Archive for the ‘Almonds’ Category

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Nuts and Resveratrol Deliver a Potent Punch to Prevent Cognitive Decline and Dementia

May 17, 2012
Raw Nuts Provide Essential Fats to Prevent Cognitive Decline

Raw Nuts Provide Essential Fats to Prevent Cognitive Decline

Nuts, especially walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, combined with the potent polyphenol resveratrol team together to improve mood and protect the aging brain to help maintain memory and cognition. Researchers reporting in the New England Journal of Medicine have found that nuts consumed over a period of years not only help with weight management issues, but also can reduce systemic inflammation to improve spirits and prevent cognitive decline.

Resveratrol has long been associated with brain health. The Journal of Pineal Research reports that resveratrol demonstrates anti-aging properties in the brain necessary for energy production and optimal brain function. Combining these two natural agents together as part of your healthy diet can improve mood, help retain memories and preserve youthful thought patterns.

Nuts Improve Mood, Slash Brain Inflammation and Prevent Cognitive Decline

Resveratrol and Nuts Lower Brain Inflammation to Improve Mood

Resveratrol and Nuts Lower Brain Inflammation to Improve Mood

Researchers determined to validate the health-promoting capacity of nuts provided test participants with a diet of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts for a period of 12 weeks. The volunteers for this study were sex and age-matched individuals given a control diet, and compared to a group not receiving the nut mixture. All participants exhibited symptoms of metabolic syndrome, increasing risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders and loss of cognition.

Individuals receiving the nuts had increased levels of serotonin which will help a person feel better and potentially more satisfied and less likely to suffer from depression and poor mood. Additionally, the nut control group demonstrated reduced inflammatory markers from the high polyphenol content of the nuts. This is an important finding, as individuals exhibiting the signs of metabolic syndrome experience the effects of systemic inflammation leading to accelerated brain aging and cognitive decline.

Resveratrol Positively Influences Gene Expression to Restore Mitochondria Function

Resveratrol From Red Grapes and Wine Improves Mitochondrial Function

Resveratrol From Red Grapes and Wine Improves Mitochondrial Function

Mitochondria are the tiny metabolic engines that are responsible for powering each of our trillion or so cells throughout the body. Over time, mitochondria begin to experience loss of function and cellular decline and aging of the cell begin. Mitochondrial regulation is controlled in large part by the ‘longevity’ gene known as Sirt1. Calorie restriction and potent natural nutrients such as resveratrol are known to alter expression of the Sirt1 gene. Researchers have demonstrated that resveratrol is able to restore neural mitochondria function by reviving Sirt1 gene expression, and provides “a potent anti-aging effect within the brain.”

The human brain is a highly metabolic organ, demanding 20% of the total oxygen supply for the body. As such, it is also susceptible to the effects of oxidative stress and free radical damage that cause brain inflammation and advanced signs of aging. Natural nutrients such as resveratrol (25 – 50 mg per day) that cross the blood-brain barrier and foundation monounsaturated fats supplied by most nuts (1 to 2 ounces each day) and seeds protect the brain from damage and dramatically lower the risk of memory loss and cognitive decline.

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Almonds and Cinnamon Lower Blood Sugar, Prevent Disease

April 29, 2011
Elevated Blood Sugar is Linked to the Progression of Chronic Diseases

Elevated Blood Sugar is Linked to the Progression of Chronic Diseases

Many people don’t give a second thought to their blood glucose levels until a physician indicates a problem with sugar regulation or there is a diagnosis of diabetes. At this point, a cascade of metabolically mediated events is taking place that paves the road toward chronic disease and an early demise.

Even slightly elevated blood sugar readings have been shown to be a significant cause for concern that signals the early stages of a host of potentially fatal conditions and debilitating complications. The good news is you can halt and even reverse the damage caused by poor blood sugar control with almonds and including the natural nutrients cinnamon and chromium before meals.

Checking Blood Sugar Levels to Prevent Disease

The importance of checking blood sugar levels cannot be understated. Researchers have demonstrated that fasting levels and post meal (postprandial) readings currently considered normal by standard medical practice lead to many chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Fasting readings should be no higher than 80 mg/dl and postprandial levels should not rise more than 40 mg/dl. When blood sugar is allowed to exceed these readings, pancreatic beta cell death ensues leading to insulin dysfunction. Purchase an inexpensive blood sugar meter and check your fasting and post meal readings until you have a good understanding of how different foods affect your glucose levels.

