The Wonderful Walnut

Walnuts Promote Good Health

Walnuts Help to Prevent Osteoporosis, Prostate and Breast Cancers; Walnuts Can Lower Your Levels of Bad Cholesterol and Promote a Healthy Heart

The following information was captured from California Walnut Growers, circa 2007 (the roguish FDA prohibits them from advertising the health-benefits of Walnuts–read the latest about walnuts at NaturalNews.com). Walnuts and other tree nuts and peanuts were recently ranked using the Index of Nutritional Quality (INQ) nutrient testing system at the Food Consulting Company of Del Mar, California [i]. According to Karen Duester, MS, RD who conducted the test, “Not surprisingly, walnuts ranked highest among the nuts in INQ. Because INQ relates to nutrient density, we looked at specific nutrients known to be abundant in nuts and peanuts: protein, fiber, omega-3, omega-6, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.”

On another independent scale, the Overall Nutritional Quality Index (ONQI)[ii] ranking system to be used by the Raley’s grocery chain, walnuts received 82 points on a 100 point scale, an excellent score among foods and nuts [iii]. According to David Katz, MD, MPH a nationally renowned authority on nutrition and the principal inventor for the ONQI system, “When overall nutritional quality is assessed, the verdict is clear: walnuts are a great food — they pack a lot of nutrient benefits in a nutshell!”
Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University and a member of the Hannaford Scientific Advisory Panel explains, “Walnuts are a whole food rich in antioxidants, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid, protein, fiber, and more. Whole walnuts receive the ‘best nutritional value’ three star ranking (the highest) due to their nutrient profile.”
Walnuts have nutritional qualities that are very important. One of the richest sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), the plant form of Omega-3, walnuts are unique among nuts and popular whole foods [v]. A one ounce serving of walnuts provides 2.57 grams of ALA, the plant form omega-3s, which is above the dietary reference intake (DRI) set by the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine. Walnuts are also one of the highest natural sources of antioxidants, according to Halvorsen’s study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006 [vi].
15 years of clinical research on walnuts have shown benefits for the heart, and we’re not just talking about cholesterol reduction — improved vascular function and a reduction in inflammation have also been documented [vii-xii]. Looking to the future and expanding on this base of knowledge, research is underway at a variety of prestigious universities looking into cancer, diabetes and issues of ageing.
[vi] Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):95-135
  “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
[viii]   Circulation. 2002 Nov 19;106(21):2747-57
[ix]     Hypertension. 2007 Aug;50(2):313-9
[x]     J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71
[xi]    Arch Intern Med. 2007 Jun 11;167(11):1195-203.
[xii] Ann Intern Med. 2006 Jul 4;145(1):1-11

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Walnuts

How do Omega-3s work?
Inside your favorite kinds of nuts — walnuts, almonds, pecans and others — you’ll find many vitamins, minerals and other compounds your body needs for good health. There are the antioxidants found in vitamin E; several essential minerals such as magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese; and even fiber for more effective digestion. Thiamin, niacin, folate, phosphorus and zinc are all found in nuts.
Researchers believe that omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the risk of heart disease by making the blood less sticky and less likely to form dangerous intravenous or arterial clots. Studies have also shown that omega-3s may lower the risk of stroke and prevent arthritis. In addition, there’s good evidence that omega-3s can increase HDL (good cholesterol), further reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The omega-3s found in fish oil are thought to be responsible for the significantly lower incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women as compared to women in the United States. This may be because omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the tumor growth that is promoted by the acids found in other fats, such as corn and safflower oils.
Finally, the brain itself is composed of a whopping 60 percent fat. It too needs omega-3s to help build and maintain tissue. Brain function itself may be at stake: in treating major depression, for example, omega-3s seem to work by making it easier for brain cell receptors to process mood-related signals from neighboring neurons.
What are good sources of omega-3s?
Omega-3 fatty acids are plentiful in cold-water fish such as mackerel and salmon. They’re also found in walnuts, canola oil, soybean oil, tofu and leafy green vegetables. Which would you rather sprinkle on your morning cereal or grab for a nutritious snack?

Walnuts are a delectable, convenient alternative to fish, tofu and leafy greens. In fact, just a handful of walnuts provides as much omega-3s as a comparable serving of salmon.

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Yams and Sweet Potatoes: Versatile, Health-Promoting Vegetables

Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Eating yams or sweet potatoes every day is believed to be one of the reasons  the people of Okinawa, Japan, have the longest average life expectancy in the world.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the yam is “neutral” in nature–somewhere between yin and yang. Its properties can help to tranquilise the mind, preserve youthful skin, nourish the spleen, stomach, kidneys, aid in digestion, and contribute to a feeling of fullness, something that can aid both dieters and poor people.

Yams contain vitamin B6, which can soothe the mind as well as boost immunity. Rich in linoleic acid and fibre, yams not only help to alleviate constipation, but can also reduce cholesterol build-up blood vessels, a process which helps prevent arteriosclerosis and thrombosis.

