“The study also found that the nut has up to 15 times more antioxidant potency than vitamin E, an oil known for its strong antioxidant effects.” Dr. Edward Group
I went down into the grove of nut trees and out to the valley to see the new growth brought on by spring. (Sol. 6:11a; NLT)
Some might call the Graham household “The Nut House.” We eat a lot of nuts. We munch on them for snacks and they usually find their way into an everyday salad, no matter a green salad or a fruit salad.
Nuts have been mistakenly maligned as high in calories and fat, thus causing many to avoid them as they think the nuts will expand their waistline. However, sound nutritional science proves otherwise. Science Daily published a study in March of this year purporting that walnuts take the number ONE slot among Mother Nature’s most nearly perfect packaged foods of tree nuts.
“Scientists presented an analysis showing that walnuts have a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut,” the article read. Joe Vinson, Ph.D who did the analysis said, “A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut.”
That’s a profound statement. Vinson analyzed the antioxidants in nine different types of nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (or filberts), macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. He discovered the highest amount of antioxidants in the walnuts. Another point of interest is that people usually eat walnuts in their raw state as opposed to being roasted, such as roasted almonds or cashews. Roasted nuts will decrease the amount of antioxidants in the nuts and raw nuts will contain higher amounts of antioxidants.
Walnuts are also known as the quintessential brain food. Don’t you love the fact that when you look at a walnut half, it looks like the human brain? I call that a God-wink! So, we know that walnuts nourish the brain, provide heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, are a good source of fiber, and help make us feel full and satisfied. Now, we know they’re high in antioxidants as well, which can be another weapon in our arsenal to help us age well.
For the best way to prepare walnuts for eating, see my Daily Gram about how to make nuts easier to digest. You’ll be amazed at the superior taste the soaking and drying brings out in the nuts.
Father, thank You for providing such a nutrient dense and rich tasting food for us.
Link of the Day
What’s New and Beneficial about Walnuts
Photo by Sharon
“The hippocampus is known to shrink in late adulthood, leading to memory impairment.” Eryn Brown LATimes
This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. (2 Peter 3:1; NLT)
During my growing up years, I would hear my mother comment about someone having a “big head.” She was referring to someone being rather conceited and thinking quite highly of themselves. So, it was never a positive thing in my mind to have a big head.
Today’s link reveals quite a different story. A part of the brain called the hippocampus is responsible for memory and spatial navigation (how our brain navigates through various processes). As we age, the hippocampus typically decreases or shrinks in size. (Not a nice sight when you picture it.) So, along with that shrinking hippocampus comes loss of memory and the ability to process events and situations.
However, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published results of research done by scientists at several universities proving that aerobic exercise can actually increase the size of the hippocampus! The study used 120 adults aged 55 to 80 who didn’t exercise on a routine basis.
Half of the adults were assigned randomly to a program of walking around a track 3 days a week for 40 minutes at a time. The other half was instructed in a stretching and weights program. Both groups were monitored and coached during the study. Blood samples and MRI’s were done at the commencement of the program, midway through and at the end.
“The group doing aerobic exercise had increases in hippocampus volume: up 2.12 % in the left hippocampus, and 1.97% in the right hippocampus. The stretching group, on the other hand, had decreased hippocampus volume: down 1.40% on the left and 1.43% on the right.”
We can gather from this study that beginning an exercise routine later in life is not an exercise in futility. It’s never too late to get healthy. And who knows you might just end up with a Big Head!
Father thank You for designing our bodies for movement. Bless our readers with healthy brains and good memories.
Link of the Day
Aerobic exercise can increase brain size
Photo by Mr. T in DC
“Obesity is now the leading preventable cause of death in America by some estimates. Others call the leading cause of death, ‘dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risks,’ but this is really just a politically correct way to say obesity. The prevalence of obesity in United States is skyrocketing.” Ed Pullen, M.D.
The dagger went so deep that the handle disappeared beneath the king’s fat. So Ehud left the dagger in, and the king’s bowels emptied. (Judges 3:22; NLT)
We read about it and hear about it every day. Americans are overweight and obese. No new news there. We also hear about the latest fads to “lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” There are no magic pills…but there are some rather magical bullets that we can load into our weight loss guns. Here are five easy things if employed will create an atmosphere for your body to shed unwanted fat.
Warning: They’re easy to do…and they’re easy NOT to do. But if you want to take responsibility for your own health, then I’m confident you’ll make the right choice.
- Cut out gluten. I’ve written several articles on the down side of eating gluten. Gluten sensitivity is becoming epidemically common. Even if you don’t think you have a problem eating gluten containing foods, I would challenge you to avoid all gluten for 30 days and see what you notice. You may have amazing energy along with a surprising decrease in tummy flab.
- Eat more vegetables. You hear this mantra several times a day. But it’s true! Rare is the person who is eating too many vegetables. Think of eating vegetables at every meal. Be willing to open your mind to a variety of breakfast foods other than gluten-containing, fat-making, sugar-laden cereals and pastries. Sauté onions, peppers, squash and mushrooms in a small amount of coconut oil and then add a couple of eggs and cook lightly.
