The Almond, Uric Acid, Gout And Stroke Connection + Free Event

 

I’ve always known almonds were good for us; that’s one reason why I featured a recipe a few days ago that had them as one of the main ingredients . But I had no idea of their connection with reducing uric acid and preventing gout. Now I will enjoy eating those almond-fueled sweet potato brownies more than ever! AND this article on uric acid, gout and stroke gives me even more ways to add almonds to my diet with some tasty sounding recipes at the end. Yea!

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Gout

The painful sign your stroke risk is growing

However, even where there is no history of any heart troubles, there is another factor that can greatly increase your risk…

Hyperuricemia.

That’s a condition related to high levels of uric acid in the body resulting from the natural breakdown of cells and as a byproduct of the foods you eat.

Hyperuricemia may be a condition that you’ve never come across before. But I bet you may know this one sign that you could be suffering from it…

And that’s gout — a type of recurrent arthritis commonly associated with high levels of uric acid.

In addition to causing a painful gouty joint (most often in your foot), uric acid is also an important biomarker of your vascular function.

On a more sinister level, high levels of uric acid can be a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD). And in fact, studies show that each 1 mg/dL increase in blood uric acid levels increases the risk of heart-associated death by 12 percent!

In recent years, the Western diet — full of sugar and refined carbohydrates — has been responsible for increasing levels of uric acid in many people.

But as luck would have it, there is a very simple way to reduce uric acid in your body…

Eat almonds every day

When researchers gave 150 CAD patients 10 grams of almonds each morning on an empty stomach for 12 weeks, they discovered their uric acid levels were 14 to 18 percent lower than those consuming no nuts.

So what is it about almonds that douse uric acid and protect you heart attack, stroke and gout?

Almonds provide a wide range of highly bioavailable nutrients that not only have a positive impact on uric acid levels but provide plenty of other health benefits, too.

A small handful of almonds provides:

  • Magnesium (96 mg) – for optimal heart and muscle function
  • Calcium (96 mg) – for maintaining strong bones
  • Potassium (262 mg) – for regulating blood pressure
  • Phosphorus (172 mg) – for energy production and bone mineralization
  • Vitamin E (9 mg) – a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation
  • Soluble fiber (4.5 g) – for optimal digestion, blood sugar and cholesterol regulation
  • Protein (6 g) – to support effective cell building and to stabilize blood sugar
  • Monounsaturated fat (7 g) – to correct cholesterol irregularities with proven ability to increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol
  • L-arginine (1 g) – a precursor to nitric oxide, a compound that promotes healthy circulation and blood pressure

Snacking on almonds directly is obviously one way to consume them. And all it takes to reduce uric acid levels is a measly 7 to 8 nuts per day.

But if you want to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by 28 percent, munch on a small handful each day, the equivalent of one ounce or around 23 nuts.

Of course, you don’t have to eat almonds plain because there are other interesting ways to include them in your menu:

  • Opt for almond flour when baking
  • Make your own trail mix using almonds
  • Use almond meal as a stuffing base instead of breadcrumbs
  • Add crushed almonds to your cereal or smoothie
  • Spread almond butter on toast, apple slices or celery
  • Add slivered almonds to salads
  • Make a jar of spiced toasted almonds

Source: https://easyhealthoptions.com/painful-sign-stroke-risk-growing/

Related Self-Help Health posts:

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/a-great-way-to-eat-more-sweet-potatoes/

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/jp-sears-takes-on-the-american-heart-association-plus-the-health-benefits-of-almonds/


 

And here’s a way to help de-stress your life (amen to that!) and nourish you on a more spiritual level. It’s a free event  on Sept 20th featuring Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle, two of my favorite representatives of wisdom and conscious living……

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, ocean and text

  • Strengthen Your Inner State of Peace and Security
  • Regain a Sense of Oneness and Connection with Yourself and Your Community
  • Feel more Calm, Present, and Joyful Every Day

You can sign up here: https://www.chopra.com/webinars/awakening-from-the-illusion-of-separateness-b#sm.000018z5yprdidtqu031b976bybqk

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

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A Great Way To Eat More Sweet Potatoes! :-)

 

Okay, so I thought about featuring an article about the horrible conditions discovered at a pig farm, and if you eat pork it’s definitely something you should read so you’re more aware of the kind of place your food is likely coming from. I also considered re-posting Food Babe’s exposé  on “natural” flavors. Eye-opening and more of what we need to be aware of in regard to the perils and pitfalls of our food system.

