The Benefits Of Nuts And Seeds
Benefits Of Seeds & Nuts
The following is a list of nuts and seeds and their many health benefits, enjoy !!
Serving Size = 1-2 Tsp (ground)
Dietary fibre from flaxseed suppresses rises in blood levels of lipids after a meal and modulates appetite.
University of Copenhagen researchers report that flax fibre suppresses appetite and helps support weight loss.
Flax has been cultivated for centuries and has been celebrated for its usefulness all over the world. Hippocrates (460BC) wrote about using flax for the relief of abdominal pains, and the French Emperor Charlemagne favoured flax seed so much that he passed laws requiring its consumption!
The main health benefits of flax seed are due to its rich content of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), dietary fibre, and lignans.
The essential fatty acid ALA is a powerful anti-inflammatory, decreasing the production of agents that promote inflammation and lowering blood levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation. Through the actions of the ALA and lignans, flax has been shown to block tumour growth in animals and may help reduce cancer risk in humans.
Lignans are phytoestrogens, plant compounds that have estrogenic-like effects and antioxidant properties. Phytoestrogens help to stabilize hormonal levels, reducing the symptoms of PMS and menopause, and potentially reducing the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.
The fibre in flax seed promotes healthy bowel function. One tablespoon of whole flax seed contains as much fibre as half a cup of cooked oat bran. Flax’s soluble fibres can lower blood cholesterol levels, helping reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Ground flax seed provides more nutritional benefits than does the whole seed. Grind the seeds at home using a coffee grinder or blender, and add them to cereals, baked goods and smoothies.
Serving Size = 1/4 Cup
Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity.
Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fibre. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibres called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.
Serving = 1 Tbsp
Facts about Chia seeds:
– 2.5 times more protein than kidney beans
– 3 times the antioxidant strength of blueberries
– 3 times more iron than spinach
– 6 times more calcium than milk
– 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
– 8 times more omega-3 than salmon
– 10 times more fibre than rice
– 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
The seeds are loaded with vitamins and minerals, are an excellent source of fibre, protein and antioxidants, and are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of chia seeds could help reduce joint pain, aid in weight loss, deliver an energy boost and protect against serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.
The seeds are gluten-free, which also makes them appealing to people with celiac disease or an aversion to gluten.
Serving Size = 1/4 Cup
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol.
Sesame seeds have some of the highest total phytosterol content of seeds. Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium. Numerous studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Serving Size = 1 Tbsp
More people are discovering the nutritional benefits of hemp seed, nut and oil.
– All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
– A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
– Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.
– Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
– A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid — for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
– A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
– A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
– The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.
The best way to insure the body has enough amino acid material to make the globulins is to eat foods high in globulin proteins. Since hemp seed protein is 65% globulin edistin, and also includes quantities of albumin, its protein is readily available in a form quite similar to that found in blood plasma. Eating hemp seeds gives the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain health, and provides the necessary kinds and amounts of amino acids the body needs to make human serum albumin and serum globulins like the immune enhancing gamma globulins. Eating hemp seeds could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed was used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.
Serving Size = 1/2 Cup
They are the only seed that is alkaline-forming in this world of highly acidic diets.
Add pumpkin seeds to your list of foods rich in protein. 100 grams of seeds on a daily basis provide 54 percent of the daily requirement in terms of protein.
A lot of people use supplements to replenish deficiency of vitamin B-complex, try pumpkin seeds next time. Pumpkin seeds are a good source for vitamin B like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates.
For those who are down in the dumps, pumpkin seeds can help fight through depression. The chemical component L-tryptophan is the secret ingredient to boost your mood.
Did you know that pumpkin seeds can prevent kidney stones? Studies suggest that pumpkin seeds can help prevent certain kidney stone formations like calcium oxalate kidney stone.
Pumpkin seeds even hold the secret to fighting parasites, especially tapeworms.