- Decrease the sugar. Most everyone knows they eat too much sugar. Sugar turns to fat making YOU fat. Sugar is in nearly all processed, packaged foods in some form. The absolute worst form is high fructose corn syrup. Not only is it a killer, literally, many believe it is the one “food” that is totally responsible for the obesity epidemic. Buy food in its natural state. If you want something sweet eat an apple, a pear, an orange, or some grapes.
- Consume healthy fats. Wait a minute…doesn’t fat make me fat, you ask? Certain fats like Trans fats found in margarine, fried foods, and many packaged foods do make us fat. However, good healthy fats provided for us by God actually help us to burn fat more efficiently, thus making us a more comfortable size. Think avocadoes, raw walnuts, almonds, pecans, eggs, olives, and coconut.
- Say NO to artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are no friend to anyone wanting to lose fat, contrary to media hype and dietitian dogma. Artificial sweeteners trick the brain into wanting more and more sweet foods and they actually cause the body to store fat due to the effect they have on insulin and other hormonal levels. No one will ever reach and maintain healthy weight loss using artificial sweeteners.
Father, we pray blessings and protection on our readers.
Link of the Day
Scary: State-by-State Maps Show Obesity’s Sudden Rise
Photo by Andy Fell
“Sleep deprivation has also been found to increase levels of stress hormones and resistance to insulin, both of which also contribute to weight gain. Insulin resistance can also lead type 2 diabetes.” Julia Layton
I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep without fear. (Lev. 25:6; NLT)
If you’re one of the millions of people on a weight and fat loss and fitness program, your pillow could be one of your very best friends! A study done by the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that people who don’t get at least eight hours of sleep per night when doing a weight-loss program could very well be undermining their fat loss efforts.
The study included men and women on the same calorie-restriction diet who had 8.5 hours of sleep per night for the first week. The second week, they got 5.5 hours of sleep per night. Even though the subjects lost the same amount of pounds each week, in the second (sleep deprived) week they lost more weight from muscle mass and not fat! So, they burned their muscle mass instead of fat just by sleeping less!
So if someone is serious about losing fat and they’re working out and eating low glycemic, clean, healthy foods but only getting 5 to 6 hours of sleep per night, they are essentially sabotaging their weight loss efforts in a big way. The body needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night to function effectively on all fronts. However, it now appears to be imperative for losing weight.
In doing research for this article I came across an older but compelling study. “In a study involving 9,000 people between 1982 and 1984, researchers found that people who averaged six hours of sleep per night were 27 percent more likely to be overweight than their seven-to-nine hour counterparts; and those averaging five hours of sleep per night were 73 percent more likely to be overweight.”
So, it’s not new that people who get less than adequate sleep tend to be overweight. But the new news is that muscle is being burned instead of fat in those who get 5 to 6 hours of sleep. The most common reason for this phenomenon is how hormone levels are affected by lack of sleep. Bottom line health tip: get ample shut eye for a healthy, lean body!
Father, thank you for the ability to rest, relax and sleep and replenish our bodies.
Link of the Day
Is a Lack of Sleep Making Me Fat?
Photo by cathyse97
“Egg Beaters, if you’re not familiar, are egg whites with a ‘bonus’, in a milk carton, courtesy of Con Agra Foods.” Fooducate.com/blog
People complain when there is no salt in their food. And how tasteless is the uncooked white of an egg. (Job 6:6; NLT)
I’ve never bought a box of Egg Beaters. Nor have I ever eaten them — to my knowledge. However, I hear many people talk about making and eating Egg Beater omelets. I’ve often written about the many healthful benefits of eating the whole, entire egg. I coach my clients to eat eggs. I educate, and hopefully help to dispel the myths and lies that they’ve heard and believed about eggs. Eating the whole egg does NOT elevate cholesterol levels.
Anyway, I recently ran across an article by Dr. Allen Spreen entitled, “The real truth about Egg Beaters.” Great article! You can read it in its entirety in today’s link. Essentially, Dr. Spreen tells of a study done thirty years ago (I had no idea that Egg Beaters had been around that long) feeding one group of rats Egg Beaters and another group of rats whole eggs.
Can you guess the results? You’re smart! I know that you can. After six weeks, the rats fed Egg Beaters looked scrawny, malnourished, and stunted. They actually developed many abnormalities and all died long before maturity!
The rats that were fed fresh eggs grew into perfect specimens of health! Dr. Spreen said that the pictures of the two groups of rats showed a startling contrast.
Another article I read actually contrasted ingredients. Eggs contain one ingredient: EGGS. According to the article, Egg Beaters contain 20 ingredients: Egg Whites, Less than 1%: Natural Flavor, Color (Includes Beta Carotene), Spices, Salt, Onion Powder, Vegetable Gums (Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum), Maltodextrin. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Sulfate, Iron (Ferric Phosphate), Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol Acetate), Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3.