The yam is rich in protein, vitamins A , E and C, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Although its vitamin B1 and B2 content is six and three times higher than that of rice respectively, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of yams produce only 99 calories, a one-third the amount that rice contains. Because yams are alkaline foods, they can help decrease body fat. Acid foods lead to fat-storage in the human body. Yams and sweet potatoes also contain lycopene, which is believed to help prevent prostate cancer. A hormone-like, anti-inflammatory  compound called dioscin exists in both yams and sweet potatoes, as well as vitamin C and carotenoids.

Sweet potatoes and yams have the same qualities, even though they are from different families, so substituting the root-vegetable known as sweet potato for yams is perfectly acceptable and will yield the same health-results when eaten. If the yam or sweet potato is too sweet for your liking, there are several ways to incorporate them into your diet that will make them seem less so. For example, a well-scrubbed yam may be chopped into matchsticks or slivers, fibrous skin and all, and added to a stir-fry. Adding soy sauce to sweet potatoes and yams will give them a more balanced taste. Soaking them in Himalayan salt solution will also do wonders for the flavour of sweet potatoes and yams.

The shirataki noodle, which contains soya and yam flour, is considered an excellent weight-loss food because it is low in carbohydrates while being high in glucomannan, a high-quality fibre (fiber).

A stir-fried dish of shirataki noodles, yams, onions, ginger, pineapple and peanuts is pictured here in a previous post at Elegant Survival News.

~~M-J de Mesterton, January 2nd 2010

Cholesterol and Fat are Good for You; Statin Drugs Not so Good

Cornish Pasty--Eat Hearty, Lads and Lassies!

M-J’s Book Recommendation, found at Amazon.com

Fat and Cholesterol are GOOD for You! by Uffe Ravnskov


Do you know
…what REALLY causes heart disease?
…that heart patients haven’t eaten more saturated fat than other people and stroke patients have eaten less?
…that diabetics may be cured if they replace carbohydrates with saturated fat?
…that people with low cholesterol become just as atherosclerotic as people with high?
…that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for women or diabetics?
…that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for old people although by far most heart attacks occur after age 65?
…that old people with high cholesterol live longer than old people with low?
…that the lipoproteins protect us against infectious diseases and probably also against cancer? The author is a scientist himself and has published more than 80 papers and letters in the scientific press critical to the cholesterol campaign, for which he has won two international awards. In his new book, which includes updated and simplified sections from his previous one (The Cholesterol Myths), Ravnskov also presents his own idea about the cause of heart disease, an idea that explains all the findings that do not fit with the present view.
Did you know?…that cholesterol is not a deadly poison, but a substance vital to the cells of all mammals?

…that your body produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat?

…that the internal production increases when you eat only small amounts of cholesterol and decreases when you eat large amounts?

…that heart patients haven’t eaten more saturated fat than other people?

…that stroke patients have eaten less?

…that people with low cholesterol become just as atherosclerotic as people with high?

…that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for women?

…that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for old people although by far most heart attacks occur after age 65?

…that many of the cholesterol-lowering drugs are dan¬gerous to your health and may shorten your life?

…that the cholesterol campaign creates immense prosperity for researchers, doctors, medical journals, drug producers and the food industry?

Read the entire analysis!


Product Details

Author: Uffe Ravnskov

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: GB Publishing (January 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 919755538X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9197555388
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

M-J’s Winter Health Smoothie

cropped-aeedd-elegant_smoothie_winter_health_copyright_de_mesterton.jpg

Green_Smoothie_M-J_de_Mesterton_Recipes
One half-cup of water, one fourth-cup of lemon juice, one jalapeño or serrano pepper (roasted, pickled or fresh), two stalks of celery, one-half of a cucumber, one tablespoon of thick yoghurt or one half-cup of buttermilk, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of parsley, all whirled in a blender till smooth. Add water if necessary for processing.

big grinCopyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

Pistachio, Magic Nut from the Near East

In honor of National Pistachio Day, here is a piece I wrote about the magic nut two years ago:

Pistachios are the new health nut. Research from the University of Toronto shows that they may reduce the risk of diabetes by decreasing the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. “Pistachios are high in protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated fat,” explains study author Cyril Kendall, PhD, “all of which contribute to the slowing of carbohydrate absorption in the body.”

Pistachios are delicious roasted and salted, as well as in desserts and pastries. In the U.S., pistachio-studded halvah was once only available in Brooklyn’s Middle Eastern neighborhood–I used to buy it on the famous Atlantic Avenue–but it can now be found at markets around the U.S. Of course, the ever-popular baklava-type pastries from Turkey and Persia, where pistachios originate, usually contain them mixed with aromatic honey.

Research has shown that eating 2 to 3 ounces of pistachios a day can help significantly raise your level of good cholesterol (HDL). Pistachios are full of vitamin B6 and copper, too, which help to increase your energy.

Pistachios salted and unshelled are available at a good price from Sam’s Club. I cannot remember the brand-name–it could be Sunkist–in any case, they are Californian. They’re delightfully easy to eat as a snack, and most welcome on party buffets. For baking, try to find unsalted varieties of these magic nuts.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2007

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