But with all the intense situations going on in the world these past few weeks, weather-wise and otherwise, I thought it was a good time to focus on something light and fun (and yummy), so I decided to feature this recipe for sweet potato brownies that I tried yesterday and thought was a winner….

 

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The secret behind these moist, super-chocolatey brownies? A Paleo, powerhouse ingredient: sweet potatoes!

Sweet potatoes are not only sustaining as a complex carbohydrate—they are also an excellent source of vitamin A (thanks to their beta-carotene content) and dietary fiber. But this isn’t merely a case of trying to hide a healthy ingredient in something palatable like brownies. No, these sweet potatoes make for some of the moistest brownies you’ve ever laid hands on. These sweet potato brownies strike just the right balance between cakey and fudgy.

They are easiest to make when you have some leftover, cooked sweet potato in the fridge, although the natural (unsweetened and unprocessed) canned version works too. If you don’t have any pre-cooked sweet potato to start, simply bake them in the oven at 400°F for 45 minutes or until you can poke them easily with a fork.

Our recipe may have the occasional chunk of sweet potato throughout the brownie, which makes for a nice textural element. If you’d like to mask the sweet potato more, you can try puréeing the cooked sweet potato with a little water for a smoother texture before stirring it in.

With only a handful of simple ingredients, these sweet potato brownies are as easy to make as they are tasty. They’re even customizable: you can top with chocolate chips or add nuts to the batter. They’re the perfect chocolatey base for a host of Paleo-friendly treats, like coconut milk ice cream or chocolate frosting. If you prefer sweeter, not as dark chocolatey brownies, opt for more maple syrup. Honey works here, too. If you’re a chocolate fiend, pair these with a warm cup of Paleo hot chocolate.

time
Total time: 40 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
Serves:10
Recipe by:  Courtney Hamilton

Ingredients:

  •  *3 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, or more to taste
  •  ½ cup melted coconut oil + extra for greasing
  •  ¾ cup almond meal
  •  1/3 cup cocoa powder
  •  1 t baking powder
  •  1 cup cooked sweet potato
  •  Optional: chocolate chips for topping

Instructions:

  •  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease baking pan with coconut oil.
  •  Whisk together the eggs, syrup, and coconut oil until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  •  Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Whisk in the sweet potato.
  •  Pour brownie batter into baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If using chocolate chips, lightly press them on the brownie shortly after it comes out of the oven.

Source: http://blog.paleohacks.com/sweet-potato-brownies/?utm_source=mg&utm_medium=mgemail&utm_campaign=brownies

Personal Note: I knew I wanted to try this recipe this weekend, so I had saved a cup of mashed sweet potatoes from two days before. That made putting things together so much quicker. And I didn’t have “official” almond meal, so I took 3/4 cup of sprouted raw almonds I had and ran them through a small food processor. They ended up more like a fine grind, rather than meal, but I liked the texture that added to the final product. And instead of just whisking the wet ingredients, I actually put the eggs, maple syrup, oil and sweet potato in the processor until everything was nice and velvet-y before adding to the dry ingredients. Also, I added 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and next time I think I’ll even use a full teaspoon.

Baking time depends partly on the size pan you use  and partly on how gooey you want the brownies to be. I used a 10″ round tart pan and cooked them for about 25 min so they wouldn’t be too firm. I didn’t feel they needed the optional chocolate chips, but I did have the thought that some french vanilla ice cream or raspberry sorbet might be nice, if you want to fancy the finished product up a bit. I may never get around to trying like that since I ended up eating a 1/4 of the pan right out of the oven. The recipe says “Serves 10,” but that certainly wouldn’t be the case in my house. Oh well, got to splurge every once in awhile. 🙂

*If you are avoiding eggs, you can check out this sweet potato brownie recipe, although I haven’t tried it myself.

