornucopia of options when designing your nutrition regimen, so make it one that you will enjoy! Whichever dietary model you choose to follow, be sure to include plenty of antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals! Keep in mind, junk food, sugar and processed meats may actually increase depressive symptoms!
 
Protect yourself with a trip to your local produce market… you really will be happier!
 
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A Workout a Day …

BY: SportsFan - 10/15/2013 | 12:51 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
We’re all aware of health benefits derived from physical activity. Now, a new study indicates that exercise is as good or better than drugs for some common cardiovascular ailments!
 
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine evaluated 57 randomized studies that involved more than 14,000 patients who had experienced heart attacks or strokes. The purpose of the research was to judge the effect on mortality of exercise and drugs for four common causes of death: prevention of secondary coronary heart disease, rehabilitation after stroke, prevention of heart failure, and the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. The studies used drugs that are commonly prescribe in specific areas: statins for the prevention of heart disease, blood thinners for stroke victims, diuretics for heart failure, and oral anti-diabetic for pre-diabetes.
 
The results were interesting: no difference was found between patients who took prescribed drugs or those who followed a physical fitness regimen in the mortality rate for secondary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, while exercise programs were actually more effective than medication in stroke prevention! Only in the treatment of heart failure were drugs — antidiuretics — found to be more effective than a physical fitness program.
 
This is great news, but it has a dark side. A new survey from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that included more than 450,000 randomly selected adults ages 18 and older, found that nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week. It is recommended that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity and muscle-strengthening activities at least twice per week. They stated that physical inactivity leads to more than 5 million deaths worldwide each year! It’s a depressing statistic, but it does demonstrate that improving our health is in our hands.
 
One hundred-fifty minutes of exercise a week may sound like too much at first, but remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. It’s best to exercise each day, if your workouts are of moderate-intensity, you can even break them up into three 10-minute walks five days a week!
 
Get on the healthy side of these statistics, get up and move — the health benefits are worth it.
 
Patients with existing health conditions should talk to their doctor before stopping medication or engaging in exercise programs.
 
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Eight Cold Weather Superfoods

BY: SportsFan - 10/08/2013 | 12:01 PM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Many of us mark the cooler season with a couple extra pounds around our waists, or a case of the sniffles and a sad goodbye to all the fresh local produce we’ve enjoyed all summer long. The bounty of late fall and winter harvests offers delicious, satisfying superfoods that are just right for cooler weather and offer a cornucopia of tasty delights!
 
• Michigan apples and fresh, sweet natural cider are at your local produce market now! The apple’s amazing array of benefits includes protection against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and asthma! Apples are harvested from August through November.
 
Brussel sprouts are finally gaining popularity. They have great cholesterol-lowering properties, aid in the prevention of cancer, and have been found to actually improve DNA stability! New research on the the anti-inflammatory nature of many nutrients found in Brussels sprouts and their role the prevention of inflammation-related conditions is currently underway. Keep tuned for any new information about Brussel sprouts and Crohn’s disease, IBD, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and ulcerative colitis. They’re delicious roasted! They’re harvested from September to March.
 
Cauliflower is rich in the B vitamins 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9. Its high vitamin K content helps reduce inflammation and it offers omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that are also found in salmon and flax seeds, with extremely low caloric overhead! Cauliflower also helps keep your blood flowing to essential organs! It’s harvested from September to June.
 
Parsnips contain dietary fiber, folate, potassium, manganese and vitamins C, E and K. Tender and sweet, parsnips are great roasted or added to soups and stews. Parsnips are harvested from October to April.
 
Pears are a very good source of fiber and a good source of vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium. They also contain a significant amount of pectin, which is a water soluble fiber. In fact, they’re higher in pectin than apples, which aids their ability to lower cholesterol levels and in tone the intestines. Often recommended as a safe fruit to introduce to infants, they’re less likely to produce an negative response than other fruits.
Pears are harvested from August to February.
 
• All varieties of winter squash are excellent, nutrient-rich additions to you cold weather diet. They’re good to excellent sources of beta-carotene, potassium, fiber, vitamin C and several B vitamins. Known to protect against cancer, heart disease, and cataracts, they may also play a role in reducing lung inflammation and emphysema. Eat roasted with a touch of cinnamon and ginger. Squash is harvested from October to February.
 
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, which helps maintain healthy arteries and blood vessels and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Rich in vitamins C and E and a great source of beta-carotene, they’re also considered a superior source of fiber, which will help you feel satisfied longer. They’re delicious and simple to prepare, just roast whole with skins on! They’re harvested from September to December.
 
You can maintain good eating habits economically throughout the year by paying attention to seasonal favorites. Our needs and appetites change throughout the yearly cycle. As winter approaches, our bodies use more energy to keep warm, but our basic requirements are the same. Skip the starchy, empty fillers.
 
Make healthy choices, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be able to skip that winter weight gain!
 
