A dog, a wife, and a walnut tree, they more you beat them the better they be.
It looks like a simple change to our diet, like eating a few walnuts a day, boosts our health in some amazing ways.
I’ve long thought that eating nuts was a good idea, and now some scientists at the Louisiana State University agree with me. After some experiments they say that eating a couple of ounces of walnuts a day improves your digestive health. Seems it’s all to do with prebiotics again, and that walnuts have their beneficial effects by nourishing the friendly bacteria in our gut, helping them to thrive and multiply.
These good bacteria have anti-inflammatory properties, and chronic inflammation is now thought to be central to the onset of arthritis, various cancers including prostate and breast cancer, depression, early aging, various heart / circulatory diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
It’s better to get the nutrients for healthy skin from food, not supplements. Salmon, walnuts, blueberries, spinach… lots of my favorite foods happen to be amazing for skin too. ~ Gail Simmons
Scientists and nutritionists say that the health of our digestive tract is central to the health of our whole body. Walnuts act as a prebiotic, meaning that eating these nuts helps keep our digestive system healthy.
Gut health is an emerging research area, but we are seeing greater bacterial diversity may be associated with better health outcomes, whereas low diversity has been linked to conditions such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. ~ Professor Lauri Byerley.
Walnuts and hazelnuts are just about the oldest tree foods known to man; their importance going at least at far back as 7,000 BC. Walnuts in particular;
- Help with weight loss.
- Improve good sleep if eaten late at night~ walnuts contain lots of melatonin.
- Are good for your hair, in fact eating walnuts may help prevent hair loss.
- Are very good for your heart and circulation.
- Help to lower your bad cholesterol.
- Help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Makes your skin healthier.
- Can keep senile dementia at bay.
- Help to prevent various cancers, especially breast and pancreatic cancers.
- Will help you to live a longer, healthier, and less stressful life.
Personally, I firmly believe that eating almost any type of nuts and seeds is a beneficial addition to one’s diet, but walnuts may be better than most as they are the only nut that contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acid. And, as we already know, omega-3 fatty acids are good for us. Walnuts also have a lot of protein, fibre, phytochemicals, and antioxidants in them.
Walnuts are a tree nut, along with Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts and pistachios ~ each of these has it’s own nutritional properties, (I can’t abide macadamia nuts and I hate pecan pie).
Walnuts have the vitally important amino acid l-arginine, which give loads of benefits to people with heart diseases, or who may become prone to suffering from heart and circulatory problems.
These almost magical nuts also contain neuroprotective compounds, such as vitamin E, folate, and melatonin. Research shows that eating a half a cup of walnuts a day may stave off senile dementia.
Allegedly, walnuts also make men more sexually potent, and are good for pregnant women…..
There is one nut which is not generally thought to be quite so healthy; peanuts. These are legumes anyhow, and basically legumes are either peas or cattle food. The main reason that early farmers grew legumes is that they improve the soil, and not because they’re good to eat.
Nevertheless, there are health benefits to be found from the humble peanut; they’re full of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, the anti-aging molecule resveratrol, and phytosterols that help reduce bad cholesterol.
Nuts and seeds are a far better snack than the other disgusting crap many people munch on, especially late at night. So don’t snack on potato chips, crackers, popcorn, blue cheese, ice cream, doughnuts, pretzels, candy, chocolate, cookies, cake, s’mores… have some walnuts instead, or almonds, or hazelnuts, (or any nuts and seeds).
The good news is, that glass of red wine you like late at night is good for you too.
always buy organic walnuts
I wanted to be healthier, fitter, and look better, (or at least look as well as I could). Turns out I developed a sustainable plan for eating, exercise, and good health.
It all started on June 9th, when I came to the conclusion that I really, really, needed to give up coffee for a month Too much coffee was turning me into a mad dog. I’ve only had coffee on 2 days since then, and for me, coffee is now a drink only for after a special meal, with a special friend.
As I felt much better not drinking coffee I also resolved to cut all the junk out of my diet. This is easier said than done ~ most of the stuff we eat is full of salt, sugar, additives, colourings, and sundry crap. After a while I decided that I just had to stop eating a lot of processed, packaged, pre-prepared food. For me, there is also the big issue of Abstinence versus Control.