Related Self-help Health posts:

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Use Orange Essential Oil To Alleviate Stress And Anxiety

 

Boy, with the way things are going in the world these days, it was very timely to come across this article about using orange essential oil for anxiety and stress relief . I have some therapeutic grade Wild Orange essential oil that I love the smell of and often use as an air “freshener” and mood lifter, and after reading this it’s no wonder why.  I immediately got up and put several drops on a cotton ball to infuse the room with its smell, plus dabbed some on my wrists and a little under my nose. Wonderful!!

 

 

If you’re like most people, your body is in a state of stress far too often…

Whether you’re fretting over a work deadline, worried about your relationship or feeling frazzled by the state of your finances, it’s easy to let daily life send you into a stress spiral.

But feeling afraid and stressed all the time is no way to live. Even worse, it could eventually take a toll on your physical health… which, in the end, will only create more stress.

But there is a way to stop the cycle of stress and fear… one that could help people with the even most serious fear-based conditions.

Because, truth be told, a lot of people deal with chronic, low-grade stress. But plenty more deal with high levels of chronic stress in the form of diagnosable anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition where you’re in an ongoing state of fear and stress due to some sort of traumatic experience in your life. It’s one of the most serious anxiety disorders, and it’s pretty hard to overcome. But researchers uncovered what could be a simple and side-effect free solution to PTSD-related stress…

The citrusy solution to stress

Researchers from George Washington University recently determined that orange essential oil can work wonders for mice with a fear disorder similar to PTSD…

These mice were conditioned to experience an intense feeling of fear when they heard a specific tone. Some mice also inhaled orange essential oil before and after being conditioned to fear this tone. And guess what happened to these little guys…

These mice displayed a lot less fear than other mice. For mice, freezing (like a deer in headlights) is a good behavioral sign of fear. But these mice froze less often, and when they did freeze, they did so for a much shorter period of time.

“The orange essential plant oil showed a significant effect on the behavioral response in our study mice. This is promising, because it shows that passively inhaling this essential oil could potentially assuage PTSD symptoms in humans,” said Cassandra Moshfegh, research assistant in Paul Marvar’s laboratory at the George Washington University.

You’ve probably also heard that fear negatively impacts your immune system. Well, researchers found that orange essential oil altered this response in mice too. Mice who inhaled orange essential oil had less immune cells activated in their body after the stressful event. And that’s a good thing…

Chronic stress can cause your immune system to go haywire, which is probably why it’s been linked to autoimmune disorders, among other health problems.

Orange oil for everyday stress

If you don’t have PTSD, but you do feel stressed out and fearful quite often, you may be wondering….

Can orange essential oil help me too?

My thought is, if orange essential oil can help with the serious stress and fear that accompanies a condition like PTSD, it’ll probably do the trick for less serious forms of stress and fear too. And there’s been some research to support this notion…

One study conducted by researchers in Brazil found that people who sniffed sweet orange essential oil before taking a stressful test were less anxious during and after the test than those who sniffed tea tree oil or water.

So there seems to be solid evidence behind the stress-busting powers of orange essential oil. That means, there’s no better time to pick up a bottle and add a few drops to your essential oil diffuser, your bath, your wrist (combined with a carrier oil, of course)… or just inhale it straight from the bottle. Whatever you need to do to alleviate the incessant fear and stress that’s taken over your life and find some peace in your day-to-day.

by  Jenny Smiechowski

Source: https://easyhealthoptions.com/best-essential-oil-relieve-stress/

Related Self-help Health post: Feeling Stressed? Rub Your Ears!

BTW, orange essential oil has LOTS of uses and benefits, including help with acne and dermatitis, relaxing muscle spasms, and improving cognitive function. Here’s just one article that will make you want to go out and buy some, if you don’t already have it on your shelf. Just be sure you get a high quality, therapeutic grade brand, and know that it can cause photo-sensitivity/toxicity, and only use internally under the supervision of your healthcare practitioner….

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/orange-essential-oil.html

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Nitric Oxide Dump = New Exercise Routine

 

This sounds interesting. I think I will give it a try. Want to join me?….

