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7/16/2011 12:59:51 PM EST
|Interesting "Nutty" Info
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Tree nuts for weight loss and heart health.
I already know what many of you are thinking. How are nuts good for weight loss if they are so nutrient dense and loaded with fats. Nuts are a high energy (calorie) food with calories coming predominantly from protein and fat. Protein is a valuable contributor to fat loss and the fats from nuts are the healthy variety including Omega 3 fatty acids. When I refer to nuts I refer to tree nuts. Take note that all others are technically legumes that grow from a plant. Cashews and peanuts are examples. Nuts were a staple of our ancestors before the advent of agriculture. Our bodies long association with nuts virtually guarantees their compatibility with our digestive systems. Magnesium and vitamin E are micro nutrients that nuts provide in abundance. Magnesium is a mineral heavily implicated in healthy fat loss and is one of the minerals that we get the least of when compared to the diets of our ancestors. Below is a brief synopsis of some of the commonly consumed tree nuts. Today's ingredient highlight is on Fennel Seed.
Walnuts may be the superstar of healthy nuts. They are full of antioxidants with one study showing that they contain more than blueberries. Walnuts are also a rich source of heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids. They lower total and so-called “bad” LDL cholesterol, work to preserve bone, and even may slow the growth of malignant tumors of the breast and prostate.
Pistachios are known for battling bad cholesterol. While all kinds of nuts help lower cholesterol, pistachios reduce the amount of oxidized “bad” cholesterol, which is considered more deadly than simply elevated cholesterol because it speeds up the formation of plaque deposits in arteries. This information was reported in a Penn State University study.
While almonds have been known as a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium, a study published several years ago in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found they contain levels of antioxidants comparable to amounts found in green and black tea and broccoli. Catechin, epicatechin, and kaempferol, the main antioxidant compounds found in almonds, offer the greatest degree of cell death protection from oxidants, researchers reported.
In addition to its cholesterol-lowering powers, the pecan may protect the nervous system by delaying the progression of age-related motor neuron degeneration, according to a study published earlier this year in Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research. Researchers suggested vitamin E, an antioxidant found in pecans, may be the key factor. Previous studies have shown that antioxidants help fight Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
5. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are a rich source of magnesium, one of the minerals that regulate blood pressure. In addition to heart health, Brazil nuts also may play a role in protecting the prostate. The nuts contain another mineral, selenium, a lack of which has been linked to prostate cancer. Stanford University researchers found that men diagnosed with prostate cancer had much lower selenium levels than healthy men years before their cancer was diagnosed. High blood levels of selenium were associated with a four to fivefold decrease in the odds of developing prostate cancer, researchers discovered. Two freshly shelled Brazil nuts provide the recommended daily amount of 200 mcg of selenium.
FENNEL SEED is an ingredient in the Acai Cleanse and Control product. Its primary role in this supplement is to promote a healthy digestive system and also treat hormonal imbalance. Fennel seeds are concentrated source of minerals like copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the powerful anti-oxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
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