10 Good Reasons Why You Should Eat Sweet Potatoes 

 Health Matters, Senior Citizen's Super Foods  Comments Off on 10 Good Reasons Why You Should Eat Sweet Potatoes 
Oct 272014
 

 

1. At the top of the list is the fact that sweet potatoes contain large amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein, which help protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals. According to WebMed,com: An apple slice turns brown. Fish becomes rancid. A cut on your skin is raw and inflamed. All of these result from a natural process called oxidation. It happens to all cells in nature, including the ones in your body. The body fights free radicals with substances that neutralize them. Think Vitamin C and E as well as beta carotene and to a lessor degree–lutein. These antioxidants fight inflammatory problems like arthritis, asthma and a host of other bodily annoyances.

2. Diabetics must follow a low carbohydrate diet and sweet potatoes are a great alternative to the white foods such as white potatoes, rice, refined wheat and sugar. Sweet potatoes are fibrous roots that actually help regulate your blood sugar level and they are known to prevent resistance to insulin. Ever tried a slice of sweet potato pie? Yummm…

3. As I mentioned above, sweet potatoes are a fibrous root, which means an abundance of dietary fiber. Fiber in the diet is a suggested cholesterol preventative that provides numerous benefits to the digestive tract as well. Some studies suggest that the fibrous content of sweet potatoes prevents constipation and may even help in the prevention of colon cancer.

4. While many people depend on supplements to make up for limitations in their regular diet, but sweet potatoes are literally jam-packed with some of the most important vitamins and other nutrients—all of which are major boosters of our body’s immune system.

5. Ecver wondered what folate is necessary for? Well if you are attempting to get pregnant or you are pregnant, then folate is a must to help with healthy development of fetal cells and tissue.

6. Sweet potatoes are considered vital in the quest for methods for preventing heart disease. The sweet potato is high in the essential mineral–potassium. The task of potassium is that it fills a maintenance role by establishing and maintaining the fluid/electrolyte balance. Good electrolyte balance stabilizes your blood pressure and heart function.

7. Another bonus provided by the potassium content is its ability to prevent muscle cramps like the Charley Horse we sometimes experience in the middle of the night. Potassium also gives us an energy boost when your lifestyle includes proper exercise. The added potassium will result in fewer physical injuries during exercise and a reduced frequency of muscle cramps.

8. Although the FDA won’t come right out and say it (nor will the major drug companies) sweet potatoes are good for treating stress-related symptoms. The body functions tend to burn a lot of potassium and other important  minerals during stressful episodes. This wonderful root provides many important minerals that will help maintain that electrolyte balance throughout the body during stressful times.


9. 
. Now that really says a lot. Imagine one vegetable that is an abundant source in dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, natural sugar, protein, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and carotenoids.


10. And best of all—these sweets are abundant in the marketplace and therefore are low in cost.

Sweet potatoes vs. Yams: Don’t confuse the two. They are two totally different vegetables. Yams are native to Asia and Africa. They grow best in tropical regions. Yams are dark (almost black) skinned with a white or reddish purple flesh. We are often confused about these two vegetables because of government interference, but as usual, the government can’t always be counted on to get it right.

If the information here in this article, then by all means visit my website. The Blind Hog Blogger is a source of important facts and information for senior citizens, but younger folks are welcome to join us.

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 Posted by at 12:34 pm

Seven Reasons You Should Eat Walnuts

 Senior Citizen's Super Foods  Comments Off on Seven Reasons You Should Eat Walnuts
Aug 022014
 

Guest Article By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Oftentimes, the simplest foods are best for your

Walnut

Walnut

health…

and this is certainly the case for nuts, in which Mother Nature has crafted a nearly perfect package of protein, healthy fats, fiber, plant sterols, antioxidants, and many vitamins and minerals.

Among nuts, the case may be made that walnuts are king, as research shows they may boost your health in a number of ways at very easy-to-achieve “doses.”

Eating just one ounce of walnuts a day (that’s about seven shelled walnuts) may be all it takes to take advantage of their beneficial properties.

7 Top Reasons to Eat Walnuts

Walnuts belong to the tree nut family, along with Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios. Each has its own unique nutritional profile.