 

 By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Having been an avid exerciser for nearly five decades, there’s no doubt in my mind that a comprehensive fitness routine is essential for optimal health. Health and fitness is an ongoing, lifelong journey, though. It’s important to take stock of where you are and to keep pushing yourself to new heights. At the same time, you need to listen to your body and be willing to fine-tune or completely alter your workout routine as your circumstances change.

As an example, for nearly 40 years my primary exercise was long-distance running, but as I got older, I realized there were healthier and far more effective forms of exercise. Once I switched from running to peak fitness high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training, my fitness soared and my physique changed rather dramatically for the better.

A significant piece of the puzzle relates to how HIIT improves your mitochondria, and generates more of them. Mitochondria are tiny organelles found in nearly all of your cells, responsible for production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The more mitochondria you have and the healthier they are, the more energy your body can generate and the lower your risk of chronic diseases like arthritis, cancerheart disease and Alzheimer’s

Two Key Strategies to Help Your Fitness Soar in 2017

I still believe HIIT is the most effective and efficient way to reach your fitness goals, but I’ve further fine-tuned my approach and now use an even shorter routine that I believe is just as effective while being far safer, especially if you’re older or just starting out. Below, I’ll discuss this new technique, which I refer to as “the nitric oxide dump.”

The scientific literature also clearly shows that sitting for extended periods is a major, independent risk factor for chronic disease, even if you exercise regularly, so daily non-exercise movement is likely one of the most important fitness strategies for many — especially if you’re currently not exercising on a regular basis.

The reason for this is because sitting blocks a number of insulin-mediated systems, including muscular and cellular pathways that process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. Standing up — bearing your own body weight on your legs — activates all of these systems at the molecular level. I’ll review this below as well.

Super-Simple Way to Boost Your Health in Less Than 10 Minutes a Day

As mentioned, while I still endorse HIIT, I believe I’ve learned an even easier way to reap most if not all of the same benefits of a more elaborate HIIT protocol with just four simple movements — no weights or equipment required. Best of all, it only requires three minutes of your time, twice or three times a day, with at least two hours between sessions.

This is the nitric oxide (NO) dump exercise developed by Dr. Zach Bush. NO is an extremely important part of biochemical regulation, and understanding and controlling its formation has the potential for profound influences on your health. Most notably, NO:

  • Protects your heart by relaxing your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure
  • Stimulates your brain
  • Kills bacteria and defends against tumor cells
  • Helps maintain homeostasis in your body

For a demonstration, see the video above. If you have previously watched this video, please review it again as I recently updated it to correct a couple of errors and omissions that sneaked into my previous video. A key component I forgot in my earlier video is to make sure you’re breathing through your nose and not your mouth. Your nose actually regulates more than 30 physical processes, including the release of NO, and of course serves to filter the air you breathe.

Compared to a regular HIIT protocol, the NO dump exercise is a far gentler strategy that can be done by just about anyone, regardless of your current level of fitness or age. You’d be hard-pressed to injure yourself doing this. Since you’re just using your body to perform simple knee bends and arm lifts, the exercise is more or less automatically customized to your current level of ability.

Yet, despite its simplicity, I’m convinced you’ll still obtain most of the benefits you get from HIIT. While I demonstrate 20 reps in the above video, it is best to start at 10 reps and gradually work your way up to 20. Remember, don’t do this more than every two hours, as it takes that long for the NO to be generated from eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase).

Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2017/08/11/fitness-plan-2017-updates.aspx?


 

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And for those of you wanting to have healthier teeth and gums AND save money on dental visits, check out my What’s New page for details about the Alternatives to Dentists program that comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, plus several bonuses, including a free dental care kit. You’ll also find information about free health e-books and other resources. 

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Four Ways To Be Happier (and Healthier!)

 

A fascinating read. I already knew gratitude and hugs were good for us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but this article has some great information about the neuroscience behind why certain things have the effect on us that they do. Even worry can have a (temporary) positive effect, but unlike gratitude and hugs, it comes with a price….  

 

New neuroscience reveals 4 rituals that will make you happy

You get all kinds of happiness advice on the internet from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t trust them.

Actually, don’t trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.

UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life. Here’s what you and I can learn from the people who really have answers:

1) The Most Important Question To Ask When You Feel Down

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like your brain wants you to be happy. You may feel guilty or shameful. Why?

Believe it or not, guilt and shame activate the brain’s reward center.

Via The Upward Spiral:

Despite their differences, pride, shame, and guilt all activate similar neural circuits, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, pride is the most powerful of these emotions at triggering activity in these regions — except in the nucleus accumbens, where guilt and shame win out. This explains why it can be so appealing to heap guilt and shame on ourselves — they’re activating the brain’s reward center.

And you worry a lot too. Why? In the short term, worrying makes your brain feel a little better — at least you’re doing something about your problems.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, worrying can help calm the limbic system by increasing activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and decreasing activity in the amygdala. That might seem counterintuitive, but it just goes to show that if you’re feeling anxiety, doing something about it — even worrying — is better than doing nothing.

But guilt, shame and worry are horrible long-term solutions. So what do neuroscientists say you should do? Ask yourself this question:

What am I grateful for?

Yeah, gratitude is awesome… but does it really affect your brain at the biological level? Yup.

You know what the antidepressant Wellbutrin does? Boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable…

Know what Prozac does? Boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.

I know, sometimes life lands a really mean punch in the gut and it feels like there’s nothing to be grateful for. Guess what?

Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to find anything. It’s the searching that counts.

Via The Upward Spiral:

It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.

And gratitude doesn’t just make your brain happy — it can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. So express that gratitude to the people you care about.

(For more on how gratitude can make you happier and more successful, click here.)

But what happens when bad feelings completely overtake you? When you’re really in the dumps and don’t even know how to deal with it? There’s an easy answer…

2) Label Negative Feelings

You feel awful. Okay, give that awfulness a name. Sad? Anxious? Angry?

Boom. It’s that simple. Sound stupid? Your noggin disagrees.

Via The Upward Spiral:

…in one fMRI study, appropriately titled “Putting Feelings into Words” participants viewed pictures of people with emotional facial expressions. Predictably, each participant’s amygdala activated to the emotions in the picture. But when they were asked to name the emotion, the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activated and reduced the emotional amygdala reactivity. In other words, consciously recognizing the emotions reduced their impact.

Suppressing emotions doesn’t work and can backfire on you.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

Gross found that people who tried to suppress a negative emotional experience failed to do so. While they thought they looked fine outwardly, inwardly their limbic system was just as aroused as without suppression, and in some cases, even more aroused. Kevin Ochsner, at Columbia, repeated these findings using an fMRI. Trying not to feel something doesn’t work, and in some cases even backfires.

But labeling, on the other hand, makes a big difference.

Via Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long:

To reduce arousal, you need to use just a few words to describe an emotion, and ideally use symbolic language, which means using indirect metaphors, metrics, and simplifications of your experience. This requires you to activate your prefrontal cortex, which reduces the arousal in the limbic system. Here’s the bottom line: describe an emotion in just a word or two, and it helps reduce the emotion.

Ancient methods were way ahead of us on this one. Meditation has employed this for centuries. Labeling is a fundamental tool of mindfulness.

In fact, labeling affects the brain so powerfully it works with other people too. Labeling emotions is one of the primary tools used by FBI hostage negotiators.

(To learn more of the secrets of FBI hostage negotiators, click here.)

Okay, hopefully you’re not reading this and labeling your current emotional state as “Bored.” Maybe you’re not feeling awful but you probably have things going on in your life that are causing you some stress. Here’s a simple way to beat them…

For the other 2 “rituals,” check out the link below. Well worth the read, in my opinion.

Soruce: https://www.theladders.com/p/21219/neuroscience-4-rituals-happy

Related Self-help Health posts: Smiles = Good Medicine, Get Healthier With Gratitude, Gratitude & The DNA Connection, and Acts Of Kindness = Win-win-win Health Benefits

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

JP Sears Takes On The American Heart Association, Plus The Health Benefits Of Almonds

 

Okay, today we’ll interject some humor into the mix with one of the latest videos in JP Sears’ Ultra Spiritual series. This time he uses his tongue-in-cheek delivery style to focus on coconut oil, heart health and the terrible job the American Heart Association is doing in providing us with unbiased, accurate information. He always manages to stimulate, inform and get his point across, while making me laugh at the same time.

