Tag Archives: Walnuts

Foods to Improve Your Health

You are what you eat. Seriously. The foods that you put into your body are responsible for keeping you healthy and happy. There are so many “superfoods” or diets that promise nothing short of miraculous results or health benefits and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. That’s why we created this super short list of just three foods that you can add to your diet today to improve your health.

Quinoa

Quinoa
For the past few years, this superfood has been receiving tons of attention. Although it is commonly referred to as a grain, quinoa is actually the seed from a vegetable that is related to Swiss chard and spinach. Quinoa is an incredibly versatile food that can be used in everything from your favorite salad to a delicious pudding dessert. Riboflavin, which improves the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells, is found in abundance in quinoa. Consuming foods high in riboflavin can help those who suffer from migraines have fewer attacks. Additionally, quinoa is a high-protein, low-calorie complex carbohydrate that is very helpful for weight management.

Kale chips

Kale
Dark, leafy greens are always a good addition to your diet, but even spinach can’t quite compete with the nutritional benefits that kale provides. Kale is packed with nutrients and extremely low in calories and provides health benefits from heart disease prevention to healthy skin and hair. The fiber, potassium and vitamins C and B6 contained in kale all work to promote healthy heart functioning. When it comes to changing diet for improved heart health, the most important change you can make is to decrease your sodium intake while increasing your potassium intake. Vitamin K is essential for healthy bones and just a one-cup serving of kale provides nearly 700% of your daily vitamin K needs. Iron and vitamins A and C all benefit your hair and skin. Iron deficiencies are commonly a cause for hair loss while vitamin A is necessary for moisturization levels as well as the growth of bodily tissues, including your skin and hair. Vitamin C supports healthy collagen building and maintenance, which keeps your skin looking young and radiant.

Walnuts.

Walnuts
When it comes to health foods, nuts are certainly not new on the scene. In moderation, nuts are an excellent addition to your diet, and one nut in particular may be especially beneficial. Walnuts contain protein and a healthy dose of antioxidants. Dr. Joe Vinson, a researcher at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, notes that “[t]wenty-eight grams of walnuts (an ounce) have more antioxidants than the sum of what the average person gets from fruits and vegetables. That is not to say they are a replacement for fruits and vegetables, but they are very antioxidant dense.” Although nuts are not a low-calorie food, they are filling meaning an ounce of nuts as a snack can make you less likely to overindulge at your next meal. What really sets walnuts apart from other nuts is their high content of serotonin. Serotonin is the “feel-good” chemical in your brain that is responsible for creating feelings of calm and happiness and walnuts are one of the richest dietary sources of serotonin available.

The importance of eating well cannot be stressed enough. Following a diet that is full of essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals helps ensure that your body is receiving everything that it needs to keep you both healthy and happy. You don’t have to change your entire diet overnight, gradually adding foods that improve your health will still have a significant positive impact on all areas of your health from increasing happiness to giving you glowing skin.

Eat These 5 Nuts for Healthy Skin

Nuts are exceptional to add to any diet, but all too often they get overlooked for fat or calorie content. While they may be higher in these areas, nuts provide benefits in so many areas from brain and bone health to clearer, healthier skin. Not all nuts are quite equal when it comes to skin care benefits. Below, find five of our favorite nuts that give you healthy skin.

Almonds

Almonds
Almonds are such a delicious way to treat your skin. Eating almonds benefits all skin types, but they may be especially useful if you are experiencing acne, psoriasis or eczema. Almonds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and they contain antioxidant compounds that flush toxins from your body and cleanse your skin from the inside. Substances known as alpha-tocopherols, found in significant amounts in almonds, are one of the best sources of vitamin E, which nourishes your skin and protects it from external factors. Not only can you eat almonds for healthy skin, but you can receive the skin benefits of almonds by using almond oil.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia Nuts
There are seven types of macadamia nuts around the world, but only two of these are edible. Australia is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts, but Hawaiian macadamia nuts have a reputation for having the best taste. Macadamia nuts have a high flavonoid content, and flavonoids keep your skin protected from damage due to environmental toxins and free radicals. Macadamia nuts are naturally high in protein which improves the strength and appearance of your skin, in addition to your hair and nails.

Pistachio

Pistachios
These little green nuts are not only fun to snack on and when you choose them for an afternoon pick-me-up, they give you much more than a bit of energy. Pistachios are a source of vitamin E and vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that combats signs of aging in a two main ways. First, vitamin E provides a bit of natural UV protection (but don’t skip your sunscreen) that battles the visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally vitamin E is a very emollient ingredient which means that vitamin E keeps your skin looking and feeling moisturized.