One-quarter cup of walnuts, for instance, provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin. Some of the most exciting research about walnuts includes:

1. Cancer-Fighting Properties

Walnuts may help reduce not only the risk of prostate cancer, but breast cancer as well. In one study, mice that ate the human equivalent of 2.4 ounces of whole walnuts for 18 weeks had significantly smaller and slower-growing prostate tumors compared to the control group that consumed the same amount of fat but from other sources.

Overall the whole walnut diet reduced prostate cancer growth by 30 to 40 percent. According to another study on mice, the human equivalent of just two handfuls of walnuts a day cut breast cancer risk in half, and slowed tumor growth by 50 percent as well.

2. Heart Health

Walnuts contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits to people with heart disease, or those who have increased risk for heart disease due to multiple cardiac risk factors.

If you struggle with herpes, you may want to avoid or limit walnuts, as high levels of arginine can deplete the amino acid lysine, which can trigger herpes recurrences.

Walnuts also contain the plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is anti-inflammatory and may prevent the formation of pathological blood clots. Research shows that people who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a fatal heart attack and have a nearly 50 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death.

Eating just four walnuts a day has been shown to significantly raise blood levels of heart-healthy ALA, and walnut consumption supports healthful cholesterol levels.

Separate research showed that eating just one ounce of walnuts a day may decrease cardiovascular risk, and among those at high cardiovascular risk, increased frequency of nut consumption significantly lowers the risk of death.

3. Rare and Powerful Antioxidants

Antioxidants are crucial to your health, as they are believed to help control how fast you age by combating free radicals, which are at the heart of age-related deterioration.

Walnuts contain several unique and powerful antioxidants that are available in only a few commonly eaten foods. This includes the quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin, and the flavonol morin.

Walnuts contain antioxidants that are so powerful at free-radical scavenging that researchers called them “remarkable,” and research has shown that walnut polyphenols may help prevent chemically-induced liver damage.

In another study, researchers found that nuts, especially walnuts, have potent antioxidant powers. Walnut polyphenols had the best efficacy among the nuts tested and also the highest lipoprotein-bound antioxidant activity. The researchers concluded:

“Nuts are high in polyphenol antioxidants which by binding to lipoproteins would inhibit oxidative processes that lead to atherosclerosis in vivo. In human supplementation studies nuts have been shown to improve the lipid profile, increase endothelial function and reduce inflammation, all without causing weight gain.”

4. Weight Control

Adding healthful amounts of nuts such as walnuts to your diet can help you to maintain your ideal weight over time. In one review of 31 trials, those whose diets included extra nuts or nuts substituted for other foods lost about 1.4 extra pounds and half an inch from their waists. Eating walnuts is also associated with increased satiety after just three days.

5. Improved Reproductive Health in Men

One of the lesser-known benefits of walnuts is their impact on male fertility. Among men who consume a Western-style diet, adding 75 grams (a bit over one-half cup) of walnuts daily significantly improved sperm quality, including vitality, motility, and morphology.

6. Brain Health

Walnuts contain a number of neuroprotective compounds, including vitamin E, folate, melatonin, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants. Research shows walnut consumption may support brain health, including increasing inferential reasoning in young adults.

One study also found that consuming high-antioxidant foods like walnuts “can decrease the enhanced vulnerability to oxidative stress that occurs in aging,” “increase health span,” and also “enhance cognitive and motor function in aging.”

7. Diabetes

The beneficial dietary fat in walnuts has been shown to improve metabolic parameters in people with type 2 diabetes. Overweight adults with type 2 diabetes who ate one-quarter cup of walnuts daily had significant reductions in fasting insulin levels compared to those who did not, and the benefit was achieved in the first three months.

Why You Should Eat the Walnut Skin

The outermost layer of a shelled walnut – the whitish, flaky (or sometimes waxy) part – has a bitter flavor, but resist the urge to remove it. It’s thought that up to 90 percent of the antioxidants in walnuts are found in the skin, making it one of the healthiest parts to consume. To increase the positive impacts on your health, look for nuts that are organic and raw, not irradiated or pasteurized.