Hey, they say laughter is the best medicine, so you might end up a little healthier just from watching this. 🙂

 

Related Self-help Health post:  Coconut Oil:Yummiest Health Aid Ever

And speaking of foods that help prevent or off-set heart disease, look no further than tasty, versatile almonds. I remember years ago reading where Edgar Cayce, aka “The Sleeping Prophet,” recommended eating 2 to 3 almonds a day as a cancer preventative, but this article from the Food Revolution Network focuses on the heart and cardiovascular benefits of eating a handful daily. Eating almonds on a regular basis could also help with type 2 diabetes, eye issues, weight loss and more…….

Health benefits of almonds

By GreenMedInfo Research Group • Originally published on GreenMedInfo.com

Almonds are familiar to many people as a healthy food, but how exactly do they affect our health? Rich in many compounds that can be lacking in a Standard American Diet (appropriately abbreviated S.A.D.), almonds can be a tasty solution to many of the chronic health conditions and diseases seen today.

Almonds are one of those nutrient-dense foods that can be hard to stop munching on once you’re crunching on the first one or two. Whether you’re sipping on a glass of creamy homemade almond milk, taking your first bite of strawberry-topped almond meal pancakes, or enjoying stir fry sprinkled with slivered almonds, you’re not just satisfying your appetite, you’re deliciously optimizing your health.

Seeds carry all of the nutrients and genetic information required to grow and develop, so too does the almond bring vital health knowledge in the form of antioxidants, heart healthy fats, protein, and inorganic compounds like minerals, which are crucial to life as we know it.

How can something so small have effects so large when it comes to addressing serious health concerns? While we may never know the full biochemical explanations behind each way the almond fulfills its triumphant quest for homeostatic health, we can continue to sing its praises and enjoy a handful a day without remorse.

According to the CDC, over 600,000 people succumb to heart disease every year, which accounts for roughly 25% of the total annual deaths. So why don’t doctors prescribe a daily handful of almonds instead of a pharmaceutical for cholesterol issues?

High cholesterol has been seen as a primary cause of heart disease and is often treated with a class of drugs called statins. While statins shut down the enzyme pathway that synthesizes cholesterol, they also wipe out the highway to producing CoQ10 (an essential enzyme for producing energy in the body), and sometimes that damage is irreversible.

But naturally, there is a much safer solution that can be grown at home, purchased at the local grocery store, or health food store. One of the clinical studies on almonds and improvements in HDL cholesterol used only 10g of almonds per day, which is roughly 12-15 almonds, and this study was in patients who had pre-existing coronary artery disease.

Not only did HDL cholesterol improve, but there were reductions in triglycerides, total cholesterol including LDL cholesterol and VLDL (very low density lipoprotein), and the atherogenic index, which is strongly correlated with chronic inflammation and the development of vascular diseases [Jamshed, 2015].

Another health crisis emerging onto the global stage is type 2 diabetes, which is justly titled a pandemic [Hu, 2015]. The number of people worldwide projected to have type 2 diabetes by 2035 is almost 600 million, what a staggering statistic, and that’s not even considering the health care costs associated with diabetes.

While an imbalanced diet can be a causative factor in type 2 diabetes, nutritional improvements can reverse some of the harmful changes. Diabetes is a disease of improper glucose (sugar) metabolism, and is generally preceded by a cluster of conditions called metabolic syndrome. While the pharmaceutical model may target a disease from one pathway or direction, the almond has innumerable approaches to countering imbalance and restoring homeostasis.

Consuming just 60g (about 2 ounces) of almonds daily for four-weeks showed reductions in insulin resistance, fasting insulin and glucose. Other health outcomes that demonstrated improvements were cholesterol ratios, body fat percentage, and nutritional status (magnesium, fiber, fatty acid profile, etc.) [Sing-Chung, 2011].

