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The Healthiest Nuts

Health Nuts: Ranking Nuts

Here’s our list of favorite nuts, ranked by their nutrient density. These varieties contain the most protein, fiber, B-vitamins, calcium, minerals, and vitamin E for the least amount of saturated fat:

  1. Almonds
  2. Filberts (hazelnuts)
  3. Peanuts
  4. Chestnuts
  5. Pistachios
  6. Walnuts
  7. Cashews
  8. Pecans
  9. Macadamias

Almonds. Our “Top Nut” award goes to the almond. Here are the main nutrients in one ounce of almonds (a medium-size handful):

  • 166 calories
  • 5 grams of protein
  • 14 grams of fat (90 percent unsaturated)
  • 4 grams of fiber (the highest fiber content of any nut or seed), unblanched
  • 80 milligrams of calcium
  • 1.4 milligrams of zinc
  • 1 milligram of iron
  • 6.7 milligrams of vitamin E
  • some B-vitamins, minerals, and selenium

Filberts, (hazelnuts) because they are high in the amino acid tryptophan, are a good nut for sleep. Almonds and filberts have the most vitamin E (6.7 milligrams per ounce) – nearly 25 percent of the adult recommended dietary allowance.

NUTRITIP
Sleep Nuts } Eating a small handful of nuts as a before-bedtime snack may help you catch more Z’s. Some nuts and seeds, especially whole filberts and ground sesame seeds, have a high amount of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.

Walnuts have the greatest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.

Chestnuts are lowest in fat, containing only about 10 percent as much fat as other nuts. What little fat is in the chestnut (1.3 grams per ounce) is nearly all the unsaturated type. Chestnuts also contain three grams of fiber per ounce, but they are relatively low in protein.

Soybean nuts and peanuts are not really nuts at all. They are legumes, and they come from plants rather than trees. Both are very nutritious. Soybean nuts, while less popular because of their less appealing taste, are actually the most nutritious nut. A quarter cup of soybean nuts contains a similar number of calories to other nuts, yet packs the following nutrients:

  • 17 grams of protein
  • 9 grams of fat (90 percent unsaturated)
  • 3.5 grams of fiber
  • 138 milligrams of folic acid (33 percent of the DV)
  • 116 milligrams of calcium (10 percent of the DV)
  • 2 milligrams of zinc (around 15 percent of the DV)
  • 1.7 milligrams of iron (10 percent of the DV)
  • 19 micrograms of selenium

When purchasing soybean nuts, avoid those that are roasted in “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.

almonds

The Five Healthiest Nuts

By  Julie O’Hara

PISTACHIOS
1 OZ./49 NUTS
158 calories, 13 g fat 3 g fiber
Pistachios are high in cholesterol-lowering plant sterols and have more potassium than most nuts (291 mg per ounce).

ALMONDS
1 OZ./23 NUTS
163 calories, 14 g fat, 4 g fiber
One ounce provides half your daily vitamin E—more than any other nut. It also supplies 8 percent of your daily calcium needs.

HAZELNUTS
1 OZ./21 NUTS
178 calories, 17 g fat, 3 g fiber
These are rich in iron and proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that strengthen blood vessels and prevent UTIs.

WALNUTS
1 OZ./14 HALVES
185 calories, 18 g fat, 2 g fiber
Walnuts deliver the most omega-3 fatty acids and contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which supports the immune system.

BRAZIL NUTS
1 OZ./6 NUTS
186 calories, 19 g fat, 2 g fiber
A single Brazil nut provides your daily dose of selenium, an antioxidant that may play a role in preventing breast cancer.

source: www.shape.com
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A Handful of This Everyday Food Improves Memory, Concentration And Processing Speed

Just 13 grams of this regular food improves brain function across the ages.

Eating a handful of walnuts each day may help improve memory, concentration and the speed at which the brain processes information, a new study finds.

No matter what people’s age, gender or ethnicity, adults who ate walnuts had greater cognitive function, the research found.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, is the first in humans to show that walnuts may have a beneficial effect on cognitive health (Arab & Ang, 2014).

Dr. Lenore Arab, who led the study, said:

“It is exciting to see the strength of the evidence from this analysis across the U.S. population supporting the previous results of animal studies that have shown the neuroprotective benefit from eating walnuts; and it’s a realistic amount – less than a handful per day (13 grams).”

The conclusions come from an analysis of a series of very large US nutritional surveys of a nationally representative sample.

Across the age groups — from 20- to 90-years-old — people who ate more walnuts had improved cognitive performance.

In those over 60, though, the results were particularly encouraging, with boosts in learning and memory of around 7% on average.

walnuts

Importantly, the study can’t tell us that eating walnuts causes improved cognitive function, but it is suggestive.

This is also not the first study to find a link between walnut consumption and improved cognitive health.

The nut has already been connected to improved brain health in Alzheimer’s disease, but as yet only in a mouse model.

It’s not yet known exactly why walnuts are beneficial, but there are a number of possibilities, as they contain:

  • high levels of antioxidants,
  • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA),
  • and numerous vitamins and minerals.