Furthermore, be aware that walnuts are highly perishable and their healthful fats easily damaged. If you’re purchasing shelled walnuts in bulk, avoid those that appear shriveled or smell rancid, or that you cannot verify are fresh. Walnuts should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator or freezer, whether they are shelled or unshelled. Walnuts are great as a quick snack, but if you’re not a fan of their flavor, you can still get their therapeutic benefits by blending them into smoothies. Or you can try one of the other healthful nuts available.

You can further improve the quality of walnuts by soaking them in water overnight, which will tend to lower some of the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. After soaking, you can dehydrate them at low temperature of around 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit until they are crispy again, as they are far more palatable when they are crunchy.

Most Nuts Are a Wonderful Food

You can’t really go wrong when choosing nuts to eat, as long as you pay attention to quality. By this I mean look for nuts that are organic and raw, not irradiated, pasteurized, or coated in sugar. One exception is peanuts, which are technically in the legume family. My main objections to peanuts are that they tend to:

Distort your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, as they are relatively high in omega-6

Be frequently contaminated with a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin

Be one of the most pesticide-contaminated crops

My favorite nuts are raw macadamia and pecans, as they provide the highest amount of healthy fat while being on the lower end in terms of carbs and protein. Most nuts’ nutritional makeup closely resemble what I consider to be an ideal ratio of the basic building blocks—fat making up the greatest amount of your daily calories, followed by a moderate amount of high-quality protein and a low amount of non-vegetable carbs. And this is precisely why they’re recommended as one of the best sources of healthy fats in my nutrition plan.

The main fatty acid in macadamia nuts is the monounsaturated fat oleic acid (about 60 percent). This is about the level found in olives, which are well known for their health benefits. I have been consuming macadamia nuts and pecans almost daily since I started lowering my overall protein intake about a year ago. The following list shows the nutrition facts in grams per one ounce for your most common tree nuts (one ounce of nuts equates to just over 28 grams, or about a small handful):

Tree Nut              Fat (grams per ounce)

Macadamias       22

Pecans                  20

Pine nuts             20

Brazil nuts           19

Walnuts               18

Hazelnuts            17

Cashews              13

Almonds              14

Pistachios            13

 Posted by at 10:48 am

Celery Super Food – More Facts About This Common Vegetable

 Senior Citizen's Super Foods  Comments Off on Celery Super Food – More Facts About This Common Vegetable
Aug 022014
 
celery

Celery Stalk

Many of us think about celery as just a crunchy, green, low calorie veggie…

and known as  basic part of our maintaining good health. We’ve known for some time that celery serves as an anti-inflammatory, but recent studies indicate that it provides protection to our digestive tract too. Without out a bunch of medical mumbo-jumbo–celery contains ample quantities of apluman, a necessary factor for anti-inflammatory properties. In other articles on this blog I have discussed the need for antioxidants in our diet. The antioxidant support we get from celery includes vitamin C, but other  antioxidant support is largely due to its phenolic nutrients that have been shown to help protect us against unwanted oxygen molecules, which cause serious damage to our cells, blood vessels, and internal organ. The greatest benefit from including celery in our diet comes from eating the raw stalks. But also consider steaming your veggies as part of your meal, you can include celery without having to worry about excessive loss of its phenol-based antioxidants. Here are some results from a recent study:

  • In a recent study, researchers compared the impact of steaming (10 minutes) versus boiling (10 minutes) versus blanching (3 minute submersion in boiling water) on the total phenolic antioxidant nutrients in celery. Both boiling and blanching resulted in substantial loss of these antioxidants, in the range of 38-41%. With steaming, however, 83-99% of these antioxidants were retained in the celery even after 10 minutes. While we encourage the practice of steaming as a cooking method of choice for many of our WHFoods vegetables.
  • Based on multiple recent studies involving nutrient changes in stored, refrigerated celery, we recommend a period of 5-7 days as a window of time for consuming fresh celery. While some nutrients appear to be stable in whole, refrigerated celery for longer periods of time, several studies show greater losses of phenolic antioxidants in celery after this week-long period. In addition, based on changes in flavonoid content, we also recommend that you wait to chop up your celery just before you are adding it to a salad or cooked dish (rather than chopping it up the night before and leaving it stored in the refrigerator overnight). This will help to preserve its maximum nutrient potential.