Serving Size = 1 Tbsp
Cumin is a seed that has been used since antiquity. This traditional herb is known for its health benefits and medicinal uses for hundreds of years.
Cumin is useful for digestive disorders and even as an antiseptic. The seeds themselves are rich in iron and help boost the power of the liver.
Cumin also helps relieve symptoms of common cold. If you have a sore throat, try adding some dry ginger to cumin water, to help soothe it.
Cumin juice makes for a great tonic for the body even if you don’t have a specific ailment. It is said to increase the heat in the body thus making metabolism more efficient.
It is also considered to be a powerful kidney and liver herb which can help boost the immune system. It’s also believed that black cumin seeds can treat asthma and arthritis.
Serving Size = 1/4 Cup
Apricot kernels are, like most nuts and seeds, very nutritious. Among the nutrients they contain is one called amygdalin, which is also known as vitamin B17. This attacks cancer cells, and thus can help prevent cancer from breaking out in our bodies.
Amygdalin (vitamin B17) is contained in many hundreds of foods, but ones that are particularly rich in amygdalin have disappeared to a large extent from our Western diet. People throughout the world who still eat a traditional diet, have been found to be largely free from cancer. These diets are rich in foods containing amygdalin.
Apart from apricot kernels, examples of other amygdalin rich foods are bitter almonds (amygdalin tastes bitter – sweet almonds do not contain it, and apricot kernels that are not bitter do not contain it). Other foods containing amygdalin are apple pips, grape seeds, millet, broad beans, most berries, cassava and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains – but not ones that have been highly hybridized.
For prevention, however, Dr Ernst T Krebs Jr., the biochemist who first produced laetrile (concentrated amygdalin) in the 1950s, recommended that if a person would eat ten to twelve apricot kernels a day for life, then barring the equivalent of Chernobyl, he is likely to be cancer free.
Serving Size = 1/2 Cup
Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants. Therefore, it helps to protect your body’s cells from free radicals, which cause premature aging.
In simple words, pomegranate juice pumps the level of oxygen in your blood. The antioxidants fight free radicals and prevent blood clots. This eventually helps the blood to flow freely in your body in turn improving the oxygen levels in your blood.
Pomegranates are especially high in polyphenols, a form of antioxidant purported to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. In fact, pomegranate juice, which contains health-boosting tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, has higher antioxidant activity than green tea and red wine.
The pomegranate, with its edible seeds inside juicy sacs, is high in vitamin C and potassium, low in calories (80 per serving, which is just under one-third of a medium fruit), and a good source of fibre.
The antioxidant properties of a pomegranate prevent low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from oxidizing. This essentially means that pomegranates prevent the hardening of the artery walls with excess fat, leaving your arteries fat free and pumping with antioxidants.
“Mice that drank pomegranate juice were able to significantly reduce the progression of atherosclerosis, [by] at least 30 percent,” said study co-author Dr. Claudio Napoli, a professor of medicine and clinical pathology at the University Of Naples School Of Medicine in Italy.
Pomegranate health benefits run bone deep; it can reduce the damage on the cartilage for those hit with arthritis. This fruit has the ability to lessen the inflammation and fights the enzymes that destroy the cartilage.
Almonds are an excellent source of protein and healthy monounsaturated fats. Plus, they offer unique benefits for your blood sugar levels as one of the healthiest nuts.
When eaten with a meal, almonds may help to lower surges in your blood sugar and insulin levels, a mechanism that may help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Eating almonds also leads to increases in antioxidant levels that may help to fight damage from free radicals.
The healthiest nuts benefits to blood sugar levels hold true even when almonds are eaten with a food that normally prompts your blood sugar to spike, such as bread. One study found that when almonds were eaten with bread (a high-glycaemic index food), it reduced the glycaemic index of the meal.
What this means is that if you spread some almond butter on your toast in the morning, it will lessen the bread’s impact on your blood sugar levels — a very nice benefit for your health!
