Go Nuts to Calm Inflammation!

Did you know eating nuts can calm inflammation in your body? Me either! I’ve always loved nuts, but viewed them as fat, to consume as little as possible or face the scales. The past few months, I have added nuts to my diet and haven’t seen the weight gain I feared, thankfully, love the feeling of fullness and added crunch and flavor in my snacks or by themselves.  Along comes a new study with wonderful news of what consuming nuts can do for your health.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/02/20/pancreatic-cancer-prevention-eat-nuts-reduce-risk_n_4821741.html

Nuts to Help Calm Your Body’s Inflammation!

“In a study of more than 5,000 people, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital have found that greater intake of nuts was associated with lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation, a finding that may help explain the health benefits of nuts. The results of the study appear July 27 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”

If you were asked to participate in the study, which nuts would you like to eat regularly? Almonds? Walnuts? Cashews? Pecans? Pine Nuts? I’m in love with cashews right now. Have bags of them stored in a variety of places so I never have to go far to ward off hunger pains with a quick handful. I’ve also found a great “Paleonola” nut mixture that I mix into my greek yogurt every morning.

“Population studies have consistently supported a protective role of nuts against cardiometabolic disorders such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and we know that inflammation is a key process in the development of these diseases,” said corresponding author Ying Bao, MD, ScD, an epidemiologist in BWH’s Channing Division of Network Medicine. “Our new work suggests that nuts may exert their beneficial effects in part by reducing systemic inflammation.”

Since increasing my consumption of nuts in exchange for cookies, I’ve not seen a major weight loss, and will be curious to see how my cholesterol and triglyceride levels will change when I have them drawn again in a few months.

“After adjusting for age, medical history, lifestyle and other variables, they found that (the 120,000 Registered Nurse) participants who had consumed five or more servings of nuts per week had lower levels of (inflammatory biomarkers) than those who never or almost never ate nuts. In addition, people who substituted three servings per week of nuts in place of red meat, processed meat, eggs or refined grains had significantly lower (inflammatory biomarker) levels, as well.”

What do you think? Are these results enough to encourage you to add nuts to your diet?

Excerpts and quotes taken from an article in  Science Daily. com

Sugar is Out, Nuts are In

Sugar. I’m putting it aside. For now. Putting it aside versus giving it up. Someone suggested using the term “putting it aside” to trick my mind into thinking it’s not forever, and I’m in control of “not putting it aside” when I want to. Ha.

A couple years ago, I began going for a physical exam, including blood work, the first week of the new year. This year, some numbers were off a little more than I’m happy with. My diastolic blood pressure has trended upward and stayed there for the past year. My cholesterol and hemaglogin A1c, although normal, a little on the high side. Then there’s that homocysteine, increases with inflammation, potential stroke threat.

So, I made some changes. Two changes are intentional, two more were pleasant surprises.

Change 1

Sugar is out. As much as in my control, no more sugar. It causes inflammation in your body, wreaks havoc with overall health, and it really doesn’t do one thing helpful, except calm me when stressed. No more.

Cashews and Paleonola

Change 2

Eat more nuts. Sounds silly, but I’m enjoying two nut options throughout the day. They have replaced my snacks with sugar. Cashews are lovely, and I enjoy crunching on “Paleonola” granola, apple pie flavor. Ingredients include almonds, pecans, pepitas, honey, walnuts, coconut oil, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, dried apple, dried coconut, spices and vanilla extract. Ok, so honey. [Read more…]

Eat Nuts to Live Longer?

We’ve all heard that nuts are good for us. A handful a day, as a snack or on a salad, is a great way to add healthy fats to our diet. Now, a new study has shown that eating nuts – peanuts (a legume, grown underground) or tree nuts (such as almonds, or walnuts) – are equally as good for you, and have additional health benefits.

“In the largest study of its kind, people who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than were those who didn’t consume nuts, say scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health.” (From Science Daily)

From ANY cause? That’s pretty significant. Like magical little beans! [Read more…]

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