One cup of chopped celery equals about one calory. Nutrients include:  vitamin K 32.8%, molybdenum  11.2%,  folate 9%,  potassium 7.5% as well as lesser percentages of manganese, vitamin B2, copper, vitamin c, and calcium fiber 5.6% manganese 5% pantothenic 5% vitamin B24.6% copper 4.4% vitamin C4.1% vitamin B64.1% calcium 4% phosphorus% magnesium 2.7% vitamin  A 2.5% Below we detail what a serving of Celery provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Celery can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Celery, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

  • Health Benefits
  • Description
  • History
  • How to Select and Store
  • Tips for Preparing and Cooking
  • How to Enjoy
  • Individual Concerns
  • Nutritional Profile
  • References

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Support Celery is an important food source of conventional antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. But its “claim to fame” in terms of antioxidant nutrients may very well be its phytonutrients. Many of these phytonutrients fall into the category of phenolic antioxidants and have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Below is a representative list of the phenolic antioxidants found in celery.

  • Phenolic acids
  • caffeic acid
  • caffeolyquinic acid
  • cinnamic acid
  • coumaric acid
  • ferulic acid
  • Flavones
  • apigenin
  • luteolin
  • Flavonols
  • quercetin
  • kaempferol
  • Dihydrostilbenoids
  • lunularin
  • Phytosterols
  • beta-sitosterol
  • Furanocoumarins
  • bergapten
  • psoralen

In animal studies, celery extracts containing the above-listed phytonutrients have been shown to decrease risk of oxidative damage to body fats and risk of oxidative damage to blood vessel walls. In addition, these celery extracts have been shown to prevent inflammatory reactions in the digestive tract and blood vessels. Interestingly, there is also some animal research showing the ability of celery extracts to help protect the digestive tract and liver following consumption of acrylamides. (Acrylamides are potentially toxic substances formed in food through a reaction of sugars and amino acids, usually through the process of frying.) While most of the research above involves animals versus humans, we have also seen studies showing the importance of celery in diets that are considered to be high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. For example, we’ve seen one recent study showing celery to provide 7% of all flavonol and flavone antioxidants in the diet of adults in China. In addition, mechanisms of anti-inflammatory support have also been shown in human studies. For example, we’ve seen research showing the ability of celery juice and celery extracts to lower the activity of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), as well as the activity of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB). Decreased levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1B (IL-1B) and interleukin 8 (IL-8) have also been seen in these studies. All of these four messaging molecules play a key role in the body’s inflammatory responses, and keeping them in check is an important step in the prevention of unwanted inflammation. One interesting aspect of celery’s antioxidant phytonutrients involves its furanocoumarins. Prior to harvest – when celery is still growing in the ground – it responds to stress by producing furanocoumarins in greater amounts. These substances help protect it in its natural living conditions. Even after celery has been harvested, however, and you start to chop it up on your kitchen countertop, it will still increase its production of furanocoumarins, and you will get greater amounts of these phytonutrients for this reason. (However, it is incorrect to assume that the chopping of celery makes it nutritionally “better” than it was before you chopped it. That’s because other phytonutrients decrease simultaneously with the increase in furanocoumarins. The net result is basically a change in the composition of the celery phytonutrients, an interesting topic about which we hope to see more research on in the future.) Digestive Tract Support In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients that help protect the digestive tract as a whole, celery contains pectin-based polysaccharides that can provide the stomach with special benefits. We’ve become accustomed to thinking about polysaccharides as starchy molecules that are used by cells as a way to store up simple sugars. But there are other types of polysaccharides in plants, including the non-starch, pectin-based polysaccharides found in celery. (Pectin is a sugar-related molecule that is largely formed from a substance called glucuronic acid.) The pectin-based polysaccharides found in celery —including apiuman—appear to have special importance in producing anti-inflammatory benefits. In animal studies, celery extracts containing apiuman have been shown to improve the integrity of the stomach lining, decrease risk of stomach ulcer (gastric ulcer), and better control the levels of stomach secretions. We look forward to future research that may confirm these stomach support benefits in humans based on dietary intake of celery in its whole food form. Cardiovascular Support Given the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of celery described earlier in this section, it’s not surprising to see the interest of researchers in the cardiovascular benefits of celery. Oxidative stress and inflammation in the bloodstream are critical problems in the development of many cardiovascular diseases, especially atherosclerosis. Unfortunately, most of the studies we’ve seen in this area have involved animals. Still, we’ve seen promising connections between the pectin-based polysaccharides in celery and decreased risk of inflammation in the cardiovascular system. We’ve seen these same types of connections between celery flavonoids and decreased risk of cardiovascular inflammation. Phthalides are a further category of phytonutrients found in celery that seems important to mention as providing potential cardiovascular benefits. Phenolic substances found in celery, phthalides are a major contributor to the unique flavor of this vegetable. (Sedanenolide and butylphthalides are examples of phthalides found in celery.) Researchers have demonstrated that celery phthalides can act as smooth muscle relaxants, most likely through their impact on the flow of calcium and potassium inside cells and related nervous system activity involved with muscle relaxation. Of course, relaxation of smooth muscles surrounding our blood vessels allows them to expand and the result is a lowering of our blood pressure. (This overall process is called vasodilation.) Phthalides in celery may also act as diuretics, further helping to lower the pressure inside our blood vessels. Unfortunately, most of the research we’ve seen in this area involves celery seeds, celery oil, or celery extracts – not the whole food itself. So it’s not yet clear if these muscle-relaxant properties and blood pressure-lowering properties of celery phthalides will be provided to us if we include celery in our meal plans in everyday food amounts. But we will be surprised if future research on dietary intake of celery does not show some type of cardiovascular benefit directly related to celery phthalides. Other Health Benefits Because chronic oxidative stress and excessive inflammation are key risk factors for the development of many cancer types, it’s not surprising to see scientists interested in the potential benefits of celery intake for cancer prevention. While we’ve seen speculation about celery benefits for stomach cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer, we’ve been unable to find actual human research studies in any of these areas. Hopefully, future research studies will address the potential cancer-related benefits of celery much more closely. Home Page for Blind Hog Blogger