Then I wanted a couple of other things; to get a decent sun tan, and get some exercise. Ha! I could do both by going for long walks on the beach, in the sunshine.
So, 6 weeks ago I came up with this plan.
- Take a long walk every day it wasn’t raining. Walking is good for you. I bought a pedometer, and my long walk turned into 10 miles every day, which takes me about three-and-a-half hours. I also found I could do some upper-body isometric exercise while I was walking in the sunshine. Sun tan and exercise!
- No alcohol whatsoever. I am not supposed to drink anyway, and if you want to look as good as you can, then you need to give up booze, (and I mean completely), for 6 weeks. In fact you should stop drinking beer for the rest of your life.
- No wheat whatsoever. This includes wheat products like bread, cakes, noodles, pasta, and beer… Modern wheat is full of nasty stuff, piles on fat around your stomach, and will eventually harm your insides. Everybody should probably stop eating wheat.
- Take as little sugar as possible. This means cutting out all those canned, packaged, processed foods. Stop drinking soda completely. Quitting coffee and switching to green tea helps too. Not eating wheat products also cuts out a lot of sugar. Too much refined sugar will kill you anyway.
- Eat only healthy meals prepared at home. Unless you’ve bought the produce and cooked / prepared the meal yourself, you have no idea what you are eating. In any event, eating out is too likely to lead one down the road of overeating and booze. There are hundreds of quick and easy menus ~ hell just read my Food on Friday blog if you run out of ideas.
- No snacks, no grazing, no eating between meals, over large meals, cookies with coffee… And, do not have more than 3 meals in a day. In fact, do no have more than a light breakfast, light lunch, and reasonable evening meal in each day.
This eating plan is going to be a big problem for some people, it certainly was for me. I am one of those people who can give up stuff easily, but I can’t control how much stuff I want once I’ve started. Like most of us, once I start eating I want to eat more.
My solution was daily intermittent fasting, eating only 1 meal a day, my evening meal.
You will be surprised to know that I found this programme very easy to follow.
And when I checked my wight yesterday I found I had hit my target of 150 pounds, which means I have shed 3 pounds of flab, every week for 6 weeks. Add it up.
There is reality in the illusion of a tough journey to physical fitness.
A friend said to me that she does not do New Year Resolutions. Neither do I. Each and every single day I work to be just a bit better than I was yesterday. However, I know I have been spending too much time on mental and spiritual fitness, and not enough effort on my physical fitness. Therefore, starting right now I am on a new diet, exercise regime, a better way of living…
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. ~ John F. Kennedy
Booze, No alcohol whatsoever, and sobriety is not as easy as you may think. Instead drink water, lots of water, some with lemon juice and some with apple cider vinegar, some as coffee and some as green tea. Doctors say that we should be drinking about 4 pints of fluid a day, (is that Imperial or US pints?).
Carbohydrates are bad for me. Cut out refined carbohydrates. While it’s going to be difficult to avoid all carbohydrates, I am utterly determined to reduce refined carbohydrate to a minimum. And, do you know what? Here in England not eating wheat, being gluten free, cutting carbohydrates, is becoming commonplace for healthier women and men.
Coffee. On the other hand, I am not giving up coffee ~ (black), coffee is good for you, (probably). Nor am I giving up butter, olive oil, or red meat. I am adding more of the so-called superfoods; lemon, green tea, avocado, walnuts, apples, shallots, broccoli, cabbage and garlic to my diet In my spice rack, cumin, turmeric, paprika, thyme, sage and ginger, (curries are back on my menu) .
Calories. Reduce my calorie intake to some 2,200 a day. I’m about 7 pounds overweight for my height and build. The caffeine in the coffee I am going to continue to drink will help the weight loss thing.
Sleep. Get more sleep, my body is telling me that I should be getting 7 or 8 hours restful sleep every night. Most medical studies say the same thing. Currently, I’m only sleeping for 5 or so hours, less than that on a bad night.
Exercise. Walk don’t run. Do more Stair Laps. There are 56 steps between the lobby and my garret. Currently I am walking up and down these in sets of 5 at a time ~ I want to work up to 5 x 5 a day, which works out at 1400 steps ~ add in my normal trips to the ground floor and that’s a climb of just about 1,000 feet a day. Not a bad cardiovascular workout.
Definitely looking overweight in this picture.