Pistachio

9 Surprising Facts About The Pistachio Nut

Pistachio

 

 

Pistachio Nuts were a common food since 6750 BC. They are a member of the cashew family and originate from Asia and the Middle East.

Pistachios are eaten whole, salted, roasted or fresh.  Pistachios are also used in ice cream, butter, and a paste.

Pistachios not only taste great but have nutrients carbohydrates, proteins, fats, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, vitamin B-6, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin K.

Out of all the nuts out there, pistachios contain the highest amounts of potassium, γ-tocopherol, vitamin K, phytosterols, and xanthophyll carotenoids.  Clinical studies suggest that pistachios help maintain healthy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, glycemic control, and endothelial function. When consumed in moderation, pistachios may help control body weight because of their satiety and satiation effects and their reduced net metabolizable energy content.

In another study pistachios (roasted) have a lower fat content than any of the other nuts out there.

Health benefits of pistachios include aiding in

Type 2 diabetes – Pistachio nuts as a snack has beneficial effects on glycemic control, according to a study.

Heart Health – Pistachios have been studied for many years in reference to cardiovascular disease. Studies show a significant drop in cholesterol when consuming pistachios. Five published randomized cardiovascular trials have shown that pistachios promote heart-healthy blood lipid profiles.

Blood Pressure – Pistachios are rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may reduce hyperglycemia and improve metabolism.

Weight loss – Researchers found that pistachios have satiety and satiation effects. Another study with individuals in a weight loss program demonstrated lower body mass index and triglyceride levels who consumed pistachios versus pretzels. Epidemiological studies have failed to find any association between nut or pistachio consumption and either weight gain or an increased risk of obesity

Cancer – Pistachios have vitamin E and other antioxidants in them may reduce the risk of cancer.

Absorbing Iron – A study conducted found that pistachios are high in copper, which helps the body absorb more iron therefore helping in not getting anemia.

Improved Digestion – In a study, they suggest pistachios have prebiotic characteristics and contain non-digestible food components such as dietary fiber, which remains in the gut and serve as food for naturally occurring bacteria.  Pistachios also contain phytochemicals that could modify microbiota composition. Foods with prebiotic properties may enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.

Fiber – A serving of about 1 ounce or 30 grams of pistachios contains about 3 grams of dietary fiber, more than enough to get your digestive tracts working at excellent capacity.

Erectile Dysfunction – Turkish researchers revealed results from a study that eating 3-1/2 ounces of pistachio nuts a day for 3 weeks led to improved sexual function in men with ED.

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10 Health Benefits from Potassium

Potassium K

Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body.  It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function. Potassium is one of the seven essential macro minerals, along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur.

The Oregon State University recommends an intake of 4700 milligrams per day in adults. They also state that people do not get nearly the recommended amount daily. Humans use to consume a diet high in potassium, until recently with the increasing consumption of processed foods, which potassium is removed from, humans are not receiving the daily recommended amount. If you are eating a lot of processed foods, you may consider supplements, but always ask your doctor first.

Medical News Today says that for individuals with healthy kidneys, excess amounts of potassium are efficiently excreted in urine with no adverse side effects. There have been a small number of reports of potassium toxicity associated with an extremely high intake of potassium supplements. No potassium toxicity has ever been reported related to food consumption. Medical News today also stated that consuming too much potassium can be harmful to those whose kidneys are not fully functional. Some sports supplements and salt substitutes contain high levels of potassium, which have been linked to two cases of cardiac arrest. If your kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be fatal due to the effects of potassium on the heart.