Full Article at WHFoods

 Posted by at 9:17 am

Good Nuts-Bad Nuts: Nuts to You

 Senior Citizen's Super Foods  Comments Off on Good Nuts-Bad Nuts: Nuts to You
Apr 282013
 
blind hog

The Blind Hog

Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that good things come in small packages.

These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of different nuts, as well as the best and worst products on supermarket shelves today. Of course, you can get too much of these good things: Nuts are high in fat and calories, so while a handful can hold you over until dinner, a few more handfuls can ruin your appetite altogether. And although nuts are a healthy choice by themselves, they’ll quickly become detrimental to any diet when paired with sugary or salty toppings or mixes.

Good Nuts

All nuts are about equal in terms of calories per ounce, and in moderation, are all healthy additions to any diet. “Their mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber will help you feel full and suppress your appetite,” says Judy Caplan, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

The lowest-calorie nuts at 160 per ounce are almonds (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat). Avoid nuts packaged or roasted in oil; instead, eat them raw or dry roasted, says Caplan. (Roasted nuts may have been heated in hydrogenated or omega-6 unhealthy fats, she adds, or to high temperatures that can destroy their nutrients.)

Bad Nuts

Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts (10 to 12 nuts; 2 grams protein, 21 grams fat) and pecans (18 to 20 halves; 3 grams protein, 20 grams fat) have the most calories—200 each—along with the lowest amounts of protein and the highest amounts of fats.

 However, they’re still good nuts: The difference between these and the lowest calorie nuts is only 40 calories an ounce. As long as you’re practicing proper portion control and not downing handfuls at a time, says Caplan, any kind of raw, plain nut will give you a good dose of healthy fats and nutrients.

