Category Archives: Walnuts
by John Phillip
(NaturalNews) Heart disease and cancer in all their different forms take the lives of nearly three-quarters of all men, women and children in the US each year. Yet thousands of well constructed research bodies have shown that most chronic diseases can be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes including diet, smoking, physical activity and exposure to toxic household and environmental pollutants through our early and middle adult years. Specific foods and nutrients such as resveratrol, curcumin, green tea and leafy greens have demonstrated specific properties that help to prevent and fight cardiovascular disease and cancer, and should be included as part of your regular daily diet and supplement plan.
A research study team based in Spain has published the result of their research in the journal, BMC Medicine that explains that those who eat nuts more than three times a week had a reduced risk of dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease than non-nut eaters. To conduct their research, scientists looked at the effect on the prevention of cardiovascular disease when the participants were put on a Mediterranean diet with extra nuts and extra virgin olive oil, compared with a control group following a low-fat diet.
Raw nuts, especially walnuts help lower blood pressure and blood lipids to thwart chronic disease
The scientists analyzed more than 7,000 people aged between 55 and 90 years, and divided them into two groups based on adherence to a Mediterranean style diet that included nuts, and especiallywalnuts, or those following a low-fat diet. The team found that people who eat more than three servings of nuts (1 serving equal approximately one ounce) a week had a 55 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 40 percent reduced risk of death from cancer.
Lead study author, Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvad commented “How nuts are able to prevent premature mortality is not entirely clear, nor why walnut should be better for you than other nuts. Walnuts have particularly high content of alpha-linoleic acid and phytochemicals…, along with fiber and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, may contribute to their healthy effect.” Past studies have demonstrated that walnuts in particular are a beneficial part of a healthy diet and are the best source of antioxidants, containing twice the amount as normal nuts.
Researchers also note that people who ate nuts had a lower body mass index and smaller waist. Further, this group was found to be more physically active and less likely to smoke. The study authors conclude “Questions about specific constituents, amount, duration and type of nuts to be consumed remain to be elucidated. Meanwhile, we might need to focus on the question of how to better promote nut consumption in the population and sustainably integrate it into the daily diet.” Nutrition experts recommend replacing one daily serving of fruits and vegetables with a one ounce serving of raw nuts to significantly lower the risk of dying from heart disease and cancer.
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(NaturalNews) The local pharmacy is promoting memory and mood-enhancing drugs. The advertisement says “if coffee is a socially acceptable drug, then why not this?” This is the age of instant gratification with a huge debate in tow about the ethics of peddling and consuming drugs for just about anything and everything.
The easy way out, as we well know, is never the best way out. The instant solution to anything is somewhat dubious in the face of ancient, grandmotherly wisdom especially for body, mind and soul.
Walnuts are the same shape as the human brain. So what’s new here? Considered the ultimate superfood, walnuts are now being served up as brain medicine for many reasons, not the least of which is because they are replete with omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fatty acid to keep the brain functioning normally.
Research says that low omega-3 intake can be linked to depression and cognitive degeneration. Eating a fistful of walnuts regularly then can keep the spirits up and prop up the grey cells for good measure. What is more, walnuts are known to raise melatonin levels by a whopping three times, promising relief from sleeplessness and insomnia. So if you’re tired of counting sheep at night and would appreciate a knock-out sleep instead, then consider ingesting a few walnuts as a pre-bedtime snack.
What is more, the walnut is considered a potion of sorts for the heart – it reduces cholesterol and enhances heart health. This nut is a powerhouse of nutrients – manganese, copper, iron, calcium, phosphorus – the stuff of a good, healthy, happy body. Walnuts contain more antioxidants, folic acid and vitamin E than any other nut, and specifically black walnuts have the highest content (among nuts) of an amino acid called argenine which is essential for cell division and protein synthesis.
If you are struggling to win the battle of the bulge, then turn to this ubiquitous nut for help. Walnuts are full of healthy lean protein, polyunsaturated fats, and are a powerhouse of polyphenols. Walnuts are easy to incorporate into the daily diet. If eating an ounce of nuts a day is not your thing, however, then throw them in your oats, salads, pasta and rice dishes or discover and share new wholesome ways of eating this delicious nut.
