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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Health Nut

UPDATE: 3 August 2011.  From Italy.  Cashews make great gravy by the way.
Health properties of nuts
Nuts are one of the very best natural nutritious foods available anywhere
by S. C.
Nuts are among the greatest natural foods we can eat, besides, so being called a ‘nut’ is quite alright.

What are the best nuts to eat if you want to incorporate them into your daily diet? They are all good for you, but some are better than others. They also vary a great deal in price so knowing the nutritional value should help when you are at the market picking up your weekly supply.

In general, nuts provide you with essential proteins and unsaturated fats, which helps to regulate your cholesterol levels and increase fiber. There is no better food available for pure and digestible protein. They need no cooking or preparation. Simply eat them in their natural form for terrific results.
The very best of the nuts is the walnut. They are usually available all year as they keep well when they are harvested, usually in winter months. Walnuts come in two varieties. The more commonly available type is English walnuts. The other is the black walnut, grown only in select locations and available in chopped or crushed form and is used in baking and cooking. The black walnut is considerably more expensive as it is rarer, harder to process, and has a unique flavor. If you have ever consumed black walnut ice cream you have had a taste of the unusual and delicious flavor.

The next best on the list is almonds. An almond is sweet and can be eaten alone or added to baking or cooking a variety of foods. Almonds can be purchased whole, sliced, crushed, and you can choose raw, roasted, and salted or unsalted. They contain manganese, B2, vitamin E, and copper among other things, and are helpful in lowering your bad cholesterol levels. The raw form is best, of course, but any way you eat these will give you a boost in nutrients.

Cashews are delicious and have a creamy taste and texture. They can be bought raw or roasted and salted. Just a quarter cup of cashews provides 196 calories and is lower in fat than other nut varieties. They have the same type fat found in the mother of healthy foods - olive oil. Next time someone calls you a ‘nut’ you might want to thank them now that you know how valuable they are.

by S. C.
01 August 2011 Teatro Naturale International n. 8 Year 3

Original post -

Make sure when eating walnuts you are using about one-fourth cup as a serving and that they are raw; organic nuts are always the best choice. Too many, however, can possibly suppress thyroid function.

Walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.

More about walnuts

Nutritional Data
Walnuts may prevent breast cancer
Eating walnuts may help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, research suggests.

The nuts contain ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols that may all reduce the risk of the disease.

Mice fed the human equivalent of two ounces (56.7g) of walnuts per day developed fewer and smaller tumours.

The US study was presented to the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.

“ We know that a healthy balanced diet - rich in fruit and vegetables - plays an important part in reducing the risk of many types of cancer ”
Josephine Querido Cancer Research UK

Researcher Dr Elaine Hardman, of Marshall University School of Medicine, said although the study was carried out in mice, the beneficial effect of walnuts was likely to apply to humans too.

She said: "We know that a healthy diet overall prevents all manner of chronic diseases."

"It is clear that walnuts contribute to a healthy diet that can reduce breast cancer."

Previous research has suggested eating walnuts at the end of a meal may help cut the damage that fatty food can do to the arteries.

It is thought that the nuts are rich in compounds that reduce hardening of the arteries, and keep them flexible.

In the latest study mice were either fed a standard diet, or the walnut-based diet.

The animals fed walnuts developed fewer tumours, and those that did arise took longer to develop and were smaller.

Molecular analysis showed that omega-3 fatty acids played a key role - but other parts of the walnut contributed as well.

Nutritional value

Anna Denny, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, said evidence for nuts reducing the risk of heart disease was currently stronger than it was for their anti-cancer properties.

She said: "Although nuts are high in fat (and thus calories), the fatty acids in nuts are predominantly 'good' unsaturated fatty acids.

"Other additional components of nuts that may contribute to a reduction in heart disease and cancer risk include fibre and 'bioactive' compounds.

"Among the many bioactive compounds found in nuts are phytosterols and flavonoids.

"More research is needed before it will be possible to attribute specific health benefits of nuts to specific bioactive compounds because nuts contain a complex mixture of different bioactive compounds."

Josephine Querido, of the charity Cancer Research UK said there was insufficient evidence to show that eating walnuts could prevent breast cancer in humans.

She said: "We know that a healthy balanced diet - rich in fruit and vegetables - plays an important part in reducing the risk of many types of cancer.

"The strongest risk factor for breast cancer is age - 80% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50 so attending screening is important.

"Making lifestyle changes, such as keeping a healthy body weight, limiting alcohol intake and taking regular exercise, can also help reduce breast cancer risk."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/04/22 00:47:06 GMT © BBC MMIX

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