Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Are Eggs Healthy?

In some ways, eggs are very good for you.

First of all, they are a nutrient-dense food. They contain high-quality protein, meaning eggs offer all nine essential amino acids that can’t be made by humans and therefore must come from our diets. Protein in eggs can help build and preserve muscle as well as boost satiety, both of which are important for weight control.

Eggs are also one of the few food sources of vitamin D and a source of the nutrient choline, which may help protect against birth defects in infants. They contain vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin (B2) and the antioxidant selenium, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help keep our eyes healthy.

Most of an egg’s calories, vitamins and minerals are found in the yolk.

But what about the cholesterol in eggs? It’s true that eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, which is also found in the yolk, but they’re low in saturated fat, which is the bigger culprit when it comes to raising blood cholesterol levels. Because of this, eggs get the green light according to the government’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

In fact, one recent meta-analysis found that higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke. And a 2016 Finnish study involving more than 1,000 men concluded that egg or cholesterol intakes are not associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease, even in those who are genetically predisposed to experience a stronger effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol.

What is more likely to affect your health is how eggs are prepared, as well as which other foods you combine with them. One large poached egg has 71 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat, and an omelet made with spinach and one yolk is also a lean choice. But a serving of eggs Benedict with bacon and Hollandaise sauce has about 800 calories and 26 grams of saturated fat.

So feel free to enjoy eggs, but watch how you eat them. And balance eggs with other healthy fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

By Lisa Drayer, CNN     Fri April 14, 2017
 
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, author and health journalist.
 
source: www.cnn.com
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The Nut That Protects Against Liver Cancer

When it comes to keeping the doctor away, apples could have some serious competition.

Based on new research, the adage could easily be changed to be “Two Brazil nuts a day keeps the doctor away.” That’s because according to the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a deficiency in the mineral selenium is linked to a marked increase in liver cancer risk. And, you guessed it: Brazil nuts are an amazing source of selenium.

The researchers recognized that selenium deficiency is a widespread health concern that appears to be a risk factor for liver cancer and possibly other forms of cancer, although this study only examined the mineral deficiency’s effect on liver health. The researchers found that suboptimal selenium status may be linked to an appreciably increased risk of liver cancer—up to 10 TIMES the risk.

Eating a diet that contains adequate amounts of the mineral is not only critical to liver health and cancer prevention, it is also imperative to fertility and reproduction, thyroid hormone synthesis, immunity and DNA health. The mineral is also a potent antioxidant that helps to scavenge free radicals before they can damage the body’s cells and tissues.

Earlier studies in the journal Biomedical and Environmental Sciences show that adequate selenium intake also reduces skin cancer risk.

Some of the symptoms of selenium deficiency include: immune weakness, gastrointestinal (GI) problems, hair loss, diarrhea, cirrhosis, fatigue and mood swings. As with many nutritional deficiencies and medical conditions, there can be overlap in symptoms so having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have a selenium deficiency. Conversely, if you have these symptoms you should consult your physician to rule out any other possible health conditions.

brazil-nuts

Selenium-Containing Foods

Oysters, tuna, whole grains, sunflower seeds, crimini mushrooms, poultry and eggs are all good sources of selenium; however Brazil nuts are by far the best. Just one ounce of these nuts (about 6-8) contains 544 micrograms of selenium. The recommended daily intake is 55 micrograms for adult males and females; however, pregnant and lactating women require 60 to 70 micrograms, respectively.

Selenium is also available in supplement form: as either selenomethionine or selenite. Selenomethionine is the more absorbable form of this mineral. Keep in mind that selenium can build up in tissues and can become harmful in excessive doses.

While an apple a day is still a good idea, you might want to add some Brazil nut butter or a handful of raw, unsalted Brazil nuts to round out the healing properties of this classic snack.

By: Michelle Schoffro Cook       @mschoffrocook       September 8, 2016
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet: 3 Weeks to Supercharge Your Health and Get Slim with Enzyme-Rich Foods.

 

source: www.care2.com


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5 Health Benefits of Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are extremely delicious and tasty treats, loaded with health benefits. It is true that they are high in calories, but they also provide high amounts of beneficial nutrients that your body needs in order to function properly and protect itself against diseases. Read on to discover some of the most significant Brazil nuts health benefits and understand why they are good for you.

1. High Selenium Content

The greatest health benefit of Brazil nuts lies in their high selenium content, and this is what makes them so special. One single kernel provides 100% of the daily value for selenium, while 1 ounce contains as much as 536.8 mg of this nutrient, meaning 766% of the DV!

The body cannot produce selenium by itself, so it must be obtained through food and water.
Although not being an antioxidant, selenium plays an important role in the antioxidant defense system of the human body. It boosts the activity of antioxidants, for their functionality greatly depends on the presence of selenium. Selenium is an essential component of two important antioxidant enzymes, known as glutathione peroxidise and thioredoxin reductase, and it also increases the vitamin E function in the body.

