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Health and Wellness Associates
Can a Handful of Walnuts Keep the Doctor Away?
One of the basic tenets of optimal health is to eat real food. Nuts certainly fit into this category and, as a bonus, are a convenient, ready-to-eat snack that you can carry in a purse or backpack or stash in a desk drawer at work.
Two of my favorite nuts are macadamias and pecans, in large part because they’re high in healthy fats but relatively low in carbohydrates and protein, which most Americans consume in excess.
However, you really can’t go wrong when eating a variety of nuts, assuming you eat them in moderation. Walnuts are another top choice that have been making headlines due to their numerous beneficial effects on health.
Daily Walnuts May Improve Overall Diet Quality
Researchers from the Yale University Prevention Research Center and colleagues had more than 100 study participants add two ounces of walnuts to…
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Source: NeoLife Lifestyle Magazine
This popular saying seems to be overrated as well as outdated.
The reason for this lies in the fact that the days when it was coined were well before the industrial age, when the bulk of human activity left the farm to the cities. It holds far less water in this information, age, where sedentary habits and junk-food binges are the norm.
Truth be told, our bodies are currently bombarded with far more environmental stress than those of our ancestors and we therefore need to take that apple-a-day but do a lot more!
This is why supplementation is key – not just with ‘vitamin pills’, but with essential foods substances that have virtually disappeared from our diets, thanks to the global food manufacturing and processing industry. Indeed, much of present-day crop cultivation and animal breeding are suspect, so the problem seems to start right at the farm!
The real key to all of this is knowledge. Let’s go for it and we will be empowered to make better choices!
Acne is one of the most common dermatological conditions for young adults worldwide, and can be frustrating to manage. While the connection between nutrition and diet is still not fully understood, some evidence suggests that cutting back on empty kilojoules and sweets may help.
Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that limiting intakes of high-glycaemic foods like white bread, crackers, sweets, and soda may reduce break-outs in young adults. In this randomised controlled trial, 43 male acne patients ages 15-25 followed either a low-glycaemic load diet or a carbohydrate-dense diet for 12 weeks, and had their acne assessed each month. By the end of the study, the low-glycaemic load group experienced more significant decreases in acne than the control group, as well as improved insulin sensitivity. These findings led researchers to speculate that the spike in blood sugar may increase the hormones that stimulate excess oil production, which can then trigger acne. While this study was small, it is one of many that support the role of diet in managing acne. A 2013 paper published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reviewed 27 studies on this topic and concluded that the evidence for low glycaemic load diets is the most convincing factor for establishing the relationship between diet and acne.
So if you are frequently having breakouts, this study suggests that it may be time to evaluate your diet. As the saying goes, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”– Hippocrates.
Previous – Colour Me Gorgeous
With this post I conclude the 6-part series on nutrition and beauty. Many thanks to all who read these snippets – the readership was tremendous. I also thank GNLD International (publishers of Lifestyle Magazine) for authoring the articles and giving Independent Distributors like me the permission to share them.
Green tea – an elixir for youthful skin?
Flavonoids, a nutrient found in colourful fruits, vegetables, and teas, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which are beneficial for the barrier function of the skin.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Nutrition evaluated the effect of green tea, an excellent source of flavanols, on skin structure, texture, circulation, and sensitivity to UV exposure, in 60 women in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Participants were randomised to consume either a beverage containing green tea flavanols or a control beverage. After the 12-week trial period, results showed green tea flavanols were protective against harmful UV radiation and helped improve overall skin quality of women, including skin elasticity, roughness, scaling, density and hydration. Researchers attribute improvements in skin structure to the flavanol-mediated increases in blood flow to the skin, which is important for supplying nutrients and oxygen to the cells. They found that cutaneous blood flow increased by 29% over the course of the trial.
Regular consumption of tea flavanols may be the key to youthful-looking skin!
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Next – The Truth About Acne
The skin is one of the largest organs of the body and will quickly reflect poor diet and lifestyle choices. Adequate hydration, getting enough sleep, regular physical activity, and managing stress are all lifestyle factors that can impact the appearance of our skin. However, the theme should be apparent now; balanced nutrition for the whole body is the foundation for smooth, soft, supple skin.
Complete, whole food nutrients help preserve skin health by protecting against UV light, preventing dry skin, maintaining skin strength and elasticity, and supporting wound repair, in addition to providing the structural components of skin cells. In particular, foods rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, such as fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 rich fish, have been shown to be significantly associated with improved skin quality.
Research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2001 found that the right food choices could also make an impact on the appearance of wrinkles on the skin. This study assessed the diet and skin of more than 200 older European adults who were living in areas of high sun exposure, as part of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences’ (IUNS) “Food Habits in Later Life” project, and found that those who consumed more fish and vegetables in their lifetime had fewer wrinkles. The authors suggest that high intakes of these foods may be protective against sun damage because of their antioxidant protection. In addition, inflammation can damage collagen in the skin. And because omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in controlling inflammation, this can also help explain why consumers of fish may have fewer wrinkles than consumers of red meat and processed foods.
This is definitely something to chew on the next time you sit down to a meal.
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