Saturday, July 7, 2007


Almonds: Give Me Some Skin

If you're a health nut, munch on almonds with the skin they're in.

The skins give almonds extra heart-protection powers, especially if you take some vitamin E or vitamin C to boot. So what's in the skin?

Almond Attributes

Almonds abound with heart-healthy goodies, including vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, arginine, potassium, and fiber. The skins add even more nutrition: They're bursting with flavonoids that help protect cells from oxidation and inflammation. Look up the nutrition information of more foods here.

Synergistic Effects
In a lab study, almond-skin flavonoids helped prevent LDL cholesterol (what's that?) from oxidizing -- and that's a very good thing, because when LDL oxidizes, it can lead to heart attack. Adding vitamins E and C enhanced the effect by working synergistically with the almond-skin flavonoids.


What Are Almonds Good For?

By Charles Browne

The almond, which we think of as a nut, is actually the seed of the fruit from the almond tree. The almond is related to the peach, but the fruit toughens into a leathery coat, called the hull, which contains the shell and the edible kernel. Unlike the peach pit, the almond kernel is not only edible, but also quite nutritious.Almonds are high in health-promoting monounsaturated fats. These fats are beneficial for healthy hair, skin, and nails.

But don't be too concerned about almond consumption leading to a high-fat diet; it is believed that not all of the fat in almonds is absorbed. A study, from King's College in London, showed that the cell walls of almonds may influence the body's absorption of the fat in almonds. When eating almonds, chewing appears to break down only some of the cell walls, leaving some of the almond intact, so that not all of the fat was released for digestion. Almonds are also low in calorie density, which means you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories (eat more, gain less). But don't go overboard; anything eaten in excess can lead to health problems. The most widely recommended intake of almonds is one ounce per day.

Almonds are a good source of manganese, magnesium, copper, tryptophan, phosphorus, vitamins E and B2. They are also loaded with other vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Furthermore, like all nuts, almonds provide one of the best plant sources of protein. Almonds have been used to treat iron deficiency, menopause, pain and for cancer prevention. The beneficial fats and fibre in almonds are believed to help prevent heart disease. One study showed almonds to be almost twice as effective at lowering cholesterol levels than oatmeal.With all the health benefits, as well as great taste of almonds, it's no wonder that producers turn out over two million tonnes yearly.

Knees Ache?

When a Pound Is More Than a Pound

Knees ache? Make a promise to lose 1 pound.

Yes, you heard right. Just 1 pound could mean a lot to your knees. If you are overweight or obese, losing 1 pound feels more like losing 4 pounds to this all-important joint. Here's why.

When you carry excess weight, your gait changes to accommodate your size and help you keep your balance. Often, these gait changes involve placing a disproportionate amount of stress on already strained knees. That's why losing weight -- even as little as 1 pound -- helps give your knees a much-needed break. Losing weight can even help reduce your risk of knee osteoarthritis.