High levels of selenium in Brazil nuts are therefore associated with many health benefits. Listed below are some of the most important ones.

  • Selenium helps fight free radicals and boosts the immune system. It encourages the production of glutathione, the most important antioxidant enzyme that defends our body against free radical damage.
  • Selenium is essential to thyroid gland function.
  • Selenium aids in protection against breast and prostate cancer, as well as other forms of cancer
  • Selenium prevents blood clotting and helps protect from heart diseases.

2. Contains Unsaturated Fats and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Brazilian nuts contain a small amount of saturated fats and very high levels of monounsaturated fats. They provide 18.8 grams of total fat, of which 25% are saturated fats, 41% are monounsaturated, and 34% are polyunsaturated.

  • They are particularly rich in palmitoleic acid and oleic acid, which help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels in the blood. These monounsaturated fats are therefore very useful in preventing coronary heart diseases, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Brazil nuts contain also good amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, which also protect against heart diseases.

These delicious nuts are however very fattening and you should consume only one serving per day, in order to keep the daily calorie intake under control and maintain proper weight.

3. Complete Protein

Brazil nuts are good sources of complete proteins, meaning that they provide all of the essential amino acids needed for human growth and development, and required for muscle tissue repair.
Another great Brazil nuts health benefit comes from their high levels of an important amino acid know as methionine. Methionine plays an essential role in the prevention of chronic illnesses, as well as in fending off premature aging symptoms and signs.

brazil_nuts
Brazil nuts are actually the seeds of a big fruit from a pretty massive rainforest tree.
About 15 to 30 seeds sit in a large round pod that weighs around five pounds.
The ripe pods fall to the ground, where they’re harvested by people… or carried off by animals.

4. Important Minerals

Besides selenium, Brazil nuts contain high amounts of other important minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. These minerals enhance a wide range of bodily functions, while strengthening the immune system and promoting good health.

5. Vitamin E and B-complex Group Vitamins

Brazil nuts are also a good source of vitamin E and B-complex group vitamins, especially thiamin, or vitamin B1. 1 ounce (6 to 8 nuts) contains 0.17mg of thiamin and provides 11% of the recommended daily value of this essential nutrient.

Thiamin helps keep the nervous system healthy and is important for energy metabolism and heart health.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that maintains the integrity of cell membranes and protects skin from free radical damage.

Although a little fattening, Brazil nuts are an extremely nutritive and healthy plant food!
 by JESSICA   July 23rd, 2012 
source: youqueen.com


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16 Reasons To GO NUTS For Nuts

BY DR. RONALD HOFFMAN  NOVEMBER 29, 2013 

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine underscores the health benefits of nuts. Researchers followed over a hundred thousand men and women over several decades and concluded that eating nuts helped them stave off the Grim Reaper. Seven or more servings of nuts per week cut the risk of dying by a third! (“A serving” was defined as one ounce, which is about one handful of almonds.)

Specifically, those who at nuts five or more times per week were found to enjoy a 29% reduction in death from heart disease; an 11% reduction in death from stroke; a 23% reduction in death from infection; a 24% reduction in death from respiratory diseases; a 29% reduction in death from kidney disease; and an 11% reduction in death from cancer.

It’s long been known that nuts are heart-healthy. A now-famous study of Seventh-Day Adventists who consume a low-fat, plant-based diet compared non-nut eaters to nut-eaters, anticipating that the nuts (which are high in calories and fat) might raise their heart disease risk. Au contraire!

Even though they were already on a heart-healthy, predominantly vegetarian diet, those Adventists who consumed nuts at least five times a week had a 48% lower risk of death from coronary heart disease and a 51% lower risk of a nonfatal heart attack compared to those who consumed nuts less than once weekly.

Ironically, the Federal Government doesn’t want nut manufacturers to broadcast these benefits to consumers. In a recent case, the Food and Drug Administration sent a sharply-worded warning letter to Diamond Food, Inc., a manufacturer of walnuts, ordering them to “cease and desist” from making medical claims about their products. They even threatened to confiscate the “misbranded” nuts as illegal contraband!

It seems that, the way the officials see it, if nuts are to be advertised as reducing the risk of a specific disease, they must undergo the same rigorous application process as drugs, an insurmountable regulatory hurdle that would require years of wrangling and hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, and fortunately, we don’t need FDA approval to enjoy the many health benefits of nuts.

Here are 16 reasons why you might want to include them frequently in your diet.

1. Nuts are a perfect VEGAN food.

With the current emphasis on plant-based diets, nuts provide a great complement to grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. They add protein and healthy oils to balance vegetarian diets that might otherwise tend to be carb-rich and skimpy in beneficial fats and certain vitamins and minerals.

