Daily Archives: November 15, 2010

Walnuts are Wonderful!


Two Juglans regia walnuts.

Image via Wikipedia

I really hope you like walnuts! Are you aware of the many health benefits associated with walnuts?  Let’s begin with the obvious. Walnuts are shaped like brains so therefore must be  good for your brains!  Right?  Remember, if something is good for your heart  then it’s also good for your brain. Guess what, if  it’s good for your brain, then it’s good for your heart.

Here are some of the many health benefits of walnuts. Walnuts are high in protein and vitamin and nutrient loaded!  They are a healthy fat and recommended as a part of the Mediterranean diet lifestyle, which includes fruits, vegetables, fish, and of course cold pressed olive oil. Walnuts are loaded with omega 3’s which improve brain function. Our brains need omega 3 fats to function properly, so why not have walnuts?  They also contain antioxidants and fiber. Walnuts promote anti- aging.  All of these good ingredients contained in walnuts help our bodies handle stress better, too. This amazing food has also been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL values. But wait, there’s more. Did you realize walnuts have been linked to weight management and even help with weight loss?

Walnuts are most definitely an  amazing, healthy, anti-aging, brain food!

Here is a recipe I created for spiced walnuts. Enjoy!

Spiced Walnuts

Ingredients:

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

2-2 1/2 cups walnut halves or pieces

1/2 cup sugar and stevia mixture

2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons nutmeg

2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice-if available

Preheat oven to 250* and line a shallow baking dish with foil

In a bowl, combine egg white and water-beat until foamy. Mix the walnuts in and stir until coated. Put the mixture in a colander to drain for 3-5 minutes.

Combine sugar mixture with all the spices in a paper or plastic bag and shake. Add the walnuts, close the bag and shake so all the walnuts are coated with the mixture.

Spread the walnuts on the foil lined shallow baking in a single layer.

Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

After removing from the oven, let the walnuts cool completely. Store in an air tight container. Enjoy!

 

Memory Loss Does Not Have to be a Part of the Normal Aging Process


Drawing comparing how a brain of an Alzheimer ...

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever thought about your brain health? Have you ever heard or even said, “Oh, I just don’t remember things as well as I used to, but that’s normal.” But guess what, new research has now shown that one’s memory skills and cognitive abilities do not have to decline as a part of the normal aging process. We are never too old to learn and need to embrace the concept of lifelong learning. There are many things each of us can do to maintain or even improve our memory skills and overall cognitive abilities.

First, let’s begin with some very basic tasks you can use immediately and continue on a daily basis. Try brushing your teeth with your non dominant hand. This helps form new brain pathways, promoting new learning. Once you are comfortable brushing your teeth with your opposite hand, then alternate hands on a daily or weekly basis. You can try the same technique when brushing your hair. Another simple task to incorporate into your life is upon entering the grocery store begin your shopping on the other side of the store. This helps break your regular routine and encourages you to think. For a more complex challenge, try shopping at a different store. This helps your problem solving skills improve as you navigate your way through an unfamiliar environment. By trying things a little differently, you help create new brain pathways to keep your brain healthy.

Want some additional ideas to promote a healthy brain? Consider this-if something is good for your heart, then it is also good for your brain. Eating fish at least 1x/week decreases your risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Not bad! Do you know if you are consuming adequate amounts of Vitamin D?  This is crucial to your overall brain health. Be sure to get enough rest, and if you need a nap during the day then take one. After all, your brain needs rest too! Actively focus on decreasing your stress! Stress can negatively affect your memory skills.

Here are some fun ideas to promote brain health. Gather some friends together and play a board game or learn a new card game. Try something new! It’s important to be part of a social group and have fun. Get a group together and take a nature walk- identify birds, trees, flowers, butterflies, anything and everything!  Laugh! Remember, you are never too old to learn and challenge your brain.

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