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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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Health-Promoting Honey

Inside and Out, Honey Promotes Good Health

Using Honey to Promote Good Health

Honey helps to kill viruses and bacterial infections, especially when mixed and eaten with raw, minced ginger.
Honey boosts energy, reduces fatigue, stimulates mental alertness; honey strengthens immunity by providing minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants.
Help to preserve your eyesight by eating a spoonful of honey every day.
Honey alleviates sore throats, and is used as a natural replacement for cough syrup.
Honey helps to prevent heart disease by improving blood flow; honey protects your capillaries.
Reduce anxiety by using honey as a mild sedative; it promotes calmness and restful sleep.
Honey helps to adjust the human body’s alkalinity, thereby mitigating general interior inflammation.
Anti-cancer properties in honey inhibit the formation of tumors.
Honey helps to relieve indigestion and acid reflux; honey is instrumental in healing peptic ulcers.
Ingesting honey promotes the expulsion of parasites from the liver and colon.
Honey helps to control blood pressure.
Honey improves and promotes proper digestion with its natural enzymes.
Build immunity to hay fever by mixing honey and bee pollen; ingest this potion daily in advance of and during allergy-season.
Honey helps to quench thirst and alleviate heat-stroke.
Mitigate the effects of toxins in the human body by using honey in green tea.
Honey speeds metabolism, thereby stimulating weight-loss.
Drink a mixture of honey, lemon and warm water in the morning for a beneficial interior cleanse.
Honey aids the healing of diabetic ulcers with daily topical applications.
Relieve hangovers by eating honey in tea or mixed with raw ginger
Honey acts as a mild laxative; mixing it in a cup of hot tea enhances its efficacy .
Honey can reduce asthma symptoms when mixed with pepper and ginger.
Alleviate symptoms of hay fever by chewing on honeycomb.
Honey, a natural antibacterial, is used to cleanse wounds; rubbing it regularly on wounds promotes and accelerates healing.
Applying honey to healing wounds aids in preventing scars.
Sooth burns, disinfect wounds, reduce inflammation, and promote skin-healing with honey.
Scrub with honey to exfoliate facial skin and reduce wrinkles; apply lightly to soften dry, rough skin elsewhere.
Protect hair from split ends by using honey as a conditioner; adding honey to rinse-water promotes shine.
Honey makes a skin-friendly lip balm and is beneficial as a component of herbal cleansing-washes.
Helps to kill acne-causing bacteria and can reduce scarring, so rub some honey on acne at night to help heal while you sleep.
Adding a bit of honey softens hard bath-water.
Anti-fungal properties in honey help to resolve internal yeast-infections and athlete’s foot.
Honey protects internally and externally against pathogens such as Staphylococcus Aureus, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or “MRSA”.

Inspired by an article in Natural News, with thanks to Mike Adams, the Health Warrior

Dr. Mercola on the Benefits of Coconut Oil

Dr. Mercola Dr. Mercola
Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, Mercola.com. You can learn the hazardous side effects of OTC Remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page.

By Dr. Mercola

Many still believe that saturated fats like coconut oil are “fattening” and bad for your heart — a pervasive myth that began in 1953 following the publication of a seriously flawed study by Dr. Ancel Keys.

But the truth is, coconut oil is actually one of the healthiest oils you can consume, especially for cooking, which is why it is one of only two oils you’ll find a gallon container of in my kitchen.

Many are initially surprised when they learn coconut oil is actually good for you, but indeed it is — and it may even help you attain your weight loss goals as well.

Why is Your Waist Size so Important?

As you may know, your waist size is not only a matter of aesthetics, but also a powerful indicator of a build-up of visceral fat, a dangerous type of fat around your internal organs that is strongly linked with type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Your waist size is a far more accurate predictor of your heart risks than even your body mass index (BMI), Your waist size is also a powerful indicator of insulin sensitivity, as studies clearly show that measuring your waist size is one of the most powerful ways to predict your risk for diabetes.

If you want to determine if your waist size is in a healthy range, use a tape measure to figure the distance around the smallest area of your abdomen below your rib cage and above your belly button. Then compare your measurements to this general guide:

  • For men, between 37 and 40 inches is overweight and more than 40 inches is obese
  • For women, 31.5-34.6 inches is overweight and more than 34.6 inches is obese

Coconut Oil Shrinks Your Waist Size

When 20 obese men added coconut oil to their diets for four weeks, their waist circumferences got significantly smaller, with a mean reduction of 2.86 cm. Researchers noted:

“[Virgin coconut oil] is efficacious for WC [waist circumference] reduction especially in males and it is safe for use in humans.”

A similar 12-week-long study on women, published in the journal Lipids, also found that dietary supplementation with coconut oil may result in a reduction in waist circumference, among other benefits, compared to supplementing with soybean oil. Divided into two groups of 20 participants each, the women received a daily supplement of 30 ml (about two tablespoons) of either soybean oil or coconut oil. They also followed a balanced low-calorie diet, and walked for 50 minutes per day.  The end result?

The coconut oil group presented:

  • Increased levels of HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Decreased LDL/HDL ratio
  • Reduced waist circumference/abdominal obesity

The soybean oil group presented:

  • Increased total cholesterol
  • Increased LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • Increased LDL/HDL ratio
  • Decreased HDL (good cholesterol)
  • No reduction in waist circumference/abdominal obesity

Many of coconut oil’s benefits may be due to its content of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs, rather than the long chain fatty acids found in vegetable oils like soybean oil and animal fats such as lard. The authors concluded:

“It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia [an abnormal amount of cholesterol and/or fat in your blood] and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.”

