Rx to Wellness

All About Resveratrol

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All About Resveratrol

We have received many questions about Resveratrol lately and thought we would address them in this manner.

Resveratrol Health Benefits

Why do the French eat more fat, sugar, rich foods, wine and have less heart health issues? It’s called the French Paradox and it is believed to be due to a phytonutrient called Resveratrol, found naturally in wine, cocoa and other berries. It is a powerful antioxidant that regenerates the body at the cellular level.

Medical Research out of the Journal of Circulation 2005 found that resveratrol found in red wine decreases the risk of heart disease.  Along with helping build a healthy heart, resveratrol has many other health benefits.

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is an important ingredient found in cocoa, red grapes and dark berries such as lingonberries, blueberries, mulberries and bilberries. It is a polyphonic bioflavonoid antioxidant that is produced by these plants as a response to stress, injury and fungal infection.

Early research discovered that resveratrol increased the lifespan of yeast cells. Later studies confirmed its amazing benefits as fruit flies, fish, mice and nematode worms also had a longer lifespan when given this amazing bioactive compound.NutraIngredients reported that further studies showed resveratrol had “anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy endurance enhancement and protection against Alzheimer’s.” Who would not want to benefit from this all-natural elixir?Recent studies by researchers at the Nutrition Research Center at Northunbria University in the UK showed that resveratrol noticeably increased blood flow to the brain, suggesting a considerable benefit to healthy brain function.

What is Resveratrol used for?

Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals produced during everyday bodily functions such as eating and exercise. If left unchecked, these can damage cells and are thought to be a cause of life-threatening disease and sickness.

As a source of antioxidants, resveratrol is particularly unique as its antioxidants can cross the blood-brain barrier to protect the brain and the nervous system, unlike other antioxidants.

Resveratrol is more than just a powerful brain-booster, it has also been found to:

Provide powerful antioxidant support

Helps the body fight oxidative stress

Supports cell and tissue health

Promotes circulation and a healthy heart

Helps prevent premature aging

Supports a healthy digestive system and elimination

Regular travelers will also be very interested to know that resveratrol helps protect against the effects of radiation, which we are all exposed to, especially if you do not “Opt Out” of the scanners at the airport.

How Does Resveratrol Work?

Resveratrol works by modifying inflammation in the body. It limits the body’s ability to produce sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D, two molecules known to trigger inflammation. Although the body naturally produces inflammation to counter bacteria and viruses as part of the immune system, a state of chronic or constant inflammation is not a healthy state to live with.

Resveratrol has been found to lower insulin levels, which is key to staying young and fighting disease. In trials, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals found that those with diabetes who took resveratrol had lower glucose and insulin levels, making it a powerful aid to a healthy lifestyle.

Resveratrol deeply penetrates the nucleus of each cell, helping to repair any free radical damage to DNA. It keeps the circulation flowing smoothly, prevents arterial damage and is thought to protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease. It may also prevent other disorders such as stroke, ischemia and Huntington’s disease.

Finally, as a potent antioxidant resveratrol is constantly fighting damage from free radicals and the effects of aging.

How do I take Resveratrol?

Now you know the benefits of resveratrol in your diet, you may be wondering what the best source of this compound is. Although we have mentioned that red wine, cocoa and berries are a good source of resveratrol, unfortunately a diet of dark chocolate and red wine may be decadent but ultimately very unhealthy if you overdo it! The best way to obtain the benefits of resveratrol in balance with a healthy diet and lifestyle is by taking it as a natural supplement.

If you have any questions as to whether you should add this to your health care plan, please call us and we will be happy to assist you.

Feel free to share this with family and friends

Health and Wellness Associates

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Diets and Weight Loss

Nuts and Seeds for a Healthy Weight

nutsandseeds

Nuts and Seeds for a Healthy Weight and a Long Life

 

Nuts and seeds are healthful, natural foods that are full of beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals. Although the myth that nuts and seeds are fattening has persisted, the research suggests that nuts are actually beneficial for weight loss. In any case, it’s not the fat content of a diet that makes it healthy, it’s the nutrient content. And based on their nutrient content, nuts are a health-promoting source of calories.

Nuts and seeds are nutritionally important. Nuts and seeds contain a spectrum of micronutrients including LDL cholesterol-lowering phytosterols; circulation-promoting arginine; minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, and selenium; and antioxidants, including flavonoids, resveratrol, tocopherols (vitamin E), and carotenoids.

Eating nuts and seeds reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease Epidemiological studies have consistently shown that nut consumption is beneficial for heart health. Eating five or more servings of nuts per week is estimated to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 35%.1 Eating nuts and seeds protects against sudden cardiac death and reduces cholesterol and inflammation.1-3

Nuts and seeds aid weight loss. Someone who is trying to lose weight should not be trying to avoid nuts; in fact, in obese individuals, adding nuts to the diet aided in weight loss and also improved insulin sensitivity, which could help to prevent or reverse diabetes.4 Nonetheless, nuts should not be eaten to excess. Nuts and seeds are high in nutrients but also high in calories, so they should be eaten with consideration for one’s caloric needs. One ounce daily is usually appropriate for women trying to lose weight and 1.5 – 2 ounces for overweight men. Nuts and seeds of course should be eaten in larger amounts for the slim, highly physically active people who could use the extra calories.