Further, research has shown that eating almonds can actually help you lose weight. In a study of 65 overweight or obese adults, those who ate a low-calorie diet supplemented with almonds lost 7 percent more weight and had a 5 percent greater reduction in waist circumference than those whose diet was supplemented with complex carbs.
Cashews have a lower fat content than most nuts, and the fat they do contain is extremely healthy. About 75 percent of these healthiest nuts is comprised of oleic acid, the same type of heart-healthy fat found in olive oil.
Cashews are also a good source of magnesium, a nutrient that plays a crucial role in more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body, including maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, regulating heart rhythm and blood sugar levels, promoting normal blood pressure, supporting your immune system and keeping your bones strong.
According to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, “substantial numbers” of Americans do not get the recommended amounts of this important nutrient, and therefore may be missing out on important health benefits.
Fortunately, eating about 1 ounce of cashews provides 75 milligrams, or 20 percent of the daily recommended value, of magnesium, so eating cashews is a simple way to boost your intake (almonds also contain a similar amount of magnesium).
The walnut is, hands down, one of the best healthiest nuts to eat, and that is largely because of its high content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fat. Just one-quarter cup of walnuts gives you nearly 91 percent of the recommended daily value for this healthy fat.
Your body cannot make omega-3 fats on its own, which is why it’s so important to include omega-3-rich foods in your diet. Aside from helping to protect against heart disease and stroke, omega-3 fats have been found to offer protection against wide range of illnesses, from cancer and rheumatoid arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease and depression.
Walnuts also contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that is beneficial for your immune system and appears to have anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that ellagic acid helps prevent cancer-causing substances from binding to DNA, scavenges and “binds to” cancer-causing chemicals to inactive them and promotes cell death of cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
Walnuts even contain melatonin; a hormone produced by your pineal gland that helps regulate your sleep and also offers potent antioxidant benefits. Eating walnuts, researchers found, increases your levels of melatonin along with its antioxidant activity in your body.
This Hawaiian staple is often considered a decadent treat, but there’s reason to add them to your regular diet. Macadamias contain 78 percent heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which is the highest of any oil, including olive oil.
Studies show that these healthiest nuts despite their high fat content, eating macadamia nuts helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, and may help to prevent coronary artery disease.
They are also one of the few foods to contain palmitoleic acid, which preliminary research suggests may play a role in fat metabolism and helping to reduce stored body fat.
Pecans needn’t be limited to your yearly slice of pecan pie at Thanksgiving, as, like other healthiest nuts, they offer a slew of health benefits.
Among the most significant are high levels of antioxidants, including vitamin E. As a result, research shows that eating a handful of pecans a day helps to stop oxidation of blood lipids, which may help to prevent coronary heart disease.
Pecans actually rank highest in antioxidant content among all nuts, which means they may be beneficial for lowering your risk of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. These healthiest nuts also contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin A, folic acid and magnesium, making them a smart snacking choice.
Tips for Adding Healthiest Nuts to Your Diet
When it comes to healthiest nuts, don’t let their size fool you — because they’re so packed with healthy fats and nutrients, a little bit goes a long way. A small handful, or about 1.5 ounces a day, is all you need to reap the benefits.
Keep in mind, too, that healthiest nuts are perishable and easily damaged by heat, air and light. This is especially true for nuts that contain omega-3 fats, such as walnuts.
To ensure your healthiest nuts are as fresh as can be, avoid purchasing them from bulk bins unless you know they have a high turnover rate, and do not leave healthiest nuts sitting in a hot car. Once home, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or even the freezer.
Further, due to their perishable nature, healthiest nuts that have been roasted using oil may contain rancid or damaged fats that are not healthy for your heart. For best results, look for healthiest nuts that are either raw or only lightly roasted (at temperatures no higher than 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit).
Now that you’re armed with the latest research, you no longer have to worry that the handful of healthiest nuts you crave is sabotaging your diet. On the contrary, a serving of healthiest nuts a day may very well help to keep the doctor away!
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