Dr. Alfonso Ang, the study’s co-author, said:

“It isn’t every day that research results in such simple advice – eating a handful of walnuts daily as a snack, or as part of a meal, can help improve your cognitive health.”

 

source: PsyBlog

 


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5 Foods To Boost Your Mood

BY CAT ELLIOTT    FEBRUARY 20, 2015 

I struggled with depression for a large majority of my life. In the past I used food as a means of coping with my feelings — and when I say “food” I mean processed sugary comfort type food.

During my emotional binges I felt good (while armed with deep fried chicken in one hand and a burger in the other) but immediately after I felt sicker, sadder, more miserable and in need of my next hit. So I continued to eat poorly and abuse my body for a few years in the hopes to feel better. After inevitably gaining over 100 pounds, I realized I had to cut the crap.

I made changes to my diet and began to notice that certain foods improved my mental clarity, boosted my mood, gave me more energy and removed my junk food cravings. Eventually these simple changes in what I ate allowed me to sort out both my physical and mental blockages. The top five foods I found, and what research has also shown, to be effective are outlined below.

1. Cacao

There’s good reason why we often turn to chocolate when we are feeling down. But next time you find yourself in this state, reach for real chocolate in its natural state without the nasty hormone disruptive additives and chemicals: cacao.

Cacao is one of the highest food sources of antioxidants and magnesium, and it also contains iron, fiber, chromium and manganese. It has been shown to help with cardiovascular health, boost energy levels, promote longevity, increase libido and improve your mood. Add cacao powder or nibs to smoothies, baking, or keep some raw chocolate bars ready to go!

walnuts

2. Healthy Fats

In particular those foods loaded with omega-3s, such as wild salmon, sardines and walnuts have been proven effective to help improve depressive symptoms. Omega-3 content helps maintain healthy chemical levels in the brain. You could even look to incorporate wild fish oil as part of your daily diet.

3. Chili

Chili is not just a tasty addition to a dish, it’s actually been shown to increase the release of endorphins in the brain which boost symptoms of pleasure.

4. B Vitamins

By increasing the amount of B vitamins in your diet, you may begin to notice positive changes in your mood. Some excellent food sources that are rich in B vitamins are nutritional yeast, darky leafy greens, seafood, bananas, chicken, eggs, almonds, and avocados.

5. Real Food

The most dramatic change you can make to help ease your depressive symptoms and to lead a healthier life is by switching over to a diet of real food. By doing this you are removing processed junk, artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners from your diet.

It may seem dramatic to say, but changing what I ate changed my life and quite possibly saved it. No bull. By making simple changes in my diet, I was able and willing to make bigger changes in my life, and in return, regain control of my life. I was able to admit my need for help, to nourish rather than to sicken myself, to get energy and motivation to exercise and get outdoors and become healthier and happier than I ever imagined. Just by starting with a few simple changes.


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10 Foods That Promote Brain Health

by Brandi, selected from Diets in Review

Who doesn’t want to become smarter? Who wants to look better or feel healthier? Many recent studies have shown how certain nutrients can positively affect the brain, specifically in areas of the brain related to cognitive processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a healthy diet for your brain that will lead to strong blood flow, maintenance of mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

We know that foods play a great role in our brain, as concluded in several studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.

According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes neuronal growth.

Food and nutrients represent fuel to our bodies the same way that when we use our car we need to fill the gas tank. Unfortunately, we generally take better care of our cars than our bodies. Why is that? We are hearing frequently that consuming the right nutrients can help our health, aging process, and more efficient brain-body functioning.

With that said, I want to share with you ten foods you must keep in your diet to maintain brain health:

1. Apples: Eating an apple a day protects the brain from oxidative damage that causes neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This magical nutrient that acts as protection is quercetin, which is a phytonutrient.

2. Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in folic acid, which is essential for the metabolism of the long chain fatty acids in your brain.

3. Lean Beef: Lean beef is rich in vitamin B12, iron and zinc. These vitamins and minerals have been shown to maintain a healthy neural tissue.

blueberries

4. Blueberries and strawberries: Studies show that people who eat berries improve their memory and their motor skills. In addition, their antioxidant properties can protect your brain from the oxidative process.

5. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate offers incredible concentration powers. It is a very powerful antioxidant containing natural stimulants that increase the production of feel-good endorphins. Trick: you need to find dark chocolate with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving for optimal benefits.

6. Salmon: Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown to be essential for brain function.

7. Dried oregano: Certain spices have powerful antioxidant properties. In several studies, this powerful spice has shown to have 40 times more antioxidant properties than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than that of blueberries or strawberries.

8. Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and B6 which all promote healthy neural tissue.

9. Whole grains: Whole grains deliver fiber and vitamin E that help promote cardiovascular health, which helps improve the circulation to the brain.

10. Yogurt: Yogurt and other dairy foods are filled with protein and vitamin B that are essential to improve the communication between nerve cells.

Make sure that from now on you select and plan a great menu that include these brain foods. Life is about choices and selecting the right nutrients can play a key role in your health.

Written by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, who is the author of Super Body, Super Brain.
You can read more from him at http://www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.