A studies conducted at the Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, UK., and the Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA., state a diet rich in potassium has shown health benefits in lowering blood pressure in individuals with both raised blood pressure and average population blood pressure, increasing potassium intake reduces cardiovascular disease mortality. The study also stated that a high-potassium diet may also prevent or at least slow the progression of renal disease. Reduced serum potassium increases the risk of lethal ventricular arrhythmias in patients with ischemic heart disease, heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy, and increasing potassium intake may prevent this. The best way to increase potassium intake is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Bone Health – Studies on bone health have shown that a diet rich in potassium may play a role in preventing osteoporosis in an elderly woman.  A study showed that an increased potassium intake lowers urinary calcium excretion and plays an important role in the management of hypercalciuria and kidney stones and is likely to decrease the risk of osteoporosis

Hypokalemia – Having low potassium is called Hypokalemia, which includes weakness, lack of energy, muscle cramps, stomach disturbances, an irregular heartbeat, and an abnormal EKG (electrocardiogram, a test that measures heart function). Hypokalemia usually happens when the body loses too much potassium in the urine or intestines.

Heart Disease – There have been studies in heart disease that have shown that people with a higher sodium-potassium ratio have a higher risk of heart disease.

IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) – People with IBD (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn Disease) often have trouble absorbing nutrients from their intestines, and may have low levels of potassium and other important nutrients. If are suffering from IBD, your doctor may recommend a supplement after checking your potassium levels.

Brain Function – UC Davis did a study showing that potassium channels play a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and dramatically affect brain function. And that brain cell activity is diminished when potassium channels are open. Closed channels lead to an increase in neuron excitability.

Electrolytes – Potassium has electrolytes which are great for keeping healthy levels of fluids in the body which is critical for your body to function. Electrolytes help to transmit electrical charges from the nervous system and brain.

Nervous System – Potassium helps to boost the efficiency of nerve reflexes that transmit a message from one body part to another.

Metabolism – Potassium helps the metabolic processing of various nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. Which means potassium is great at extracting the energy from the nutrients that are consumed.

Anxiety and Stress – Potassium can help regulate hormones in the body including stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

Diabetes – Low serum potassium is strongly related to glucose intolerance, and increasing potassium intake may prevent the development of diabetes that occurs with prolonged treatment with thiazide diuretics.

Foods that are rich in potassium

Potato

Sweet potato

Avocado

Cantaloupe

Mushrooms

Beet greens

White beans

Tomatoes

Soybeans

Lima beans

Winter squash

Banana

Spinach

Yogurt, low fat, plain

Pear

Mango

Orange

Pistachio

Raisins

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8 wonderful benefits of beets

Beets

 

Beetroot is rich in valuable nutrients and fiber-like protein, fiber, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C phosphorus, zinc, potassium, copper, and manganese, calcium, iron and high in nitrates. Beetroot is also rich in phytochemical compounds that include ascorbic acid, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and carotenoids. Beetroot also has highly bioactive pigments, known as betalains. Beets are known for having the most betalains in any vegetable. There are 2 categories of betalains.

  • Betacyanin  pigments are a red-violet color
  • Betaxanthin pigments are yellow-orange in color

Recent studies at the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), have compelling evidence from studies that beetroot ingested offers beneficial physiological effects for improving hypertension, atherosclerosis dementia, and type 2 diabetes. Beets also are known for aiding in the list below:

  1. Lower blood pressure – Studies have shown that drinking the juice from beets lowers blood pressure in a matter of hours. The nitrates in beets turn into nitric oxide reduce and dilate your blood vessels enabling them to relax.
  2. Anti-cancer properties – The nitrates in the beets turn into nitric oxide(NO). clinical trials on NO show that it has antiproliferative properties that have a lot of potential in cancer therapeutics, which you can read more about here.
  3. Antioxidant – Betalains are potent as an antioxidant
  4. Detoxing – Betalains are shown to help in detoxing the body.
  5. Anti-inflammatory –  Betalains and beetroot extracts are potent anti-inflammatory agents.
  6. Boost Stamina- the NCBI conducted a test on 11 men and it proved that beetroot boosts stamina.
  7. Help your liver – In a study done beetroot juice has shown to decrease levels and activities of the majority of tested biochemical parameters, elevated by DMBA(carcinogen).
  8. Cognition – By increasing blood flow in older adults beet, high nitrates in beetroot have shown to improve cognition in the elderly.