Walnuts.

Walnuts
Essential fatty-acids and B vitamins are major components of walnuts that combat stress and depression. Julie Mancuso, a holistic nutritionist, explains why this benefits your skin. “A lack in fatty acids may lead to depression and mood disorders. B vitamins help with stress management and mood and prevent skin disorders.” Stress and mood impact your skin by causing breakouts, redness, inflammation and fine lines and wrinkles. When your stress levels are controlled and your mood is stable, your skin is far healthier, and who doesn’t want to be a bit happier?

Pecans.

Pecans
A one ounce serving of pecans contains about 2.7 grams of fiber. Fiber isn’t just important for healthy digestion, it is also a factor in healthy skin. The toxins inside your body manifest outside on your skin with the appearance of breakouts, dullness and excess oil. Mancuso says fiber “…helps with the elimination of toxins and waste.” As fiber rids your body of toxins and waste, your skin begins to become clearer, more radiant and more balanced.

Nuts are such an excellent snack choice: They’re super easy to transport, require no prep time (minus unshelled pistachios) and give you a shot of energy while also providing serious skin health benefits. Moderation is the key when enjoying these treats, so stick close to a one ounce serving (about a fistful of most nuts) when you want to munch on these. Eating nuts regularly will improve your overall health and increase the health level of your skin.

Science Says Eating These Foods Make You More Happy

Your diet is directly linked to your health, and not just your physical health. The foods that you choose to eat can improve your mood, keep you calm and increase your overall levels of happiness. If you want to be healthy and happy, consider adding the following five mood-boosting foods to your diet.

Coffee beans.

Coffee
If you can’t imagine a morning without at least one cup of coffee, then this study will make definitely make you happy. Research from the Nurses’ Health Study shows that the risk of becoming depressed is 15% lower in women who drank two to three cups of coffee each day. That number increased to 20% in women who consumed four or more cups of coffee daily. Researchers believe that this is due to the caffeine content found in coffee. Caffeine increases dopamine and serotonin transmission in as little as 30 minutes.

Yoghurt

Yogurt
Eating cultured dairy products increases your probiotic bacteria (the healthy kind of bacteria) in your gut, but it may also do a bit more. A UCLA health study indicated that women who consumed probiotic yogurt twice daily had a decreased stress response when shown images of angry or frightened faces. This finding aligns with a study that found mice who were fed a probiotic had a significantly diminished stress response during the completion of a maze and being forced to swim (two activities that generally stress rats out). The theory as to why cultured dairy increases happy is that your gut and brain send messages via the vagus nerve and probiotics may send a message to remain calm and lessen stress. When you go to the market for your yogurt, be sure you are buying yogurt that is labeled as having “live and active cultures.”

Dark chocolate

Chocolate
The idea that chocolate makes you happy may not be new to you, but there is actual science behind why this happens. You know that dark chocolate contains tons of antioxidants, perhaps most beneficially polyphenols. Studies have shown that one of the polyphenols in dark chocolate actually mimics the effects of marijuana on the brain. An Australian study showed that individuals who consumed a drink with high doses of dark chocolate received a contentment and calmness that other participants didn’t. When choosing your chocolate, remember that the darker it is, the better it is for you. Strive to always eat chocolate with a cacao content of 70% or higher.

Walnuts

Walnuts
A Nurses’ Health Study discovered that women with the highest levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in their diets were less likely to be depressed than those with a low intake of ALAs. The science behind this mood-boosting food is pretty straightforward: when you have low levels of ALA, inflammation in your body increases which is linked to depression. Not consuming enough alpha-linolenic acid actually decreases your natural levels of dopamine and serotonin, leading to depression.

Steamed clams.

Clams
Clams are loaded with vitamin B12, which is may keep you happy. Low levels of B12 can lead directly to depression, because the vitamin is necessary in order for the brain to function properly. Studies show that people with depression who added a B12 supplement to their antidepressants had significantly improved mood after a three-month period. Don’t worry if you don’t like clams, you can also get B12 benefits from tuna, salmon and beef.

Your diet not only keeps your body healthy, it can keep your brain happy as well. By stocking up on the five foods above, you feed your body and brain with essential vitamins, minerals, chemicals and antioxidants that help you perform at your highest, and happiest, level.