The doctrine of signatures, dating back to the first century AD, is upheld in the carrot and almond’s uncanny resemblance to the human eye. While carrots may be the best-known food that benefits the eyes, almond’s have their own pedestal to stand on. Not just an adjective for eye color, almonds are incredibly important for proper functioning of our eyes. Our eyes are exposed to numerous chemicals and toxins that evade our five sense detection. The vasculature of our eyes contains some of the smallest blood vessels in our body, and when damage occurs, repair can be difficult, if not impossible.

Rich in vitamin E, almonds can help prevent abnormal changes to the lens, which can accelerate the development of cataracts. A study conducted in Finland concluded that, “a low plasma vitamin E level (lower quartile) was associated with a 3.7-fold excess risk (95% confidence interval 1.2-11.8) of the progression of early cortical lens opacities compared with the highest quartile (p = 0.028)” [Rouhiainen P, 1996].

We know the old adage, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” but imagine what an apple covered in almond butter would do to the pharmaceutical industry.

In a 2015 study, eating  cup of almonds (43g) with breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a standalone snack reduced blood sugar, and the snacking group of participants actually showed the largest decrease.

“DISCUSSION: Snacking reportedly increases the risk for weight gain, but such a broad generalization may mask differential responses to selected foods. This study compared the acute post-ingestive and the short-term effects of incorporating almonds in a meal or consuming them alone as snacks. It also allowed the assessment of possible physiological adaptations to almond consumption that could accentuate or diminish behavioral responses after 4 weeks of daily ingestion [Chen, 2015].”

It’s best to find imported Italian or Spanish almonds and sprout them for several hours or overnight (read more here). Depending on which health outcome you’re searching for, a mere 10-60g of almonds (the range used in the aforementioned studies) incorporated into your diet can ameliorate type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eye issues, and many other health conditions.

Food should taste good, but more importantly, it should relay valuable biologic information that with each bite can positively affect our state of being. So keep almonds in your desk, purse, backpack, cupboard, and close to your heart, because they’ll be protecting yours.


From the editor: An important note about raw almonds:

In the last decade, it has become difficult to find healthy, raw, organic almonds. Almonds grown in the U.S. make up 80% of the world’s almond supply. But in 2007, the USDA made it a requirement that all almonds commercially sold in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico must be pasteurized. If they’re not steamed, they must be fumigated with a chemical called propylene oxide or PPO.

Pasteurized almonds and almond butter may still confer significant health benefits – but if you prefer truly raw almonds, what’s the best option?

You may find almonds that claim to be “raw,” but companies can make this claim, even if it isn’t true, because no labeling requirement exists. In reality, “raw” may simply mean pasteurized with steam, as opposed to the “roasted” flavor in roasted almond butter. If the almonds you find are grown in the U.S., most likely they are pasteurized. If you want truly raw almonds, you may have to choose almonds that are imported from Spain or Italy because they are not subject to these same requirements.

As pointed out in a GreenMedInfo article, there is one “secret” exception to the U.S. mandate about almond pasteurization. The only way to purchase raw, unpasteurized almonds grown in the U.S. is to buy directly from the farmer who grows them. The author mentions Bremner Farms as an option for raw, organic, unpasteurized almonds and other nuts. You can find other options online as well – including potentially through a farmer’s market.

Source: https://foodrevolution.org/blog/almond-health-benefits/

AND another way to promote cardiovascular health is by taking a certain type of probiotic called Lactobacillus plantarum. You can read more about the research behind it here:

http://doctormurray.com/probiotics-can-affect-more-than-just-digestion/

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Celery: Chomped or Juiced = Multiple Health Benefits

 

I’ve always thought celery was fairly tasteless and only good when a stalk is filled with something like peanut butter, herbed cream cheese or the like. But that’s really short-selling a first-rate vegetable that offers loads of health benefits all on its own. And it can be used in so many different types of recipes, whether part of a soup base, Waldorf salad, crudité platter, veggie juice, etc……

 

There are a wealth of health benefits of celery that many people are not aware of, including the fact that celery is rich in vitamin C, it lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, manages pain from arthritis, helps weight loss attempts, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways.

Nutritional Value of Celery

Celery contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium.  It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, C, E, D, B6, B12 and vitamin K. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and fiber.