 

 

 

Glass Containers

Now, what do I cook? A suggestion for cooks with no imagination and it’s not a recipe

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Tired of trying to come up with new exciting things to eat for the family? It’s difficult, trust me, I know! And then the concerns of organic, GMO’s, dairy, pesticides, gluten free, calories, fat, saturated fat, sugars, blah, blah, blah! Then, which family member can tolerate or not tolerate things do to food intolerance or allergies?  You’re about ready to pull your hair out, right?

I don’t have a recipe or an answer, but I do have a suggestion. Instead of spending hours online, trying to get every ingredient for a recipe down and searching for the new healthiest fad, why not take a couple hours a week and be pro-active. What do I mean by pro-active?  Get those meals ready ahead of time! By being pro-active it will cut done on stress and time for the week. Purchase items that you know you and your family like. Pre-washing, cutting or cooking some things and by putting them in storage containers can save time, as well, as being creative.

I know that I am not the first person to think of this and it’s not my first time thinking of this, but putting it into action is the next step. Not an easy step with being able to just go out to eat (taking an hour or so a week will enable you to cook foods healthier than eating out). Preparing storage containers full of different ingredients such as, carrots, spinach, parsley, cilantro, etc., whatever you cook with. Have some rice, quinoa, potatoes, etc. already cooked and put them in storage containers. This way with, who can eat what, when and how you are making your life easier by having the ingredients ready to rock and roll.  This also makes it easier to be more imaginative by mixing things together that you would have not thought of before.  It’s more fun as well, versus seeing your veggies, meats and just sitting in the drawers or on the shelves and staring at them, trying to think to yourself of what you should put together.

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Some people are great as cooks and some need a little shove.  For those who need a little shove, such as myself, I like having things ready to go.  I become more imaginative when I see the things already cut up or cooked in front of me. Plus, it’s aesthetic to the eye and allows me to be more creative. Example: Walking into a regular grocery store versus Whole Foods or Sprouts. Whole Foods or Sprouts, displays everything so nicely and it makes shopping easier. At least for me because it is more pleasing to the eyes to see things easily versus under things in those refrigerator drawers.

Most of this is common sense, but sometimes we can easily forget things and say “oh yeah, I forgot about that”.

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Hummus or Mayonnaise on your sandwich? Let’s compare!

Sandwich

 

 

We were raised on mayonnaise and mayonnaise is a staple in the majority of peoples home. What if there was an alternative to use, as a spread on a sandwich, for example, you hadn’t thought about yet, such as hummus? I’m going to break it down to you and you can make the decision.

Hummus is made from the bean chickpeas in conventional cooking. It has many ingredients that are good for you. Dietary fiber, manganese, protein and B vitamins.

Mayonnaise is made traditionally consists of egg, vinegar, oil, and spices.

The fat content in hummus is mostly from the tahini oil and is approx. 14% of the total and the rest of the 65% is water, 10% protein, and 17% carbohydrates.

There are many different hummus selections out there and the ingredients will vary, so try making it from scratch, that way you are aware of what is going into your body.

The fat content in traditionally made mayonnaise is 70 to 80% fat. Because of the amount of oil in it is approx. 75%, but not saturated fat. In my eyes, it’s still a fat!

Mayonnaise can vary depending on who is making it, so if you just cannot say goodbye to mayonnaise, try making some for yourself and use healthy oils.

My choice you ask? Hummus!

 

 

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Organic Coconut Oil Benefits

CoconutsCoconut oil is beneficial in so many ways, and more and more people are realizing it. Don’t let the fact that is high in fats discourage you though because they are MCFA’s and are very easily digestible.

