NUTS, SEEDS, LEGUMES, AND HERBS
Are You Interested in Protecting Your Heart? If So, Eat Walnuts!
Walnuts are a unique and particularly enriching nut. Unlike many nut varieties, walnuts contain high
amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), specifically omega 3s and omega 6s, rather than monounsaturated fatty acids. PUFAs offer a host of health benefits. The Harvard School of Public Health asserts that omega 3 fatty acids reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and blood triglycerides. They also decrease inflammation, making omega 3 fatty acids a potential remedy for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases as major depression and Crohn’s disease, respectively. Likewise, omega 6 fatty acids protect the heart, helping to lower total cholesterol and LDL - bad cholesterol.
Based on the benefits that PUFAs provide, it is no surprise that research abounds regarding the cardioprotective effects of walnut consumption. The Journal of Nutrition mentions many studies providing evidence that walnuts help reduce and prevent coronary heart disease. Still, walnuts protect the heart in another vital way - through the prevention of endothelial dysfunction.
The endothelium is a membrane that lines the heart and blood vessels, such as arteries. While endothelial cells are involved in many bodily functions, one important role that the endothelium plays is to release substances that control the relaxation and contraction of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction involves a change in the actions of the endothelium that causes impaired vasodilation. In other words, blood vessels fail to widen adequately. Medical authorities state that hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity are conditions that may cause this dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction precedes the development of atherosclerosis, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrates that walnut consumption weakens and helps thwart this dysfunction. The journal cites a study that included participants suffering from high cholesterol and consequently endothelial dysfunction. Study results showed that regularly supplementing participants’ diets with walnuts weakened the dysfunction. Moreover, another study demonstrated that eating walnuts prevented the endothelial dysfunction invoked by consuming a high-fat meal in both healthy individuals and those with high cholesterol.
With heart disease ravaging the nation, it is critically important to adopt a healthy, heart-smart diet. The research indicates that this means regularly consuming walnuts.
Holy Basil Isn't Your Ordinary Herb
Holy basil is a plant that is native to the Indian subcontinent. Do not confuse it, however, with the basil that you add to marinara sauce. Holy basil is not a typical herb!
Holy basil wields powerful healing properties. Research published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer establishes that the plant effectively reduces stress, modulates the immune system, lowers cholesterol in the blood, alleviates inflammation, thwarts diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels, and does much more. Still, most impressive is the plant's ability to stave off the #2 killer in America, cancer. The aforementioned journal and another recent study in the publication Cancer Letters reveal that holy basil prevents cells from producing tumors and halts the proliferation of cancer.
So, if you are serious about your health and want to employ natural remedies to prevent sickness and disease, besides eating plant-based foods and staying active, incorporate potent herbs as holy basil into your dietary regimen!
From Increasing Sexual Desire to Alleviating Cramps, Dill Is the Answer
Dill, an aromatic herb, adds a fresh flavor to salads, fish, and other foods. This herb plays a much more interesting and useful role in the body, however.
Male Sexual Reproduction
A recent animal study in the Journal of Zhejiang University Science demonstrated that dill impacts male sexual behavior. Male rats that received dill extract showed increased mounting frequency when presented with an active estrous female rat (estrous is equivalent to menstruation). Researchers believe that like many other medicinal plants, dill accomplishes this by stimulating the central nervous system. Moreover, in these rats the herb also triggered the biological processes involved in spermatogenesis (the process of producing sperm cells) and the synthesis of androgen (a hormone the triggers the development and maintenance of male characteristics). Additional trials are necessary to confirm dill’s ability to similarly affect humans; still, this herb's ability to enhance male sexual arousal seems quite promising.
Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
The Journal of Research in Medical Sciences published research asserting that dill relieves abdominal pain caused by menstrual cramps. Seventy-five women ingested 1000 mg of dill powder for 5 days, starting 2 days before menstruation, for 2 cycles. The study’s results showed that dill was as effective as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as Motrin, at reducing menstrual cramps.
Other research demonstrated dill’s ability to alter the female reproductive system. Dill changed the estrous cycle of female rats and increased their milk production.
As dill is part of the celery family and research shows that celery acts like Viagra (Read more about celery here: http://www.kiricole.com/Celery.html), it is no surprise that this herb also positively affects the human reproductive system. While herbs are often ignored, evidently dill is one worthy of your attention!
Promote Heart and Gut Health and Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes with Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) boast many healthful benefits. As a prebiotic, they nourish the “forgotten organ” or the intestinal flora. Garbanzo beans stimulate the growth and activity of friendly bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. As such, they promote gut and overall health, as the intestinal flora supports the body’s immune system and metabolism, manufactures vitamins, and much more. (Read More about Gut Health: http://www.kiricole.com/Probiotics.html) Moreover, RAW garbanzo beans promote heart-health and are an excellent food choice to stave off diabetes and fight this condition. Both The Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism and The British Journal of Nutrition cite studies revealing that garbanzo beans lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol. The latter publication also reports that they improve insulin resistance and help reduce body fat in animal models. Plus, garbanzos contain polyphenols, plant compounds that protect vegetation from ultraviolet radiation and pathogens. The journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity provides research indicating that diets rich in polyphenols increase antioxidant levels in the body and help thwart various life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, coronary heart disease, and degenerative diseases. Make sure, however, to enjoy garbanzos soaked and sprouted! More than 50% of polyphenol content is lost when they are cooked!
RAW hummus is an excellent way to relish garbanzo beans as is simply adding them to a hearty salad. Eat nutrient-dense foods as garbanzos and live a long, vibrant life!
Combat Cancer with Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds contain approximately 40% fat, 20% protein, and vitamin E, specifically rich amounts of gamma-tocopherol. There are 8 forms of vitamin E. The journal Carcinogensis reports that gamma-tocopherol is especially effective in staving off cancer, most notably prostate cancer.
So, gentlemen, next time you go grocery shopping, consider purchasing raw sesame seeds. You can eat them alone, sprinkle them on a salad or steamed vegetables, or even add them to poultry after you have prepared it.