Health Benefits of Celery

The health benefits of celery include the following:

Reduced blood pressure: Celery contains pthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. This allows your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system, and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis, or suffering from a heart attack or a stroke.

Reduced cholesterol: Eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or “bad” cholesterol). The pthalides in celery also stimulates the secretion of bile juices, which works to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in celery also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

Antiseptic: Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. Therefore, celery is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. Celery seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.

celeryHealthy joints: Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and gout.  It had anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps to remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort of frequent joint use. It can also increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints.

Prevents cancer: Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes. These cancer-fighting components detoxify carcinogens. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, which can effectively stave off cancer as well.  These antioxidant components seek out free radicals floating in the body and damaging organs and neutralize them before they can result in the development of serious conditions like cancer.

Improved immune system: Celery is rich in vitamin C, which greatly boosts the strength of the immune system. Stimulated by the activity of other antioxidants in celery, it becomes more active and efficient. Because of the high content of vitamin C in celery, eating it regularly can reduce your risk of catching the common cold, as well as protecting you against a variety of other diseases.

Reduces Asthma Symptoms: Vitamin-C prevents free radical damage and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Cardiovascular health: The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.

Diuretic activity: Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help to regulate the fluid balance in the body. Potassium also acts as a vasodilator, reducing blood pressure.

Relief from migraines: The presence of coumarins can provide relief from migraines. The exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, but research points to a suppression of Nitric Oxide release in the brain which can cause headaches and migraines.

Treats rheumatism: Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3nB, are effective for treating arthritis and muscular pains.

Diabetes Health: Celery leaves are also eaten for treating diabetic conditions, particularly because they are high in fiber, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.

Relief from ophthalmological diseases: Dripping celery tea drops on eyelids is good for certain ophthalmological conditions, and can improve your eye health, reduce your chances of developing cataracts, and protects you against macular degeneration.

Nerve calming properties: Celery contains high calcium and due to this it is commonly used to calm the nerves.

Weight loss: Health benefits of celery include weight management. Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help you to reduce your weight. This is because celery is very low in calories, but it is very filling because of the fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

Other benefits: Celery acts as an antioxidant as well, and in truth, all parts of celery including the seeds, roots and leaves can be used. Eating celery regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver and gallbladder; neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity and tuberculosis. It also helps in the overall health and strength of teeth.

Celery: How to select and store?

Celery is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose the celery which is green in color, has no discoloration, has fresh and crisp leaves. Store it in refrigerator and use in 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.

Word of caution: Celery seeds contain volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins and linoleic acid and are therefore not good for pregnant women because they may cause contractions in the uterus. Other than that, eat as many of those crunchy, green, and healthy stalks as you can!

Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-celery.html

Some added info about celery from ph360…..

  • It contains certain plant sterols that can pass the blood-brain barrier, providing some benefits to brain cells.
  • It can help calm the body and reduce internal pressure, because increased blood pressure and anxiety can contribute to sleep disturbances.
  • It can help maintain the structure and elasticity of blood vessels, joints and tissues thanks to its copper content. Copper plays an important role in the activity of the enzyme lysyl oxidase needed for collagen and elastin.
  • Its manganese content is great for the brain and nervous system’s health and function.
  • It’s a natural source of phosphorus, which is good for healthy bone formation, improved digestion, and hormonal balance.
  • It is one of the best sources of natural nitrate, a natural vasodilator. To get the best nitrate benefit the best ways to have celery are: raw, cooked with mild heat (50 °C, 10–30 min), or include it in a juice you drink right away.
  • The quercetin content of celery (which provides the body protection from oxidative stress) is maintained when simmered or made in a soup because this flavonoid gets transferred into the water or broth.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties come from its potent phenolic antioxidants which protect from oxidative damage to blood vessel walls.

More on the many benefits of celery, especially in connection to high blood pressure:

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/just-four-stalks-celery-day-can-reduce-high-blood-pressure

And even though my post on celery juice included a video about some of its benefits, I found the video below even more enlightening as to how and why celery juice is so good for our bodies…

Related Self-help Health post:

The Benefits of Celery Juice

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health page and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine

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