Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Lowest Calorie Nut

Pistachios can help keep your heart healthy and can help fight cell damage caused by free radicals in your body. Pistachios contain phenolic compounds, which are believed to account for the antioxidant capability of certain foods. The pistachio nut is placed in the highest group for antioxidants. That’s one hearty nut. Pistachios can provide you with nutrients that you may not receive at meal times while being an easily portable and enjoyable snack. Removing the shell makes consumption slower, reducing the urge to over-eat. Pistachios are naturally cholesterol-free and contain monounsaturated fat, similar to that found in olive oil, shown to lower both total and LDL "bad" cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk. Up to 15% of daily calories should come from monounsaturated fat. Pistachios are especially rich in phytosterols, which are directly associated with lowering cholesterol levels, and may offer protection from certain types of cancer. A one-ounce serving contains 49-shelled nuts and more than 10% of the Daily Value for dietary fiber. You can get more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios than a 1/2 cup of broccoli or spinach. One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half a large banana, and provides 6 grams of protein, and 170 calories.
Including delicious pistachios into any eating plan may be one of the best things you can do to protect your health.
  • Add chopped pistachios to yogurt or cream cheese
  • Pistachios can be added to muffins, pancakes, or oatmeal
  • Unsalted pistachios are an excellent addition to vegan or vegetarian diets

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dietary Fiber and Arthritis Link

One of the ways fiber can help with arthritis pain is by reducing inflammation, as measured by an indicator called C-reactive protein (CRP), for the same reason fiber is a benefit to your heart. Studies found that people who eat a diet high in fiber (about 28 grams a day) reduce their CRP levels. Surprisingly, the effect is most pronounce in people within their desired body weight (by about 40%). Those who are overweight experience about a 10% reduction in inflammation. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in the diet is key, as they are the best source of fiber. Foods rich in carotenoids (carrots, peppers, and other red & orange produce) were most strongly associated with CRP reduction. Strawberries specifically, were linked to lower CRP levels in an other study at the Harvard School of Public Health. Women who ate 16 strawberries per week were 14% less likely to have elevated levels of the inflammation indicator.
~ Medical University of South Carolina, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Flunkie Supplements

A report from the CDC will close the book on whether the popular supplements glucosamine and chondroitin actually help arthritis sufferers. Research of 10 placebo-controlled trials over a two year period conclude that the supplements used alone or in combination do not result in a relevant reduction of joint pain, nor do they affect joint-space narrowing. It is also believed that future trials will not likely show a clinincally relevant benefit of any of the evaluated supplements. Arthritis sufferers may want to consider the alternative treatment that science has not yet been able to debunk - such as dietary changes and exercise.
~ University of Bern, Switzerland, 2010