2. Nuts are PALEO.

That is, with the exception of peanuts, which are actually legumes, sometimes spurned by hard-core Paleo adherents because of their lectin content. Tree nuts and seeds are ancient staples of the human diet to which millions of years of evolution have made us well-adapted.

3. Nuts are LOW-CARB, low GI.

The Glycemic Index, or GI, is a determinant of how quickly the sugars in foods are digested, absorbed, and released into the blood stream. High-GI foods are thought to overwhelm the body’s sugar-handling capabilities, resulting in progression towards metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Nuts are relatively low-carb to begin with, and the carbs they contain are released slowly after a meal. They make a great snack to stave off sugar-craving or hypoglycemia.

4. Nuts promote SATIETY.

While nuts are caloric, eating nuts promotes a sensation of fullness that fends off the munchies for less healthy fat-laden or sugar-laden junk food. Some studies suggest that adding nuts to your diet can actually help you lose weight.

5. Nuts are high in FIBER.

While not traditionally thought of as a high-fiber food, nuts are rich in soluble fiber, the best kind for reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

nuts

6. Nuts are a rich source of PHYTOSTEROLS.

These plant sterols are thought to bind to cholesterol and help to sweep it harmlessly out of the body; phytosterols are even recognized by the American Heart Association as a natural way to reduce heart disease risk.

7. Nuts contain healthy fats and oils.

Nuts are rich in the essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid. Note the word essential: the body cannot make these oils on its own, and we must obtain them from outside sources. Lack of these essential fatty acids can cause dry skin, inflammation, infertility, mood and memory problems and promote heart disease.

8. Nuts are a great source of Vitamin E.

Getting your vitamin E from a pill may not be as good as getting natural vitamin E from nuts and seeds. There are actually eight different forms of natural vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols: nuts deliver the full spectrum of this critical antioxidant.

9. Nuts are rich in B vitamins.

Nuts provide many vital B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.

10. Nuts are a source of critical POLYPHENOLS.

Polyphenols are plant-derived antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. Nuts contain a wide variety of polyphenols, including resveratrol, lutein, cryptoxanthin and many others. Some seeds, like flaxseed and sesame, are rich in lignans, a specific subtype of polyphenols that may protect against reproductive cancers.

11. Nuts are the richest plant source of ZINC.

A mineral critical for immunity and reproductive function, strict vegetarians sometimes don’t get enough.

12. Nuts are high in MAGNESIUM.

Consider magnesium the energy mineral; its lack may be felt as fatigue or irritability and it can even increase the risk of heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. Magnesium’s role in bone metabolism is often underestimated.

13. Nuts deliver COPPER.

Unless you fancy liver or oysters, nuts and seeds are your best bet as dietary sources for the essential trace mineral copper.

14. Nuts provide SELENIUM.

Just two or three Brazil nuts per day can give you all the immune-boosting selenium your body needs, especially if you’re not fond of fish or meat.

15. Nuts are PORTABLE.

Unlike baked chicken breast or poached salmon, a small packet of nuts can easily be stashed in your briefcase, purse or backpack, ready to provide an instant, non-perishable hunger-banishing snack in the office, on the commute, or on the trail.

16. Nuts are VERSATILE.

They can be used as stand-alone snack foods; spread on sandwiches (with all the nut butter varieties available, you don’t need to get hung up on just traditional PB); sprinkled on salads or vegetable side dishes; mixed with grains to provide a flavor accent; as a gluten-free crust for baked fish or chicken; or even power-blended into your favorite smoothie.

 


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How to use Food to Boost your Mood + Vitamin Reference

by Kristen Butler   February 19th, 2014 

We all deserve to feel truly happy every single day. The truth is that some of us have a hard time sustaining a good mood throughout the day. In fact, chronic unhappy days become bouts of depression and some people who need hope turn to medications. What if you could rely on food to boost your mood daily?

For centuries we have known that food affects our mood and mental health. Imagine this knowledge being applied and the food you eat being your daily medication to sustain a good mood, increased energy and vibrant health. Eating clean not only helps you gain more energy, release toxins, and release weight, it also allows for mental well-being. A study found that vitamin deficiency causes a decline mental health which leads to stress, anxiety, depression, addictions and other psychological disorders. If mental illness runs in your family, it is even more essential to eat healthy for your own well-being and to existing and future DNA.

Tweaks and additions to your diet can make a big difference. Eat whole foods as often as you can. Reducing processed and refined carbohydrates will also improve your mood because you’ll experience more stable blood sugar levels. You’ll be on the road to health and bliss once you understand what vitamins are essential for a good mood, which types of food have these vitamins and then eat these foods consistently. Below you’ll find important vitamins and foods that boost your mood.