Heart-Healthy Nuts

While all nuts contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats, walnuts (14 halves contain 185 calories, 18 grams fat, 4 grams protein) have high amounts of alpha linoleic acid (ALA). Research has suggested that ALA may help heart arrhythmias, and a 2006 Spanish study suggested that walnuts were as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a fatty meal. The authors of this study, funded in part by the California Walnut Commission, recommended eating around eight walnuts a day to achieve similar benefits.

Brain Food

Technically legumes but generally referred to as nuts, peanuts are high in folate—a mineral essential for brain development that may protect against cognitive decline. (It also makes peanuts a great choice for vegetarians, who can come up short on folate, and pregnant women, who need folate to protect their unborn babies from birth defects, says Caplan.) Like most other nuts, peanuts are also full of brain-boosting healthy fats and vitamin E, as well. One ounce of peanuts (about 28 unshelled nuts) contains about 170 calories, 7 grams protein, and 14 grams fat.

By Amanda MacMillan – http://www.self.com/

 

Mayo Clinic

Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health

Eating nuts helps your heart. Discover how walnuts, almonds and other nuts help lower your cholesterol when eaten as part of a balanced diet.

 

By Mayo Clinic staff

Eating nuts as part of a healthy diet can be good for your heart. Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients, are a great snack food, too. They’re inexpensive, easy to store and easy to take with you to work or school.

 The type of nut you eat isn’t that important, although some nuts have more heart-healthy nutrients and fats than do others. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts — you name it — almost every type of nut has a lot of nutrition packed into a tiny package. If you have heart disease, eating nuts instead of a less healthy snack can help you more easily follow a heart-healthy diet.

 Can eating nuts help your heart?

 People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower the LDL, low-density lipoprotein or “bad,” cholesterol level in their blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease.

 Eating nuts reduces your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Nuts also improve the health of the lining of your arteries. The evidence for the heart-healthy benefits of nuts isn’t rock solid — the Food and Drug Administration only allows food companies to say evidence “suggests but does not prove” that eating nuts reduces heart disease risk.

 What’s in nuts that’s thought to be heart healthy?

 Although it varies by nut, most nuts contain at least some of these heart-healthy substances:

 Unsaturated fats. It’s not entirely clear why, but it’s thought that the “good” fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower bad cholesterol levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many kinds of fish, but nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Fiber. All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. Fiber also makes you feel full, so you eat less. Fiber is also thought to play a role in preventing diabetes.

Vitamin E. Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack.

Plant sterols. Some nuts contain plant sterols, a substance that can help lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to products like margarine and orange juice for additional health benefits, but sterols occur naturally in nuts.

L-arginine. Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow.

What amount of nuts is considered healthy?

 Nuts contain a lot of fat; as much as 80 percent of a nut is fat. Even though most of this fat is healthy fat, it’s still a lot of calories. That’s why you should eat nuts in moderation. Ideally, you should use nuts as a substitute for saturated fats, such as those found in meats, eggs and dairy products.

 Instead of eating unhealthy saturated fats, try substituting a handful of nuts. According to the Food and Drug Administration, eating about a handful (1.5 ounces, or 42.5 grams) a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease. But again, do this as part of a heart-healthy diet. Just eating nuts and not cutting back on saturated fats found in many dairy and meat products won’t do your heart any good.

 Does it matter what kind of nuts you eat?

 Possibly. Most nuts appear to be generally healthy, though some more so than others. Walnuts are one of the best-studied nuts, and it’s been shown they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans are other nuts that appear to be quite heart healthy. Even peanuts — which are technically not a nut, but a legume, like beans — seem to be relatively healthy. Coconut, which is technically a fruit, may be considered by some to be a nut, but it doesn’t seem to have heart-healthy benefits. Both coconut meat and oil don’t have the benefits of the mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

 Keep in mind, you could end up canceling out the heart-healthy benefits of nuts if they’re covered with chocolate, sugar or salt.

 Here’s some nutrition information on common types of nuts. All calorie and fat content measurements are for 1 ounce, or 28.4 grams (g), of unsalted nuts.

