Tag Archives: nuts

How avocados and nuts could boost intelligence – MNT

Here is some heartening news for folks worried about fats consumption.

You may want to think about adding avocados, olive oil, and nuts to your grocery list, since a new study has suggested that the monounsaturated fatty acids in these foods could boost intelligence.

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Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that higher levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in the blood correlated with greater general intelligence in older adults.

Study leader Aron K. Barbey, a professor of psychology at the university, and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Neuroimage.

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Nuts Improve Cholesterol Levels – Tufts

“Nuts to you” used to be a way of putting someone down. But, according to Tufts, nuts might be a good way to get some of those pesky cholesterol levels down.

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At least part of the proven cardiovascular benefits of eating nuts can be explained by their effects on cholesterol and other blood lipids, according to new Tufts research. The meta-analysis of 61 controlled intervention trials totaling 2,532 participants found that tree nut intake lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins (particles that transport fats through the body). The major determinant of cholesterol lowering appeared to be nut dose rather than nut type, so you can eat your favorite nuts without worrying about nutrient differences.

“This meta-analysis provides the most comprehensive estimates to date of the effects of tree nut intake on major cardiovascular disease risk factors,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of Tufts’ Friedman School and editor-in-chief of the Health & Nutrition Letter, who was a co-author on the study.

Lead author Liana C. Del Gobbo, PhD, adds, “Accumulating evidence indicates that nut intake lowers risk of cardiovascular disease events. Our findings showing that nut intake significantly improves the lipid profile provide critical mechanistic evidence to support a causal link between nut intake and lowered cardiovascular disease risk.” Continue reading

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5 Tips on choosing healthy protein foods – Harvard

Unlike the weather, everyone talks about protein but they usually try to do something about it, too. MedlinePlus says, “Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids.

“You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.”

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Here are some tips from Harvard on getting the most benefit from protein.

1. Upgrade the protein on your plate. The Healthy Eating Plate encourages you to eat protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, tofu, fish, chicken, or eggs in place of less-healthy options like red and processed meats.

For example, try a turkey or black bean burger instead of a traditional beef burger. Or slice up a fresh-roasted chicken breast or salmon for your sandwich instead of using processed high-sodium lunch meat.

2. Don’t stress too much about protein quantity. Most reasonable diets provide plenty of protein for healthy people. Eating a variety of healthy protein-rich foods—for example an egg with breakfast, some turkey or beans on your salad for lunch, and a piece of salmon or tofu with a whole grain side dish for dinner—will ensure that you get all the protein and protein building-blocks (amino acids) you need. Choose higher-protein foods instead of bulking up with pricey protein shakes or powders, since some of these are loaded with sugar or other additives.

3. Try a meatless Monday—or more. Diets high in plant-based proteins and fats can provide health benefits, so try mixing some vegetarian proteins into your meals. Going meatless can be good for your wallet as well as your health, since beans, nuts and seeds, and other minimally-processed vegetarian protein sources are often less expensive than meat. Eating plant protein in place of meat is also good for the planet. It takes a lot of energy to raise and process animals for meat, so going meatless could help reduce pollution and has the potential to lessen climate change.

4. Eat soy in moderation. Tofu and other soy foods are an excellent red meat alternative. In some cultures, tofu and soy foods are a protein staple, and we don’t suggest any change. But if you haven’t grown up eating lots of soy, there’s no reason to begin eating it in large quantities. And stay away from supplements that contain concentrated soy protein or extracts, such as isoflavones, as we just don’t know their long-term effects.

Scan the Nutrition Facts label before you buy highly-processed vegetarian “fake meat” foods, since these are often as high in sodium—or higher in sodium—than their processed red meat counterparts.

5. Shift the balance of carbs and protein. Cutting back on highly processed carbohydrates and increasing protein improves levels of triglycerides and protective high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the bloodstream, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other type of cardiovascular disease. This shift may also make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs.

Tony

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Filed under Exercise, plant protein, protein, weight control

Meat, high protein diet linked to heart failure in older women – AHA

I feel strongly that the mantra eat less; move more; live longer is worthwhile. It seems that the American Heart Association (AHA) has a particular focus on eating less meats. While not a vegetarian, I have found that nuts and seeds offer an excellent and tasty alternative protein source. (See links at end of post)

    •    Postmenopausal women who follow a high-protein diet could be at higher risk of heart failure, especially if most of their protein comes from meat.
    •    Researchers combined dietary self-reports with biomarkers to determine actual dietary protein intake as self-reporting alone is often inaccurate.  