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Autumn Bounty: Pumpkins

BY: SportsFan - 10/01/2013 | 11:49 AM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Pumpkins are a a symbol of fall, starting in October through Thanksgiving. Their bright orange coloring livens up the browning autumn ; they sit on porches during the end of October and go into pies and breads throughout the winter months. Their orange color also denotes that they are an excellent source the antioxidant beta-carotene, which offers protection against certain cancers and beta-cryptoxanthin, which may decrease the risk of lung cancer in smokers. It’s also a good source of B-complex vitamins — folates, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin and pantothenic acid — and a rich source of the minerals copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
 
That’s just the beginning of the great health benefits reaped from including pumpkin in your diet!
 
Weight Loss Support. Pumpkin contains three grams of fiber in a one-cup serving with the low overhead of 49 calories, keeping you fuller longer while keeping caloric intake down. A fiber-rich diet helps you eat less, and lose weight.
 
Aid Vision. That same one-cup serving of pumpkin contains 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids vision, particularly in dim light. Extra protection for eyesight comes from the carotenoids in pumpkins, which are converted into a form of vitamin A.
 
Energy Booster. Pumpkins is higher in potassium than bananas! Potassium takes on an important role in nerve signal transmission and muscle contraction, both of which are required for physical activity. Both a mineral and electrolyte, potassium promotes healthy body growth while supporting normal heart, digestive and muscular system function.
 
Healthy Immune System. Pumpkins are a solid source of vitamin C. The beta-carotene that your body converts into vitamin A also helps create white blood cells to fight infection. Studies have suggested that vitamin A may even enhance your body’s response to the flu vaccine.
 
Don’t throw out the seeds! They come with great bonuses of their own. They are high in calories, about 559 in 4/10ths of a cup, but they pack a lot of goodness in those calories.
 
• Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, which have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and contribut to prostate health for men.
 
• Pumpkin seeds will lift your spirits! The seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is important in production of serotonin. They’ll boost you mood, can fight depression and even help you sleep!
 
• Pumpkin seeds are a the simple way to consume more magnesium. Researchers in France found that men with the highest levels of magnesium in their blood have a 40 percent lower risk of early death than those with the lowest levels, and most men can use more! Average daily consumption by men of magnesium is 353 mg daily — 420 mg is the minimum recommended by the USDA.
 
• Pumpkin seeds are a high in zinc, making them great for your skin. Zinc protects your cell membranes, helps maintain collagen, and promotes skin renewal. Zinc is also important in the prevention of osteoporosis.
 
Finally, the latest and greatest pumpkin news may be that the alpha-carotene in pumpkin along with other nutrients actually slows the signs of aging and has been shown to protect against various cancers and cataracts!
 
Pumpkins … a lot more than decoration!
 
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In For The Count

BY: SportsFan - 09/24/2013 | 11:46 AM

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Whether you are a calorie counter or not, everyone has checked the the number of calories for a meal or item at some point.
 
A common question is, how many calories should you eat a day? That depends on a variety of factors, including age, size, and lifestyle. The Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference suggests that women between ages of 31-59 should eat between 1,800 and 2,200 calories, depending on their level of activity. Men in the same age group should eat between 2,200 and 2,800. Calorie usage varies between individuals and are only one factor in a healthy nutritional regimen. That said, it is important to understand what calories are.
 
A calorie is often described as a measure of heat. It is defined as the amount of energy needed to raise 1 kilogram of water from 15° to 16° Celsius and is provided by fat, carbohydrate, and protein. Counting calories is a method to help balance the calories you consume with the calories you burn throughout the day. What you eat as the source of your calories is vitally important.
 
Counting calories can be difficult. We have busy lives and are eating out more than ever! Fast food and prepared dishes don’t help either. Twenty years ago, the average cheeseburger in the United States had 333 calories now it’s over 600 calories! A small order of french fries from a popular fast food restaurant has 230 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein and that’s not counting the 15 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates with every ketchup packet you use with those fries! Fats have the highest concentration of calories with nine calories per gram of pure fat. Pure protein and carbohydrates each have four calories per gram.
 
The best option is to eat fruits, vegetables, and other lower-fat foods. The simple fact is that you get more food for less calories! A cup of raw broccoli gives you 31 calories, but fill that cup with ice cream and you’re at 250. Additionally, you get all the great nutrients found in healthy, low-fat food, along with the fiber that will keep you feeling full longer!
 
If you eat the right kind of calories, you don’t need to count them. Nearly one-quarter of Americans’ calories come from sweets, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages (Did I mention there’s 7 calories per gram of pure alcohol?). Five percent comes from fruit-flavored drinks and salty snacks like potato chips, while fruits and vegetables make up a paltry 10% of the average American’s daily calorie intake. In other words, we’re not eating the nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as much as the empty, damaging things like candy, soft drinks and white bread that have been proven to contribute to many serious problems.
 
Count calories as a gauge to help balance your diet with your needs, but be sure those calories count when it comes to your health!
 
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