Amazing Facts About Pistachio

Pistachios Are Great For The Health of Your Teeth

We are all more than familiar with pistachio – delicious and intensely flavored at the same time, pistachios have been a symbol of robust health and wellness since the dawn of civilization. Filled with nutrients and fiber, these nuts are essential for optimum health, and numerous studies have been conducted over the years only to re-confirm what we already knew: the fact that pistachios benefit your health on many different levels. Having said that, here are some notable facts about pistachios, that you did not know before:

1. The Pistachio Oil Is Amongst The Healthiest Cooking Oils On The Market
Nowadays, we are able to extract oil from virtually any seed (and not only), from sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to olives and coconuts – however, the truth is that the pistachio oil turns out to be healthier and better to cook with, than most of the others. Not only is it very high in beneficial amino acids, but it also has a very strong nutty aroma along with outstanding emollient properties – by using pistachio oil, you will both improve your overall health status and you will also keep your skin properly moisturized, thus preventing it from drying. The pistachio oil is used not only for cooking, but for a variety of other applications: it is widely used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, and it is also used in aromatherapy as well as massage therapy, due to its pleasant, intense and relaxing aroma.

2. It Can Counteract The Effects Of Stress
A study that was recently conducted by the State University of Pennsylvania has revealed the fact that, if consumed on a regular basis, pistachios can actually minimize the effects of stress. The study was conducted on volunteers with high cholesterol and normal blood pressure, and it has shown that those who eat approximately one to two ounces of pistachio nuts on a daily basis can significantly decrease their cholesterol levels as well as keep their blood pressure within the normal range.

Antioxidants May Be Counterproductive To Endurance In Workouts

Antioxidants May Be Counterproductive To Endurance In Workouts

Some people gain muscle mass a lot easier than others, and it everything comes down to one’s metabolism. Having said that, while some people are able to gain muscles by simply shifting to a balanced diet, others might have to resort to supplements and antioxidant vitamins that do benefit them on many different levels. Antioxidant vitamins actually come in handy for everybody, not just for endurance athletes or bodybuilders, especially during the cold season when our immune systems need an extra boost to function correctly.

Having said that, antioxidant vitamins are particularly popular amongst those who exercise rigorously, and who focus primarily on strength training – and that is perfectly understandable, given the fact that supplements are good for alleviating the painful muscle damage that occurs during the workout, and to take the overall effects of the exercise to the next level.

As good as the antioxidant vitamins may be at first sight, the truth is that the supplements can take their toll on your endurance, especially if you are a runner. Another discovery that has taken most of the athletes by surprise was the fact that in some instances, it is believed that the antioxidants may even reduce the overall benefits of weight training, as opposed to increasing them.

Before moving on to explaining why is it that antioxidant vitamins can do endurance athletes more harm than good in certain instances, it is firstly important to stress the fact that antioxidants such as Vitamin E and C (which are widely regarded as the most potent ones, both by athletes and by doctors) come in handy for preventing the free radicals from damaging your body and causing oxidative stress.

As you may know already, both the strength training (which aims to help you gain muscle mass) and cardiovascular training are great for counteracting the molecules that are responsible for tissue damage, and for a variety of other conditions. This is where the antioxidants step in, as they have the natural property of neutralizing the free radicals and lessening some of the soreness and the damage caused by the free radicals. By doing so, the antioxidant vitamins will automatically alleviate the training-related pain, thus helping you train harder and more efficiently.

How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

How Much Sugar Can You Safely Consume On A Daily Basis

Sugar is bad for your health, and that has never been a secret. As a matter of fact, many doctors and nutritionists regard sugar as the single worst ingredient in the modern diet, given the fact that it is filled with “empty calories”, meaning that it has no added nutrients whatsoever, and it can also promote weight gain. In addition to this, an extended sugar consumption can also take its toll on your metabolism in the long haul, and consuming too much sugar can increase the risk for heart disease, obesity as well as type II diabetes, all of which can be fatal. However, have you ever wondered just how much sugar can you safely consume on a daily basis, in order to minimize the side effects that are widely associated with this ingredient? Here you will find out more about sugar consumption, the safe amount of sugar that you can eat per day as well as a deeper insight into the latest research, designed to shed some light over the entire matter.

How Much Sugar Can You Safely Consume On A Daily Basis?

When it comes to sugar, the thumb rule is: the less you eat, the healthier you will feel. Sugar should be avoided, but truth be told, it does add flavor to most of the foods. Nonetheless, according to a report that was released by the AHA, or the American Heart Association, women and men should consume different amounts of sugar, in order to stay fit and healthy over the years: while men are advised not to exceed 9 teaspoons of sugar, women should never consume more than six teaspoons of sugar each day. It is important to say that these amounts involve all the sugar you ingest, not just the one you add to your foods. Almost every beverage and food that we consume (especially the pre-baked goods) come with added sugar – this is why it is important to read the label before drinking a can of coke or eating a bar of chocolate.

It Turns Out The More Trans Fat You Eat, The Less You May Remember

can trans fat cause memroy loss

Dietitians have been warning us for years about the dangerous health effects associated with an increased consumption of trans fats, which are commonly found in fried foods and most pre-baked goods. Trans fats can wreak havoc on your health on many different levels: they do increase the risk for obesity (and they have little to no real nutritional value), they can increase the risk for heart disease (especially if you are already predisposed to it), and they also harden the artery walls, increase the blood pressure and increase the levels of bad cholesterol, all of which can severely affect your health in the long run. Otherwise stated, if you want to lose weight and to stay fit and healthy in the long run, they make sure to steer clear from trans fats.