It is reasonable to assume that a healthy diet is medicine for the body and soul – your ticket to health heaven, all things considered, in your own hands.
The term food pharmacy is actually a reference to a real thing – the well endowed kitchen pantry that has healing foods as a matter of course, with answers to many an ailment, not just the common cold. So if you are not a serious snacker, better become one and give the medicine corporations a run for their money.
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This month we’ve been polishing up our clean routine, taking care of our bodies as well as our hearts and minds, and integrating sustainable practices into our daily lives. All this cleaning has made us…hungry of course! So it’s time to talk about some clean routine snacks that are good for your brain — as well as your hips.
Although snacking often gets a bad rap, used wisely it can be a useful tool for both energy balance and weight maintenance. Adding clean snacks to your routine can help keep your metabolism revved throughout the day, provide sustenance to get you through your workout (and re-fuel post workout), provide an opportunity get more fruits and veggies in your day — and keep you from over-indulging at the next meal.
Don’t think you’re a snacker? If you can go between lunch and dinner without being ravenous by 5 p.m. then perhaps that’s the case. But if dinner time rolls around and you’re cramming in any food you can get your hands on, then you might be in need of some smart snacking. Going longer than about 3 or 4 hours without a snack starts to slow down your metabolism and skew your blood sugars — not to mention increasing the likelihood of overconsumption during the next meal.
Here are some tips to help you make smart snacking a part of your clean routine:
Make sure the snack you choose is what you want in terms of salty, sweet, crunchy, or smooth — this will help make sure you feel satisfied.
The ideal snack should be around 200 calories. Remember: a snack is not a meal.
Plan your snacks in advance. This can save you time and can also save you from making poor choices…or having no choice at all!
Try to get some fiber and/or protein to help decrease cravings more than a high fat or high sugar snack would.
Carry healthy snacks with you at all times.
Snack strategically, not mindlessly!
Partiality aside, Vega makes some mean and clean snack options like Vega One, Vega Energizing Smoothie, Vibrancy Bars, and Vega Sport Protein or Endurance Bars — all of which are highly nutritious and can be taken on the go. Other clean snacking options:
Hummus with fresh veggies
1 ounce of raw nuts = (approximately) 16 almonds, 22 peanuts, 11 walnut halves, 25 pistachios, or 16 cashews
A serving of fruit like berries, melon, a small apple, orange, or banana. Try dipping in a raw nut butter for a protein boost
A small home-made smoothie
A cup of vegetable soup
Trail mix with an ounce of nuts and dried fruit
2 cups of air-popped popcorn with a dash of cayenne pepper
Handful of SaviSeeds or sunflower seeds
(NaturalNews) There are two forms of diabetes: Type one and type two. Both types involve imbalanced blood sugar and insulin issues. Insulin is the hormone that helps convert glucose into the cellular energy that’s needed for the cells to metabolize nutrients.
Type one diabetes is sometimes called juvenile diabetes because it usually occurs early in life. The pancreas doesn’t produce any or enough insulin and usually needs to be supplied externally.
That often means insulin injections by manual syringe, or an easier managed insulin injection pen, insulin pills, or a portable insulin pump.
The pancreas is usually functioning with type two diabetes, which normally occurs later in life. However, the body is insulin resistant, or not using the insulin well enough. Type two diabetes can often be controlled by exercise and diet while monitoring blood sugar.
Again, chronically high blood sugar is an indicator for both types of diabetes. But sometimes low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs, especially with type two diabetes.
Many diabetic symptoms cross over with adrenal and thyroid issues as well as fibromyalgia. So it’s best to get your blood sugar tested to determine whether or not your health problems are diabetes related.
Foods for diabetics
Obviously, foods with high glycemic indexes (GI) need to be avoided. Those include refined starches and carbohydrates, sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) honey, maple syrup, candies, cakes, and cookies. Synthetic sugar substitutes cook your brain cells.
Unsweetened fruit juices are short-term solutions for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), but should be avoided unless diluted if one suffers from high blood sugar.
Did you know that many foods from fast food restaurants and processed foods off the shelf contain sugars even if they’re not meant to be sweet? Avoid them all. Buy bulk organic as much as possible.