 

Type of nut         Calories               Total fat

(saturated/unsaturated fat)*

Almonds, raw    163         14 g (1.1 g/12.2 g)

Almonds, dry roasted    169         15 g (1.1 g/12.9 g)

Brazil nuts, raw 186         19 g (4.3 g/12.8 g)

Cashews, dry roasted    163         13.1 g (2.6 g/10 g)

Chestnuts, roasted         69           0.6 g (0.1 g/0.5 g)

Hazelnuts (filberts), raw              178         17 g (1.3 g/15.2 g)

Hazelnuts (filberts), dry roasted               183         17.7 g (1.3 g/15.6 g)

Macadamia nuts, raw     204         21.5 g (3.4 g/17.1 g)

Macadamia nuts, dry roasted     204         21.6 g (3.4 g/17.2 g)

Peanuts, dry roasted      166         14 g (2g/11.4 g)

Pecans, dry roasted        201         21 g (1.8 g/18.3 g)

Pistachios, dry roasted  161         12.7 g (1.6 g/10.5 g)

Walnuts, halved               185         18.5 g (1.7 g/15.9 g)

*The saturated and unsaturated fat contents in each nut may not add up to the total fat content because the fat value may also include some nonfatty acid material, such as sugars or phosphates.

 How about nut oils? Are they healthy, too?

 Nut oils are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, but they lack the fiber found in whole nuts. Walnut oil is the highest in omega-3s. Nut oils contain saturated as well as unsaturated fats. Consider using nut oils in homemade salad dressing or in cooking. When cooking with nut oils, remember that they respond differently to heat than do vegetable oils. Nut oil, if overheated, can become bitter. Just like with nuts, use nut oil in moderation, as the oils are high in fat and calories.

 Posted by at 1:54 pm

Senior Citizens—Getting Every Vitamin and Mineral You Need From Super Foods

 Senior Citizen's Super Foods  Comments Off on Senior Citizens—Getting Every Vitamin and Mineral You Need From Super Foods
Mar 242013
 

TV and magazines are flooded with tips for good nutrition, but you could spend all day watching and reading and still have a long list of questions. So consider this post a short cut to your gaining the benefits you need to for a long, healthy life.

Today’s economy has shrunk many senior’s budget, but you already know that. The sky-rocketing cost of food can be traced to just a very few causes:

  • Weather conditions—on-going drought in the farm belt of the U.S. has caused crop-yields to shrink. We can complain about the weather but can do nothing about it.
  • Fuel costs—gas and diesel fuel costs are soaring because we are dependent on foreign imports. Yet our “leaders” in Washington seem oblivious to the problem. Geologists tell us that the U.S. has greater oil and natural gas reserves than most of the Middle Eastern countries combined!  North Dakota is a good example, but those folks are drilling on NON-FEDERAL lands. Getting a permit to drill on Federal Lands is an exercise in futility

So your weekly grocery-shopping trip must be directed at getting the biggest BANG for your buck.

So what’s the secret—there is none. To get the best value at the lowest price means you will have to sacrifice time for quality.

AVOID PRE-PACKAGED, PROCESSED FOODS.

Yes, it so convenient to pick up a pop-it-into-the-microwave dinner, a bag of cookies and myriad other snacks. But for the most part, the nutritional value of this crap is nil. You will need to look for the raw materials and PREPARE them yourself.

Businesses that do the pre-packaging are compelled to list the ingredients in each container. READ THOSE LABELS! Chances are you’ll find chemicals in there that you never heard of—all for the sake of preservation and flavor. Granted—this stuff may taste good but you might as well be eating crabgrass or sawdust .

Of course you may opt in for taking vitamins and minerals from a bottle. I take them when I know what I’m eating only provides the bare minimum of what it takes to maintain good health.

As I mention in other posts, I am not a licensed health care provider or nutritionist. So what I have done in this blog is to search the senior resources who are licensed to offer health information, and I present their research and findings in an easy-to-follow format.

Check out the navigation choices in the right column of this website. A good place to start is the <a href=http://www.blindhogblogger.com/health-matters/>HEALTH MATTERS PAGES</a> Do you know what is considered to be the best vegetable source for essential vitamins and minerals? Follow this link to good health.

I’m Rootin’ For Ya

Don Penven

 

 

 

 Posted by at 8:14 am