Vitamin D

Researchers are discovering that Vitamin D plays a KEY role in mental health and depression, because it increases serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for mood. So, skip the Vitamin D pills and get out there in the sunshine as often as you can! Most people will immediately go to a supplement, but studies show that real UV Light is the only way the body can produce Vitamin D that it recognizes.
Our favorite health coach and expert, Tyler Tolman, suggests to get in the sun at least 15 minutes a day and don’t use sunscreen. As an alternative, use organic coconut oil for maximum Vitamin D absorbancy. If you’re worried about getting skin cancer, throw out that negative belief. Tyler Tolman says, “A bad diet, sunscreen, and other chemicals on the skin cause skin cancer – not UV Light. UV Light [the sun and tanning beds] simply bring cancer out through the skin.”

If you’re living in a climate that isn’t always sunny or has harsh winters, Tyler suggests going to the tanning bed. Yep, that’s right. “I recommend any solarium with newer bulbs and a stand up room so you don’t lay down in chemicals,” says Tyler. He continues, “If it’s a 15 minute session go for 10 and you will feel and look great from doing this 2-3x per week.” Tyler lives in Bali so he doesn’t have to worry about going to a tanning bed. But he said if he was in a city for more than a week with low sunlight he would definitely be looking for a tanning bed.

A published study by the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine in 1998 found that Antioxidants can help perk up the mood of people affected by anxiety and stress. The 5 foods with the highest levels of antioxidants are:

  •     Small Red Bean (dried)
  •     Wild blueberry
  •     Red kidney bean (dried)
  •     Pinto bean
  •     Blueberry (cultivated)
protein


Protein

Your brain’s chemical activation is dependent on the foods you eat.Believe it or not, protein plays a significant role in keeping your mood and energy level, in check.  Proper protein levels sustain your energy, keep your mood up, and keep you strong.  Next to water, protein makes up most of your body weight. Protein is great for your brain as well.  Your brain’s chemical activation is dependent on the foods you eat.  Your brain cells neurotransmitters are made of amino acids which are the building blocks of protein, so it’s a ‘no-brainer’.  And when you eat protein, it raises the levels of another amino acid called tyrosine that help create the mood boosting chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine.


B Vitamins

Folate and vitamin B12 seem to also be important mood-boosting vitamins. Studies have shown that low blood levels of these vitamins are in some cases linked to depression. Some scientists believe that the body uses these vitamins to create serotonin; which as we mentioned is one of the key neurotransmitters that help boost your mood.

Add rich dark leafy green veggies as well as beans into your diet to get more folic acid. Healthy sources for Vitamin B12 include nutritional yeast and plant-based fortified foods. If you discover you are low in B12, you can get B12 Shots from the doctor or use high-absorbancy B12 Patches recommended by Matt Monarch, the founder of Raw Food World. While B12 is also present in meats and cheeses, it can be a very toxic and dangerous way to receive this vitamin.


Selenium

A study  in 1991 showed that with proper amounts of selenium, there was an increase in mood.  The study also showed that if there was a selenium deficiency, the brain is the last place that selenium levels drop, suggesting that the brain considers it very important.  A great source of selenium is from Brazil nuts.  These nuts have very high amounts of selenium (68–91 mcg per nut)



Omega 3′s

More studies are emerging about the importance of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and their prevention of depression. Omega 3′s can boost mood and resbuild brain cells that are critical in performing cognitive function. In fact, a recent study found that consuming healthy Omega 3 fatty acids dramatically boost your mood and reduces negative harmful thoughts. Some of the worlds healthiest plant foods in Omega 3′s are #1 ground flaxseeds, then walnuts, organic soybeans, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and winter squash.


A unscientific study done at Appleton Central High School in Appleton, Wis., observed that students behaved better when they consumed healthy lunches consisting of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. There are dozens of studies that show that plants are the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. The only problem is that it is extremely difficult to get people to change their dietary patterns. Change is on the rise, but Kaplan said that the solution may be supplementation of nutrients because it is integral that people receive less pharmaceutical intervention for mental disorders and more broad-spectrum supplementation.

If you choose to supplement, it’s important to do so with superior quality vitamins or a shake supplement containing multiple nutrients and superfoods.

As always, eating specific foods with these vitamins needs to be habitual. Eating healthier for a few days or once in a while will not bring the result you’re seeking. I’ve found that making small changes each week and keeping up each habit will bring lasting change. We are creatures of habit and we feel comfortable doing what we are use to doing.

Sources:
http://live.ift.org/2013/07/15/undernourished-and-mentally-unbalanced/
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/depression/
http://depression.about.com/cs/diet/a/vitamin.htm
http://www.active.com/health/articles/mood-foods-6-snacks-to-kick-your-mind-into-gear
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/7-mood-foods-to-change-your-outlook-with-every-bite.htm
http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/oct2007_report_depression_01.htm

source: www.powerofpositivity.com