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Women over the age of 50 who follow a high-protein diet could be at higher risk for heart failure, especially if much of their protein comes from meat, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. Continue reading

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7 Brain Boosting Foods to Eat More Often

More useful info on keeping our brains intact along with our bodies.

brain

Tony

Our Better Health

Patricia Jurek, RD, MBA     May 3, 2016

For decades, scientists have viewed food as fuel, but the latest research suggests what you eat impacts your brain, too. In fact, study after study suggests adding certain foods to your plate can sharpen your mind, build new brain cells and may even help you remember where you left your keys.

With that in mind (pun intended), researchers at Rush University in Chicago developed the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, which is basically a combination of the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet. The main difference: MIND stresses the importance of brain-boosting power foods, including nuts, berries and fatty fish. And research shows it’s remarkably effective.

According to the study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, seniors who closely followed the MIND diet slashed their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by a whopping 53 percent. Even those who only did a…

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Top 10 Foods for a Better Mood

Lots of good suggestions here. I think this follows nicely on yesterday’s post about whether food can be both delicious and nutritious.

A couple of my personal favorites here include nuts and pumpkin seeds and cocoa nibs.

 

If it helps your mood it helps your brain.salmon

 

Tony

Our Better Health

Eat these “brain-healthy” foods to keep a positive mood and healthy mind.

Sep 15, 2015   Marlynn Wei, MD, PLLC

When was the last time your therapist or doctor asked you what you’re eating?

Food is important, not just for our physical health but also for our mind. It can be an excellent source of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. Growing research supports the theory that what we eat everyday can improve our mood and help with treating depression and anxiety. Nutritional psychiatry (or “food psychiatry”) is a new but growing field that is becoming mainstream.

Our Westernized, so-called “cafeteria” diet is calorie-loaded, nutrient-poor, and highly processed, resulting in extra calories without real nutrition. Animal studies have found that this type of food leads to higher anxiety and depression. Foods high in sugar, fat, and sodium are very addictive and especially comforting. In fact, evolution has probably set us up this…

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4 Health Benefits of Cashews

Our Better Health

By: Diana Herrington       March 12, 2016       Follow Diana at @DancinginLife

Cashews have a sweet aroma and a delicious taste. They are delightfully crunchy yet have a buttery texture.

This explains why these crescent-shaped nuts are found in so many exotic cuisines around the world. They add flavor, texture and nutrition to stir-fries, salads and curries. Cashews have become the third most consumed nut in the world.

4 Health Benefits of Cashews

1. Helps as an Anti-diabetic
Cashew extract has been found to be effective as an anti-diabetic according to a study at the University of Montreal (Canada) and the Université de Yaoundé (Cameroun). Diabetes affects almost 220 million people in the world and has been found to provoke heart and kidney problems.

2. Nutrients in Cashews Assists Memory
Cashews are particularly high in the nutrient PS (Phosphatidylserine), which studies have shown to help with…

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Are You Getting Enough Magnesium? – Infographic

Magnesium is one of those under-appreciated minerals that don’t get a lot of fanfare. However, as you can see from the infographic, it is a very valuable one.

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Here are some foods also add to your magnesium intake:

Are Pumpkin Seeds Good For You?

Raw cacao is the highest whole food source of magnesium
Why and How You Should Add Raw Cacao to Your Diet

Keen on Quinoa (keen-wa)

Tony

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Are Pistachios Good for You?

A reader sent in a comment on the food value of pistachios and also sent me some samples. I thought it was worth looking into them.

It turns out that pistachios have super health benefits.

Fresh pistachios isolated.

Fresh pistachios isolated on white.

Here’s what the Galvin Nussingten of Streetdirectory.com says about them, “Pistachios help your cells. That’s right! Your cells get tremendous benefits from the antioxidants in these nuts. It’s one of the reasons why eating lots of chocolate isn’t all that bad. You may not be aware, however, of how helpful antioxidants can be for fighting oxidative stress, which is known to cause cell structure damage. Because of this, antioxidants are incredibly important to your overall health. Did you know that Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s have been linked with a lack of antioxidants?”

I wrote about the value of antioxidants previously.

A brochure from Orandi Ranch states that a serving of pistachios has more antioxidants than red wine and blueberries combined.
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Eat This To Concentrate Better

There are lots of good suggestions here. As regular readers know, I am a big time fan of brain health, having both Alzheimer’s and dementia in my family.

Besides these healthy eating tips, check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits) for more on brain health.
Walnuts
Tony

Our Better Health

Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 11, 2013

Ginseng, Fish, Berries, or Caffeine?

Listen to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements, and you’ll believe they can do everything from sharpen focus to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.

