essential foods, nuts and more nuts
Lifespan Essential Foods
Nutrition expert Prof. Gary Williamson from the School of Food and Nutrition at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom has highlighted 20 “lifespan essential foods” vital for living as long and healthy a life as possible.
According to Williamson, each person’s lifespan is genetically pre-determined and suggested that by eating lifespan essential foods, individuals will maximize their chances of living longer, as well as improving their quality of life.
All the foods identified by Williamson are high in polyphenols (naturally occurring chemicals, including tannins, lignins and flavonoids found in plants) and are widely accepted as having health benefits.
However, he takes existing research one step further by highlighting those everyday foods which help to fulfill an individual’s life potential.
These foods have been chosen because they are highest in polyphenols, which reduce the risk of heart disease and help to slow aging process.
There is also medical interest in practitioners exploring ways to increase the chances of a patient improving their health and quality of life by eating foods that reduce the incidence of chronic age-related diseases.
The top 20 lifespan essential foods, many of which you may already have in your kitchen, include apples, blackberries, black tea, blueberries, broccoli, cereal bran, cherries, cherry tomatoes, coffee, cranberries, dark chocolate, green tea, oranges, peaches, plums, raspberries, red grapes, red onion, spinach, and strawberries.
“Epidemiology studies support the protective effects of polyphenol-rich foods, and lack of these components in the diet because of low intake of fruit and vegetables, increases the risk of chronic disease,” said Dr. Williamson.
“This means that they are essential to fulfill the maximum individual lifespan, and so I propose that they are ‘lifespan essential’.”
Utilitarian Cacay Nut Hits Jackpot In Anti-Aging Market
For decades, if not centuries, the Amazon dwellers of southern Colombia didn’t make too much of the cacay nut. They fed it to their livestock, used it to treat wounds and chopped down its trees for firewood.
But then, a few years ago, the global jet-setting crowd found out what the yellowish oil from the protein-rich nut could do for their skin. And suddenly the cacay (pronounced kahk-ai) has become a red hot commodity providing the key ingredient to anti-aging facial creams that can fetch $200 an ounce in beauty shops in New York, Los Angeles and London.
While most of the nuts come from wild trees in remote areas, new plantations are popping up in impoverished parts of Columbia.
Each apple-sized nut pod contains three seeds, each bigger than an almond.
While scientists have highlighted the nut’s virtues for more than a decade, it was Jaramillo, the head of Bogota based Kahai SAS, who found a market for the oil after attending trade shows and hiring a trial study of the oil’s use in skincare.
The cacay revival also has given hope to environmental groups seeking to slow deforestation and has been promoting cacay as a profitable alternative to logging in Colombia.
Peanut Consumption Research: Prevents Peanut Allergy In Infants and Offers Health Benefits in Everyone
The prevalence of peanut allergy among children in Western countries has doubled in the past 10 years.
Research published in Feb. 26, 2015, New England Journal of Medicine showed that introducing peanut products such as peanut butter into the diets of infants (4 to 11 months old) at high risk of developing peanut allergy was safe and led to an 81 percent reduction in the subsequent development of the allergy.
The study tested the hypothesis that the very low rate of peanut allergy in children was a result of regular consumption of large amounts of peanuts beginning in infancy.
Also, a large study published in May 2, 2015, JAMA Internal Medicine found that peanuts may lower the risk of death from heart disease, suggesting that the health benefits of this low-cost nut may be similar to pricier options like almonds and pistachios.
While previous studies have linked nut consumption to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, the earlier research focused mostly on wealthier white people in the U. S. and Europe.
This study, with a more ethnically and economically diverse population in the U. S. and China, suggested that peanuts can benefit people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Based on the findings of this study, people can be confident that peanuts, which are technically not nuts, but a legume, are just as good as more expensive tree nuts, and their nutritional benefits are for everybody.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Arvind Dhople graduated from the University of Bombay and then joined Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, first as a post-doctoral fellow and then as Asst. Professor. In 1980, he joined Florida Tech as a Professor and Director of their Infectious Diseases Lab. His specialty is microbial biochemistry and he performed research in leprosy and tuberculosis. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology and has published nearly 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has also served as an advisor to the World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, German Leprosy Relief Association, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently, he is Professor Emeritus at Florida Tech and a freelance writer.