Why Coconut Oil’s Medium-Chain Fatty Acids are so Good for You — and Your Weight

Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of healthy MCFAs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs. There are several reasons why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs in coconut oil: Additionally, many LCFAs are from genetically engineered vegetable oils that are loaded with omega-6 fats.  Not only do you want to avoid the genetically engineered foods, but even if they were organic these vegetable oils should be avoided as they are high processed and also distort you fragile omega 6/3 ratio.

  • LCFAs are difficult for your body to break down — they must be packaged with lipoproteins or carrier proteins and require special enzymes for digestion.
  • LCFAs put more strain on your pancreas, your liver and your entire digestive system.
  • LCFAs are predominantly stored in your body as fat.
  • LCFAs, when oxidized, can deposit within arteries, contributing to both blood vessel inflammation and plaque build-up.

On the other hand, the MCFAs in coconut oil are more health promoting, because:

  • MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require lipoproteins or special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
  • MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. This is especially important for those of you with digestive or metabolic concerns.
  • MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
  • MCFAs in coconut oil can actually help stimulate your body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss.

There are numerous studies showing that MCFAs promote weight loss, including one study that showed rats fed LCFAs stored body fat, while rats fed MCFAs reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Yet another study found that overweight men who ate a diet rich in MCFAs lost more fat tissue compared to those eating a high-LCFA diet, presumably due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation from the MCGA intake.

Researchers concluded:

“Thus, MCTs may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.”

Additionally, a very exciting discovery is that coconut oil may even serve as a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, as MCT’s are also a primary source of ketone bodies, which act as an alternate source of brain fuel that can help prevent the brain atrophy associated with dementia. Coconut oil is also rich in the medium-chain fatty acid derivative lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin — a compound also found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immunity and has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.

How Coconut Oil Was Miscast as a Dietary Villain

Saturated fat like coconut oil has been wrongfully vilified as the cause of high cholesterol and heart disease for the last 60 years, when in fact the converse was true all along. You can read the details of how this widely perpetuated myth became conventional medicine’s dietary dogma here, but basically it was spawned from a series of flawed studies that snowballed the theory out of control.

Coconut oil, in particular, continued to be demonized by the vegetable oil industry throughout the ensuing decades. The soybean industry was especially ruthless in their condemnation of the use of tropical oils, and I’m sure you realize the reason why – competition …  and millions and millions of dollars.

Unfortunately, the tropical oil industry, centered in poorer nations like the Philippines and Indonesia, could not afford to counter the negative propaganda spread by rich American industrial conglomerates. And in the United States coconut oil largely disappeared from the radar, except among small groups of health-seekers who had examined the research for themselves and/or experienced positive results firsthand.

Through it all, however, the healing properties of coconut oil were apparent for anyone who was willing to see them. Back in the 1930’s, a dentist named Dr. Weston Price traveled throughout the South Pacific, examining traditional diets and their effect on dental and overall health. He found that those who consumed diets high in coconut products were healthy and trim, despite the high fat concentration in their diet.

Similarly, in 1981, researchers studied populations of two Polynesian atolls. Coconut was the chief source of caloric energy in both groups. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated that both populations exhibited positive vascular health. There was no evidence that the high saturated fat intake had a harmful effect in these populations.

Why Coconut Oil is the Superior Choice for Cooking

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, using coconut oil as your primary cooking oil is important because it is the only one that is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. Extra-virgin olive oil, while great as a salad dressing or for other non-heated uses, should not be used for cooking. Due to its chemical structure (it’s one double carbon bond per fatty acid), heat makes it susceptible to oxidative damage.

And polyunsaturated fats, which include common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola, are absolutely the worst oils to use in cooking. These omega-6 oils are highly susceptible to heat damage because of their multiple double bonds.

Coconut oil is far superior to any other cooking oil and is loaded with health benefits, not to mention flavor. Make sure you choose an organic coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and does not contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Dr. Mercola Dr. Mercola
Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, Mercola.com. You can learn the hazardous side effects of OTC Remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page.
Source:  Green Med Info

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The Health-Benefits of Red or Purple Cabbage

Health-Benefits of Red Cabbage
The Elegant Purple Cabbage is Brilliant in a Fresh Salad

The deep colour of red or purple cabbage is caused by a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, giving it significantly more phytonutrients than green cabbage. Anthocyanin pigments are strong dietary antioxidants, and possess anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that they can play a role in protecting the human body from cancer and other degenerative diseases.

100 grams (about 3 ounces) of raw purple cabbage can contain as much as  196.5 milligrams of polyphenols, of which 28.3 milligrams are anthocyanins (deep red, blue and purple pigments found in plants). Green cabbage contains a comparatively low 45 milligrams of polyphenols, which include less than one milligram of anthocyanins. The “vitamin C equivalent,” which represents the antioxidant quotient of red or purple cabbage, is roughly eight times higher than that of green cabbage. Red cabbage is one of the most nutritious and potentially best-tasting vegetables on planet Earth. Shredded thinly and marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, eating red cabbage is a powerful health-tonic. In my photograph of a purple cabbage salad, I have added yellow pear tomatoes and feta cheese to it for a colourful and nutritious dish.

Easy to grow, red or purple cabbage will continue to thrive until the garden has suffered many deep-frost nights.

©M-J de Mesterton

Red Cabbage Growing in the Kitchen Garden
Purple Cabbage in the Late-Autumn Garden
Raw Red Cabbage
Purple Cabbage, Grown at Home, by M-J de Mesterton

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