March on out to the market and procure some raw Spanish peanuts. Spanish peanuts are good for you. Their skins contain oligomeric procyanidins, or OPCs, which strengthen capillaries and help to prevent varicose veins. Pycnogenol is another source of OPCs, but if you’re not unfortunate enough to be allergic to the mighty peanut, you can get your daily dose of them in a delicious way. Here is my own recipe for healthful version of Spanish peanuts: Soak raw Spanish peanuts just until they are all wet, in brine made with your preferred salt. Arrange the wet nuts on a baking sheet (avoid aluminum pans). Roast in a medium oven till they look brown–about 45 minutes. Wait until the Spanish peanuts are completely cool before testing. They ought to be crunchy, and if they aren’t, just put them back in the oven for ten more minutes. I served these at a recent party, and they were a big hit.
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.
Blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, are high in fiber and low in calories. The USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) has ranked blueberries at the very top of antioxidant activity within a range of forty-one fruits and vegetables.
Blueberries are rich in natural health-enhancers, including vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. They also have many antioxidant properties, and help in the prevention of:
Blueberries have recently acquired a reputation for enhancing one’s cardiovascular health, and their antioxidants naturally help in the prevention of cancer. Recent research has added to the blueberry’s list of powerful properties.
Metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes, is exhibited in those with a particular combination of health anomalies, including larger-than-normal amounts of abdominal fat, elevated blood-sugar, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. Together, those conditions are likely to cause diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Laboratory-rats that for 90 days consumed blueberry-enriched powder as two percent of their diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity than the control-group, who had no blueberry component in their diets.
Blueberry ingestion was determined to have a positive affect on specific genes related to fat-burning and fat-storage. Where muscle tissue is concerned, alterations in genes related to glucose-uptake were discovered to have been caused by the intake of blueberries.
Research also indicated that “metabolic syndrome” is caused not only by abdominal fat, as previously believed by the medical industry, but by insulin resistance in one’s skeletal muscle system, an anomaly which alters energy-storage and causes metabolic syndrome.
Eating blueberries can help to prevent insulin-resistance, lower the related belly-fat, reduce cholesterol levels, and its numerous antioxidants can help to stave-off age-related brain disorders.
Blueberries contain an antioxidant compound called pterostilbene, a compound similar to resveratrol, which has been found to reduce cholesterol as well as dangerous prescription drugs.
Just as dried cherries do, blueberries, when added to ground beef before cooking, help reduce the formation of cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA).
In Europe, the bilberry has most of the same properties as the blueberry. One of the many things they have in common is anthocyanin, the substance that makes them blue, which is beneficial to the cardiovascular system and is believed to lower blood-pressure. Bilberries have been used to enhance eyesight since World War 11, when pilots who ate bilberry jam attributed their improved night-vision to the tiny fruit. Bilberries are also said to aid in relief of varicose veins and gum-disease as they promote healthy circulation. Caution must be taken with bilberries by those who are taking blood-thinnning drugs, as they are a natural blood-thinner.
Blueberries can be added to a morning smoothie that you make with yogurt in a blender, together with whatever other fruits you have in stock. Frozen blueberries can be much less expensive than fresh ones, easier to store, and retain most of their antioxidant properties. When used in a smoothie, frozen blueberries make it ice-cold (see my photograph). This preparation makes a health-promoting breakfast, and is delicious as well. Staying well is the best thing you can do in this ailing world.
Causes of abdominal tenderness include a variety of gastrointestinal issues, injuries to the area, and organ-related conditions. Treatment varies depending on the cause. Learn more about abdominal tenderness here.
Common causes of facial pain include headaches and injuries. However, facial pain can also result from dental problems, infections, and nerve disorders. People who experience severe, recurring, or persistent facial pain should see a doctor. Learn more here.
There are many possible causes of pain at the big toe joint, including osteoarthritis, gout, and injuries. This pain can sometimes make it difficult for a person to walk, but most underlying causes are treatable. Learn more about pain at the big toe joint, including treatment, prevention, and when to see a doctor.
There are many possible causes of hip pain. However, gently stretching and exercising the hips can often help relieve this pain. In this article, we describe 14 hip exercises that can strengthen the muscles, restore mobility, and ease pain.
The causes of a bruised heel can include various injuries and ill-fitting shoes. Home remedies can help, such as applying a cold compress or using heel inserts in shoes. Learn more about bruised heels here.
Pain in the palm of the hand is often the result of a minor injury, and a person can safely treat it at home. However, more serious causes of hand pain can include bone fractures, wound infections, and conditions that affect the nerves, blood vessels, or tissues inside the hands. Learn more here.
Hamstring tendonitis is a swollen or injured hamstring tendon. Symptoms include pain in or near to the knee joint. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the tendonitis, but certain exercises may help. Learn more about hamstring tendonitis here.
Pain under the right breast often results from muscle strain or a minor injury, and it will usually get better on its own. However, pain in this area can also be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as a gastrointestinal issue, infection, or chest inflammation. Learn more here.
Finger pain can result from a minor injury and will usually get better with self-care. However, severe, worsening, or recurring pain may indicate a more serious injury or underlying condition. Learn more about the causes and treatment of finger pain here.
Potential causes of a bulging disc in the neck include being overweight and being inactive. Exercising may help. Learn more about bulging discs in the neck, including why they develop and how to soothe them, here.
Gout is a type of arthritis that causes painful symptoms. There is no cure for gout, but people can manage the condition with medication and home remedies. Learn about the best home and natural treatments here.
Oxidative stress can damage cells and occurs when there is an excess of free radicals. The body produces free radicals during normal metabolic processes but also produces antioxidants to neutralize them. Long-term oxidative stress can contribute to aging and may play a role in a number of conditions. Learn more here.
Tumor necrosis factor is a protein involved in inflammation. Excess tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in the blood has a role in inflammatory conditions, such as forms of arthritis and irritable bowel disease. In this article, we look at TNF, its links with medical conditions, and how to reduce TNF levels.
Humira is a biologic medication that treats inflammatory conditions. In this article, we look at the safety and risks associated with taking Humira and drinking alcohol. We also discuss other Humira side effects and interactions.
Dark chocolate generally contains less sugar and more cacao solids than milk chocolate. It is also rich in antioxidants and some minerals. Research suggests that regularly eating dark chocolate may provide several health benefits. Learn more about these benefits here.
Stelara and Humira are two biologics that help treat immune conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease. In this article, we look at the similarities and differences in their effects, benefits, and risks.
Enbrel and Humira are medications that doctors prescribe to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. Both help lower inflammation in the joints and are similar, regarding their available forms, storage, and costs. Learn more about Enbrel and Humira, and which might be the most appropriate, here.
While being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), some people with the condition lose weight. In this article, learn about the relationship between RA and weight loss, the drugs that can cause loss of appetite, and other possible side effects.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are two conditions that cause pain and stiffness in the joints. They have different causes and treatments. Learn about the differences between RA and OA here.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) causes inflammation in the digestive system. This may increase the risk of certain cancers. Learn more about the link between UC and cancer, as well as when to see a doctor and how to reduce the risk of cancer, here.
A blood clot in the leg can cause swelling, red skin, and warmth in the surrounding area. Risk factors include age. Maintaining a healthy weight and doing regular exercise can prevent blood clots from developing.