But do they really work? There’s no denying that as we age, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain if you add “smart” foods and drinks to your diet.

Caffeine Can Make You More Alert

There’s no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter — but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize you and help you concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz, though the effects are short-term. And more is often less: Overdo it on…

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16 Reasons To GO NUTS For Nuts

Specifically, those who at nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.

nuts

 

Our Better Health

BY DR. RONALD HOFFMAN  NOVEMBER 29, 2013 

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine underscores the health benefits of nuts. Researchers followed over a hundred thousand men and women over several decades and concluded that eating nuts helped them stave off the Grim Reaper. Seven or more servings of nuts per week cut the risk of dying by a third! (“A serving” was defined as one ounce, which is about one handful of almonds.)

Specifically, those who at nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.

It’s long been known that nuts are heart-healthy. A now-famous study of…

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High Fiber Foods – Infographic

I love this utterly simple infographic. Nice reminder of how good for us some of these good-tasting foods are.

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Don’t be a triskaidekaphobic!

Wikipedia says, “Triskaidekaphobia (from Greek tris meaning “3”, kai meaning “and”, deka meaning “10” and phobos meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”) is fear of the number 13 and avoidance to use it; it is a superstition and related to the specific fear of the 13th person at the Last Supper being Judas, who was said to have stabbed Jesus Christ in the back (metaphorically). It is also a reason for the fear of Friday the 13th.”

Tony

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Nuts Offer Great Nutritional Benefits – Infographic

I am a great believer in eating nuts and seeds.

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Check out my posts to read further:

6 Reasons You Should Eat Pumpkin Seeds Year-Round
The Super Seeds: Which is Healthier?
What are the Top Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Dr. Oz on Chia Seeds and Green Tea
Are Chia Seeds Good for You?
Quinoa and Brown Rice – Seeds of Change
Are Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas) Good For You?

Tony

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The Best Foods for Body and Brain – Infographic

The principles of what to eat for better brain function are relevant to all of us. In the real world, we have pop quizzes every day of our life. They just don’t affect our grade point average any more.

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To read further on sleep check out:

Making Sleep Count
How Important is a Good Night’s Sleep?
16 Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep – Infographic
Defeat Insomnia and Sleep Easy with These Top Foods
How About 30 Insane Facts About Sleep? – Infographic

Stress is another subject I have written posts on:
Stress Will Kill You
9 Ways To Avoid Killer Stress
It’s Not Stress That Kills You: It’s How You Handle It
Stress: It Should Never be Ignored!
Super Tools for Handling Stress
Tony

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Survey: The 7 Biggest Diet Trends in 2015

There are tons of blogs out there that dish about healthy eating—and 42 percent of nutrition experts say that that’s where many of us are getting our health info. But many of those experts also say that not all of the blogs are giving out the right info, and there may be even more misinformation out there as the new year progresses. In fact, the majority of the experts surveyed say that there the wrong info found on nonprofessional websites may be more likely to lead to confusion. The upshot: When in doubt, ask a registered dietitian, who can provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate nutrition information.

Note for the record. This blog is written by a retired financial journalist who is now a health aficionado. I worked for Reuters for 20 years. I always source my posts and, when possible, also include links back to the original item. So, the observation about unprofessional websites does not apply here. 

Tony

 

 

Cooking with Kathy Man

This year’s “What’s Trending in Nutrition” Survey from Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian surveyed more than 500 dietitians to see what they think will be the biggest trends in the coming year—and here are a few of them.

1: Seeds and nuts.

54 percent of the surveyed dietitians said that these will be the go-to superfoods in 2015 (even though they acknowledged that kale, Greek yogurt, avocado, and coconut products—like coconut oil—will continue to see an upswing).

2: Anything but beef.

The nutrition experts suggested that fish and seafood, eggs, legumes and nuts, poultry, and dairy are the healthiest, most high-quality proteins (followed by soy). The nutrition pros think red meat is less healthy—most likely due to the saturated fat, cholesterol, and high environmental demands required to produce beef.

3: Going gluten-free.

The vast majority of dietitians think gluten- or wheat-free diets will continue to be a thing in 2015…

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Top 10 Foods That Burn Belly Fat – Infographic

On the premise that one picture is worth a thousand words, herewith a killer graphic on burning off your belly fat.

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Belly fat is no laughing matter at least to the possessor. To read further, check out:
What About Belly Fat – Central Obesity?
How Dangerous is a Big Belly?
What are the best and worst foods for belly fat?
How Bad is Extra Belly Fat?

Tony

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