Almonds Shown to Dramatically Lower Blood Sugar

A Handful of Almonds Before Eating Can Help Lower Blood Sugar Readings

A Handful of Almonds Before Eating Can Help Lower Blood Sugar Readings

Diet is the most powerful intervention you have to bring blood sugar reading in control. Everybody has a different tolerance level for the number of glucose-inducing carbohydrates that can be consumed at each meal. Highly processed foods are most likely to trigger high blood sugar levels while raw foods such as almonds have been found to have a neutralizing effect on sugar spikes.

Information published in the American Journal of Infectious Diseases found that eating almonds had a profound effect on a wide variety of health biomarkers including blood glucose. Almonds are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants and biologically active compounds that lower the risk of many chronic diseases. The study authors concluded, “The present study has demonstrated that inclusion of 10 g of almonds in diet led to a significant reduction in fasting and post prandial blood glucose levels.“

Cinnamon Restores Normal Sugar Metabolism

Cinnamon Compounds Naturally Blunt High Blood Sugar Levels

Cinnamon Compounds Naturally Blunt High Blood Sugar Levels

Cinnamon not only tastes great but also is rich in bioactive compounds that have been shown to regulate the impact of rising blood sugars. In an article published in the journal Phytomedicine, cinnamon extract has been shown to trigger cellular signaling of proteins inside the pancreas that assists secretion and regulation of insulin. This action prevents deadly blood sugar surges when taken before eating a carbohydrate controlled meal.

Chromium Aids Glucose Breakdown

Chromium is an essential element that has been shown to be chronically deficient in the diet due to poor farming practices. Chromium is critical to healthy glucose metabolism and works by interacting with cellular receptors that enhance our response to insulin. The online forum Current Diabetes Reports explains that chromium improves insulin sensitivity and aids in the transfer of glucose from the blood into cells by activating special glucose transport molecules. Most people will need to supplement with 200 mcg twice daily before meals.

Maintaining blood sugar in a narrow range is critical to lower disease risk and achieve optimal health. Monitor your own fasting and post meal blood sugar readings to better understand the dietary impact of different foods, and take advantage of almonds, cinnamon and chromium to assist healthy blood sugar regulation.

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Almonds Lower Diabetes Risk, Boost Weight Loss Efforts

March 9, 2011

(Article first published as Include Almonds to Lower Risk of Diabetes, Assist Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

Almonds are Shown to Blunt the Effects of High Blood Sugar

Almonds are Shown to Blunt the Effects of High Blood Sugar

It’s hard to imagine that a natural food that tastes as good as an almond can have such a profound beneficial effect on health. Regular almond consumption is shown to lower the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in part due to the high fiber content and concentration of monounsaturated fats.

Further research demonstrates that almonds contribute to accelerated fat metabolism and can reduce the incidence of overweight and obesity by influencing healthy blood glucose control and insulin response. Just a handful of almonds every day can improve your health profile and lower the risk of serious disease.

Almonds Help to Stabilize Blood Sugar Spikes

Almonds Improve Insulin Resistance, Lower Diabetes Risk

Almonds Improve Insulin Resistance, Lower Diabetes Risk

Post meal blood sugar spikes are known to contribute to the development of metabolic disorders including diabetes and initiate the chain of events that lead to cardiovascular disease. Any intervention that can help to minimize the post meal rush of blood sugar will reduce the risk from these conditions.

The results of a study conducted at the Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health and published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows how almond consumption can blunt the effect of high blood sugar, prevent insulin resistance and lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. The study involved 65 prediabetic adults that were broken into two groups to determine the effect of almond consumption. The control group ate a healthy diet low in carbohydrates for 16 weeks and excluded all nuts. The intervention group consumed the same diet but included 20% of total calories from almonds.

Blood analysis showed that the almond group had significantly better insulin levels and improved markers for insulin resistance and beta-cell function. The study authors concluded that the high fiber content and unsaturated fats in almonds “help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Almonds in the Battle Against Obesity

Almonds Help to Satisfy Hunger, Assist Weight Loss Efforts

Almonds Help to Satisfy Hunger, Assist Weight Loss Efforts

Almonds are high in protein, fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats that are all known to influence how our body stores and metabolizes fat for energy. Almonds are rich in complex carbohydrates that require significant energy to be broken down by our body. The International Journal of Obesity published the results of a study that shows almonds are “a feasible option for consideration and have a potential role in the public health implications of obesity.” The study concluded that almonds provide a sensation of satiety and are beneficial for people trying to lose weight.

Almonds are a perfectly balanced food source that can benefit health. This powerful seed has a balanced ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are in perfect alignment with human macronutrient requirements. Nutritional studies confirm that almonds regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance that lowers the risk from diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, almonds help regulate fat metabolism and can be used as a tool to assist weight loss. Include a handful of almonds every day to reap the many health benefits.