Very interesting! I guess Con Agra believes they can improve on Mother Nature. Since the egg yolk was removed, added synthetic ingredients had to be added to give flavor and nutrients to the neutered product. Folks, support your local chickens and leave the cartons on the shelves. Your body will thank you!
Father, we are so grateful for Your provision for us in healthy eggs.
Link of the Day
Photo by hoill
“Of course it’s also a lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a potato or carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, silent as stroke victims, while a few aisles over, the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms are screaming about their newfound whole-grain goodness.” Michael Pollan
Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites trouble. (Prov. 10:14, NLT)
Most of us want to be well and healthy. We work hard to take care of the only body we’ll ever have. I focus on bringing information to our readers that fosters health and wellness. And hopefully we don’t consciously do things that will promote sickness.
The following are a few things that actually undermine one’s health. So, if you want to stay healthy, then do the opposite of these suggestions.
Eat a really low fat or no fat diet. Foods that have the “good” fats removed are higher in refined, processed carbohydrates, which in turn elevates blood sugar and triglyceride levels and causes inflammation in the body. Our bodies need healthy fats such as those found in avocadoes, walnuts, and coconut oil.
Go to bed after midnight. Substantial research through the years has indicated that the earlier one goes to sleep each night, the healthier they will be in the long run. The more hours you can sleep before midnight, the happier your body and it’s hormones will be.
Eat lots of grains and cereals. Processed, packaged cereals are one of this country’s greatest obsessions. Children and teens are addicted to cereals. Grains, especially gluten containing wheat, elevates blood sugar levels, contributes to inflammation in the body, and is one of the biggest obesity causing foods people eat every day.
Take only the recommended amount of vitamin D per day, 600 IU’s. Nearly every week I have a client tell me that their vitamin D level is low. Taking only the recommended amount will never get anyone’s vitamin D levels to the acceptable range of 80 to 100 ng/mL.
Don’t take any vitamins or food supplements. Another substantiated fact is that no one can get all of the nutrients needed for life and health strictly from their food supply. The nutrients aren’t in the soil, thus the nutrients aren’t in the food. So to rely on our food to supply all of one’s vitamins and minerals is a sure way to bring on disease.
Father, thank you for wisdom and clarity of mind. Bless all of our readers with knowledge and understanding.
Link of the Day
A gluten-free diet can help anyone
Photo by paulswansen
“When tea leaves are turned to instant iced tea preparations, they are exposed to low pressure before being freeze dried and finally powdered-if it sounds like a fairly processed drink in the end, that’s because it is.” Kimberley Stakal
Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life forevermore. (Psa. 133:3; NLT)
As I was driving home from an appointment today I stopped at a red light. As I took a gulp of water from my glass water bottle, I looked in the rear-view mirror to see the woman behind me take swig of her bottled iced tea. Since I’m a water drinker and also a health coach, I notice what people drink.
Imagine my surprise when only moments later I saw an article on my smart phone about the dangers of drinking iced tea mixes! After reading the article, I felt it noteworthy to share with our readers. Not being an iced tea drinker myself I had no idea what was in those mixes. (Sure, I grew up drinking sugary, iced tea that we made from scratch but haven’t had any for many years now.)
Kimberley Stakal says in her article, “Researchers have found that instant iced tea mixes, unlike freshly brewed teas, contain little to no antioxidants in their chemical makeup. What they found these commercial drinks to contain, however, are things we aren’t so sure we want to be drinking: Fluoride, artificial sweeteners and the potentially dangerous preservative BHT.”
Hmmm…not so good. So, there are very few good properties in the mixes but there are some things that any health conscious person wouldn’t want to consume. Dangerously high levels of fluoride are one thing. The EPA’s limit for acceptable fluoride is 4ppm (one wonders about any organization that allows acceptable limits of fluoride in anything). However, in some of the iced tea mixes they learned the amount was as high as 6.5ppm. Hmmm…not so good.
Other lurking ingredients one would want to reconsider ingesting are artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium along with the controversial preservative BHA. BHA, with its own dark side, is used to keep foods “fresh.” It’s correlated to organ toxicity, specifically the thyroid, liver, and kidneys. Hmmm…not so good.
Following is an ingredients label from the original article.
CITRIC ACID, MALTODEXTRIN, INSTANT TEA, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, ASPARTAME, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL FLAVOR, MAGNESIUM OXIDE, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, RED 40 LAKE, RED 40, YELLOW 6 LAKE, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1 LAKE, BHA (PRESERVES FRESHNESS) Hmmm…not so good!
If you really have a hankering for iced tea, be creative and brew it the old-fashioned way with tea bags or tea leaves and water. Use some stevia to sweeten.
Father, thank You for Your love and care for us!
Link of the Day
Instant Iced Tea: A Refreshing Glass of Potential Dangers
Photo by gordasm