There are many health benefits of coconut oil:

  • Weight loss – it is helpful by making you feel full and eat less
  • Immune System – A wonderful antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral for diseases today in the body. Example – Candida
  • Heart diseases – lowers blood pressure by regulating blood cholesterol levels, as well as triglycerides.
  • Hair Care – makes your hair grow longer, thicker, and faster.
  • Skin Care – Coconut oil works great as a face cleanser, sunscreen, and moisturizer. And it helps with skin disorders Eczema, dandruff, psoriasis, and dermatitis.  The fatty acids (Caprylic and Lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions.
  • Tooth decay – swooshing this in your mouth 10 to 20 minutes a day, helps with plaque and prevents cavities or even cures cavities
  • Osteoporosis – prevents bone loss.
  • Cancer – kills over 90% of colon cancer cells just after 2 days according to a University of Adelaide study. It also helps with decreasing the toxic and often devastating side effects of chemotherapy.
  • Energy and Endurance – Coconut oil is easy to digest and allows you to sustain more energy and increase metabolism. When taking a quality non-processed coconut oil, you can get the most benefit as MCFA’s are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy.

If you aren’t sure which coconut oil to purchase, I suggest Spectrum Naturals, Organic Coconut Oil. It is USDA Organic Certified and GMO-free. You’ll find that it is extremely inexpensive. It is also good to use it sparingly when eating it, as Harvard University Explains

 

 

 

 

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Every 66 seconds someone is developing this disease

Elderly People

Green tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The green bush that grows best in high elevated and moist areas is bright and striking and are found in mountain ranges in China and India.

Research has concluded Seniors should be drinking tea, from tea leaves daily. Tea drinking reduces the risk of cognitive impairment by 50% and 86% who are genetically at risk of getting Alzheimer’s with the gene Apolipoprotein E (APOE e4), according to a recent study led by Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. http://news.nus.edu.sg/press-releases/tea-protects-elderly-cognitive-decline

http://news.nus.edu.sg/press-releases/tea-protects-elderly-cognitive-decline

The researchers at the NUS say that it is not limited to any particular tea, as long as it is, black, green or oolong.  The main antioxidant catechins (GTC), breaks down as follows EGCG is epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Catechins, Theaflavins, Thearubigins and L-theanine are the anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that are found in these teas.

  • Black tea – helps with your digestive health, immune system, strengthening bones, oral health, heart and helps lowering risk of diabetes,
  • Oolong tea – increases mental alertness, aids in digestion, lowers cholesterol, promotes healthy skin and hair, prevents osteoporosis, prevents tooth decay and strengthens the immune system.
  • Green tea – improves brain function, fat loss, lowers risk of cancer and has many other incredible benefits

The   http://www.alz.org/facts/ states that 5.5 million in 2017 are living with Alzheimer’s disease and those over 65 years of age has Alzheimer’s dementia. Did you know that and 1 in 3 seniors dies of Alzheimer’s or dementia every year?

It is difficult to see the elderly suffering from this disease, along with the fact that it may happen to me, my family and friends.

 

 

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Plastic in our Ocean means plastic in our fish

Fish1 (2)

As many of you know we have a big issue with plastics entering our oceans and rivers. We can help by watching out items that carry Microplastics and microbeads. Microplastics are small plastic particles in the environment that are generally smaller than 1 mm and are manufactured for products clothing, cosmetics and industrial processes. Microbeads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than five millimeters and are found in exfoliates, cosmetics and soaps. Until they are phased out, consumers can take action by avoiding personal care products that contain polyethylene, polypropylene or nylon – the most common materials used in microbeads.

The aquatic wildlife feed on tiny bits of plastic which then become lodged in their stomachs or intestines and are entering through their tissues, as well. Some are so small you cannot see them with the naked eye. These plastic eating fish are showing up in our supermarkets.

“While there is a need for further assessment of the problem, the report is the first attempt, on a global scale, to identify the main sources, fate, and effects of microplastics in the ocean and offers improved understanding of the scale of the problem. The assessment suggests that there needs to be a wider awareness of the potential harm that microplastics in the oceans could cause,” said Dr. Stefan Micallef, Director Marine Environment Division, at the  International Maritime Organization the Administrative Secretary of GESAMP.

The good news is that the federal government in the UK will ban microbeads by the end of 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/plastic-microbeads-ban-federal-government-1.3837969 the Federal Government will be banning toiletries that have microbeads in them by 2018. The federal government states that Microbeads found in natural health products, non-prescription drugs will be prohibited in 2019.