Nut consumption may enhance lifespan. In the Adventist Health Study, a number of lifestyle factors were found to be associated with longevity. Those who had a high level of physical activity, followed a vegetarian diet, and ate nuts frequently lived on average 8 years longer than those who did not share those habits.5 Similarly in the Nurses’ Health Study, nut consumption was identified as a dietary factor associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancers.6 New research continues to confirm these observations.7

Each nut and seed has a unique nutritional profile that lends unique health benefits:

  • Almonds are rich in antioxidants. In one study, people ate either almonds or a snack with a similar fat profile each day for 4 weeks, and the subjects who ate almonds showed reduced oxidative stress markers.8
  • Walnuts. Diabetics who ate walnuts daily for 8 weeks experienced an enhanced ability of the blood vessels to dilate, indicating better blood pressure regulation.9 There is also evidence that walnuts may protect against breast cancer.10
  • Pistachios and Mediterranean pine nuts have the highest plant sterol content of all the nuts; plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol, and help to lower cholesterol levels.11 Pistachios reduce inflammation and oxidative stress as well as cholesterol.12-14
  • Mediterranean pine nuts contain a specific type of fatty acid that has been shown to curb appetite by increasing hormones that produce satiety signals.15
  • Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are extremely rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and hemp seeds are especially high in protein, making them a helpful food for athletes.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, calcium, and phytochemicals, and may help to prevent prostate cancer.16
  • Sesame seeds have the greatest amount of calcium of any food in the world, and provide abundant amounts of vitamin E and contain a lignan called sesamin; lignan-rich foods may protect against breast cancer.17-19

Nuts and seeds are best eaten raw. Nuts and seeds should be eaten raw or only lightly toasted. Roasting nuts and seeds forms a potentially harmful compound called acrylamide, and reduces the amounts of minerals and amino acids.

Also remember that eating nuts and seeds with leafy greens can enhance the body’s absorption of fat-soluble nutrients from the greens, so a nut-based salad dressing is an excellent way to absorb more nutrients from your salads.20

References:

  1. Kris-Etherton PM, Hu FB, Ros E, et al: The role of tree nuts and peanuts in the prevention of coronary heart disease: multiple potential mechanisms. J Nutr 2008;138:1746S-1751S. 2. Salas-Salvado J, Casas-Agustench P, Murphy MM, et al: The effect of nuts on inflammation. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2008;17 Suppl 1:333-336. 3. Ros E: Nuts and novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:1649S-1656S. 4. Rajaram S, Sabate J: Nuts, body weight and insulin resistance. Br J Nutr 2006;96 Suppl 2:S79-86. 5. Fraser GE, Shavlik DJ: Ten years of life: Is it a matter of choice? Arch Intern Med 2001;161:1645-1652. 6. Baer HJ, Glynn RJ, Hu FB, et al: Risk factors for mortality in the nurses’ health study: a competing risks analysis. Am J Epidemiol 2011;173:319-329. 7. Guasch-Ferre M, Bullo M, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, et al: Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Med 2013;11:164. 8. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al: Almonds reduce biomarkers of lipid peroxidation in older hyperlipidemic subjects. J Nutr 2008;138:908-913. 9. Ma Y, Njike VY, Millet J, et al: Effects of walnut consumption on endothelial function in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized controlled crossover trial. Diabetes Care 2010;33:227-232. 10.  Eurekalert! Walnuts slow prostate tumors in mice: UC Davis research shows walnuts affect genes related to tumor growth March 22, 2010 edition; 2010. 11. Ellegard LH, Andersson SW, Normen AL, et al: Dietary plant sterols and cholesterol metabolism. Nutr Rev 2007;65:39-45. 12. Kay CD, Gebauer SK, West SG, et al: Pistachios increase serum antioxidants and lower serum oxidized-LDL in hypercholesterolemic adults. J Nutr 2010;140:1093-1098. 13. Kocyigit A, Koylu AA, Keles H: Effects of pistachio nuts consumption on plasma lipid profile and oxidative status in healthy volunteers. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD 2006;16:202-209. 14. Sari I, Baltaci Y, Bagci C, et al: Effect of pistachio diet on lipid parameters, endothelial function, inflammation, and oxidative status: a prospective study. Nutrition 2010;26:399-404. 15. Pasman WJ, Heimerikx J, Rubingh CM, et al: The effect of Korean pine nut oil on in vitro CCK release, on appetite sensations and on gut hormones in post-menopausal overweight women. Lipids in Health and Disease 2008;7:10. 16. Hong H, Kim CS, Maeng S: Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nutr Res Pract 2009;3:323-327. 17. Thompson LU, Chen JM, Li T, et al: Dietary flaxseed alters tumor biological markers in postmenopausal breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res 2005;11:3828-3835. 18. Buck K, Vrieling A, Zaineddin AK, et al: Serum enterolactone and prognosis of postmenopausal breast cancer. J Clin Oncol 2011;29:3730-3738. 19. Higdon J: Lignans. In An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals. New York: Thieme; 2006: 155-161 20. Brown MJ, Ferruzzi MG, Nguyen ML, et al: Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:396-403.