(1) Veggies, especially greens, are items you can eat every day. Steamed veggies and raw salads are nutritionally beneficial for anyone and certainly if you have a low glycemic index.
Off-the-shelf salad dressings often contain sugar or other sweeteners. Use only unprocessed cold-pressed virgin vegetable oils, except soy, and vinegar or lemon/lime.
(2) Slice some avocado into your salad for taste variety and good nutrition. Avocados have low GIs. Avocados’ high omega-3 content contributes to healing chronic inflammation, which is often associated with diabetes; leading to other serious diseases.
Avocados are an excellent plant source of protein. (http://www.naturalnews.com/029864_avocados_health.html)
(3) Walnuts are also a good low GI source of omega-3. You can sprinkle them onto salads or veggies for a tasty change. Most other unsalted, raw nuts are also okay for diabetics. (http://www.naturalnews.com/032772_walnuts_omega-3s.html)
(4) Fresh wild (not farmed) fish, especially tuna or cold water salmon, are another high source of omega-3 with very low GI levels. All other meats are low GI high protein sources, if you are so inclined.
Then try to stick with grazing grass-fed livestock or poultry that’s free range, both to stem the excessive animal cruelty and avoid consuming the toxic antibiotics and hormones injected into factory farm animals.
(5) Grains are tricky. Obviously avoiding processed grains is necessary. But some whole grains have a higher GI (glycemic index) than you would think. Whole wheat is one of them. Quinoa and buckwheat are good substitutes. (http://www.naturalnews.com/036845_wheat_belly_weight_gain_gluten.html)
Organic brown rice may work for some diabetics since it is a complex carbohydrate that doesn’t convert to glucose rapidly. But most experts recommend diabetics not make brown rice an everyday meal.
(6) Various legumes (beans) can be added to a dish of brown rice for a delicious entree. Beans are high protein and fiber with lower GIs than potatoes. They can also be mixed in with veggies or prepared as a side dish. (http://www.naturalnews.com/025175_cancer_WHO_risk.html)
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By Anna-Marie Lever
Health reporter, BBC News
Eating around two handfuls of walnuts a day improves sperm health in young men, a study in the journal Biology of Reproduction suggests.
Sperm shape, movement and vitality improved in men who added walnuts to their diet over 12 weeks.
The fatty acids found in these nuts are thought to have helped sperm development. It is not known if this would help improve male fertility.
About one in six couples are infertile, with 40% of these due to a male factor.
Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield said: “It would be relatively easy to poke fun at studies like this, but there is increasing evidence to show that aspects of a man’s diet can affect the number and quality of sperm produced by his testicles.”
The researchers say the next step is to work with couples who are attending infertility clinics to determine if placing sub-fertile men, with poor semen quality, on a walnut diet results in better success conceiving.
It is thought that infertility in men may be a result of too few sperm being made, or that the sperm have poor swimming ability, size or shape.
This study involved 117 men between the ages of 21 and 35, who were divided into two groups. One group added 2.6 ounces (75 grams) of whole-shelled walnuts to their daily diet.
The other group continued their usual diet but avoided eating tree nuts. Both groups ate a typical Western-style diet.
Lead author, Prof Wendie Robbins from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health said: “We found a significant improvement in sperm parameters in the group that consumed the walnuts.
“The men who ate no tree nuts saw no change.”
Sperm quality improved in terms of concentration, vitality, movement, shape and chromosome abnormalities.
Dr Pacey said: “The study has been well executed and my only criticism would be that the men in the walnut-eating arm of the trial could have altered other aspects of their behaviour to give the results shown in the paper.
“A better trial would be to produce tablets of walnut extract that looked identical to a placebo so that the study was completely blind.
“In spite of this, the results of the study show a small but statistically significant improvement in sperm health.”
These benefits may be down to the fatty acids in the nuts.
Co-author Catherine Carpenter, from the UCLA Centre for Human Nutrition said: “Walnuts provide a particularly rich source of a-linolenic acid, a natural plant source of omega-3, which we suspect may have been responsible for the improvements we observed.”
The walnuts for the study were supplied by the California Walnut Commission and the study was funded by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health.