The U.S. Congress  https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/28/statement-press-secretary-hr-1321-s-2425 law approved the banning of microbeads in toiletries last December, effective July 1, 2017 and the European Union Commission is currently examining on the basis of a recently published study made available (1) early in 2016 — if and what actions are necessary to reduce microplastics from various sources in the aquatic (freshwater and marine) environment and that the materials could not be labelled as environmentally friendly. Australia has a voluntary ban in effect for mid – 2018.

There are many companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Unilever, which owns Dove and more have already phased them out.  Procter and Gamble, which owns Crest toothpaste, Gillette, Olay and Tesco in the UK, will have ended them by 2017.

Now, what can we do to help in the interim? Bringing awareness to people and try using products that are natural alternatives, that biodegrade and pose no harm to marine life including jojoba beads, apricot kernels, ground nutshells, and salt. Consumers looking to avoid microbeads should avoid products containing polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and nylon.

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Organic, Non-Organic and GMO’s

Welcome to Organic Relevance. This blog is to bring organic, non-organic to your attention. I am just like all of you being inundated with factual and non-factual information with organic farming by the internet, news and the media.
It seems everything is bad for us. So what should we do? Educate ourselves and buy healthy, non-processed foods with no GMO’s. It can be frustrating and overwhelming. Especially when you are on the go with work, family, grocery shopping and where to get the best deals, while living on a budget

Limes and Lemons
GMO’s are a genetically modified organism. Which means, man is tampering with it. In laboratories, scientists are taking genes from the DNA of one species and are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated animal or plant. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans.
Despite GMO and pesticide industries, organic food has a higher nutrient content than food produced with GMOs and synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
The media say’s that some organic farmers are still using pesticides but, they are all natural. And conventional farming is using pesticides that cause cancer, diabetes, and neurological effects.
Some say that organic farmers do not use chemicals, they do not feed their animals with anything that is not organic, nor use any drugs. They do not spread their fields with pesticides and they use chemical- free fertilizer.
NOT everyone has “Certified Organic” label, such as your local farmers and at the farmers market. However, most are organic and you can always ask if they use pesticides or not.
• The USDA has a “Certified Organic” label that you can find on many products which mean it is 100% Organic. Made with Organic Ingredients are from 70% to 94% organic and will not bear the “Certified Organic” label.
• If the package just says Organic, it is 95% to 99% organic ingredients by weight.
• GMO packaging will have a “Non-GMO” label on it/if there is no GMO. Watch out for some GMO labeling because it will display that it is not all GMO- free. It needs to state NON – GMO for it to have no GMO’s.

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Conventional farmers, on the other hand, are more than happy to use chemically treated soil and spray with pesticides and some don’t use any pesticides. Although organic farmers use pesticides as well, some don’t use them either. Confusing, I know!
Now there are myths out there as well, that I’d like to bring to your attention. The myth that organic farming has no pesticides. I’ve heard that the government is not watching over organic pesticide or fungicide. In organic farming, there are many chemicals commonly used in the growing and processing of organic crops that the US Organic Standards approve. The pesticides they do use have an organic certification.
If it states it is “All Natural”, check the ingredients and watch your meats labeled this way, as they still have been fed foods that are not organic. So, for example, you want meat that is 100% organic, but the cow was not necessarily fed 100% organic, that’s why it is labeled all natural versus organic. There are many theories out there. Whether it be pro- organic or not- pro, I am definitely pro- organic. Between the EPA, NOP, Harvard, Scientists, National Institute of Health, Annals of Internal Medicine and so on and so forth. Studies, many years back and current studies will keep you busy for hours on end. The best thing is to just trust ourselves and our research.
It’s overwhelming to try and eat healthily. Looking at labeling for GMO’s and Certified Organic is very time consuming when trying to better feed ourselves and our families.
The best thing to do is find out what methods are used by crop producers. If you purchase locally, ask them what their methods are for producing.