However, a recent study has revealed the fact that in addition to all the frightening side effects of trans fats that we are all more than aware of, there is yet another equally scary effect that people might experience if they eat trans fats regularly, over an extended period of time: memory loss. If you have recently noticed that you have a hard time remembering where your car keys are or things that would otherwise come into your mind rather quickly, then the trans fats might actually be the problem behind your short term memory loss.

Trans fats are so dangerous for you that the FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration, has recently took a step forward in order to eliminate most of the trans fats present in our food, primarily the hydrogenated oils, which are often to blame for a wide array of chronic illnesses. That being said, the partially hydrogenated oils will require permission from the Food and Drug Administration in the near future, before being added as food additives to pre-baked foods and such. This is a tremendously important step for health-conscious individuals who are well-aware of the dangerous effects of trans fats, and who want to limit their intake.

Connection Between Happiiness And Lowered Risk For Cardiovascular Disease

Connection Between Happiiness And Lowered Risk For Cardiovascular Disease

Many people would be unable to define happiness per se, yet most of us know it when we feel it. Happiness is a state of mind that is incredibly hard to define, one that instantly makes us feel better and that gives us a positive outlook on life – however, recent studies have revealed that there is much more happiness can actually do for is. Some refer to it as optimism, others simply define happiness as a “good feeling”. Regardless of your view on happiness, one thing is for sure: it can change your entire world and it can actually have a health benefit that you have never even suspected. Contrary to the popular belief, the truth is that having both ups and downs in life is very important, not only for out body but also for our mind.

How Can Happiness Benefit You?

Throughout the years, there have been numerous studies conducted with the purpose of identifying happiness and everything it involves. Some studies have even managed to reveal that there is a very strong connection between our physical and our psychological well-being: when we feel psychologically and emotionally happy or fulfilled, this tends to reflect on our body and on our general health status.

Perhaps the most notable review that was aimed at pinpointing the connection between happiness and physical health was a 2012 review which basically included information taken from no less than 200 other smaller studies, which have revealed a strong and positive connection between feelings that are generally regarded as good and constructive, such as optimism or overall life satisfaction, and a considerably reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common and also one of the deadliest diseases in the 21st century, and while being happy does not guarantee the fact that you will never experience a heart attack later in life, it can certainly reduce the risk for it.

Increased Fruit And Vegetable Intake Has No Discernible Effect On Weight Loss

Fruit And Vegetable Intake Has No Discernible Effect On Weight Loss

Almost everybody has tried to lose some weight at least once, throughout the course of their lives. Some people did it on their own terms, while others have requested professional help from an experienced dietitian – if this was your case as well, then you certainly know that one of the most common dietary recommendation for those who are trying to shed the extra pounds is to eat more vegetables and fruits. Rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for the correct functioning of the immune system and low in calories at the same time, fruits and vegetables are generally high in dietary fibers, which means that they will prevent you from feeling hungry again, for several hours. Yet again, some fruits and vegetables are better than others, and that is a known fact!

For years, people were convinced that eating more fruits and vegetables would enable them to get the figure they have always craved for, but a new study actually reveals that an increased intake of fruits and vegetables has actually no discernible effect on one’s weight loss. The explanation for this claim that many might find shocking is rather simple actually: without a compensatory reduction in the overall energy intake, people are unlikely to experience any real weight loss.

A Deeper Insight Into The Study

This study designed to reveal whether an increased intake of fruits and veggies is actually good for your silhouette or not was conducted at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and it was later published in the AJCN, or The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In spite of the fact that an increased intake of fruits and vegetables may not help you lose a lot of weight, they are still good for you and their numerous health benefits cannot be dismissed.The entire study is actually a systematic, in-depth review along with a meta-analysis of data resulted from over 1200 participants, in seven different and randomized control trials. The purpose of these controlled trials was, of course, to monitor those who have increased their overall intake of fruits and veggies, and to see whether it actually helped them lose weight.

Cancer Linked To High BMI

cancer linked to high BMI

Cancer is one of the most common, feared and dangerous diseases of the 21st century, and so is obesity – although doctors knew already that there is a strong correlation between the two, a recent study comes to support the fact that cancer and obesity are very strongly linked. The percentage of obese adults and children has increased markedly over the past couple of decades, and this condition is now associated with increased risks for different types of cancer, such as that of the endometrium, breast, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gallbladder, thyroid as well as cancer of the rectum and the colon. In addition to the fact that obese people are exposed to these types of cancer, they are also at high risk for other dangerous conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes as well as coronary heart disease, amongst other chronic and potentially fatal diseases.

A Brief Overview Of The Relationship Between Cancer And Obesity

As mentioned above, obesity is associated with an increased risk for a variety of different types of cancer, and numerous studies have been conducted over the years which revealed the fact that approximately 4% of the cases of cancer occurring in men were related to obesity, and 7% of the cancers in women were due to the same condition. The exact percentages varied greatly from one type of cancer to another, but the same studies have revealed that for some cancers, such as the esophageal adenocarcinoma and the endometrial cancer, approximately 40% of the sufferers were overweight.

It is important to mention, however, that there are several potential explanations for the association of obesity with an increased risk for certain types of cancer, one of them being the fact that fat tissue is known to produce an excess amount of estrogen, which is known to be one of the primary culprits behind certain types of cancer such as endometrial or breast cancer, which occur in women. In addition to this, another potential explanation might be the fact that people who are overweight often experience increased levels of insulin in their bloodstream, which is known to develop certain tumors. Also, it is known that fat cells produce a type of hormones medically known as adipokines, which can inhibit or stimulate the growth of cells.

10 Healthiest Christmas Dishes

xmas-dinner

If you have decided to adopt a healthier diet this Christmas and to be more careful with what you eat (and with your waistline at the same time), then you should know that healthy foods are at least as delicious as the not-so-healthy ones. Here you will find a list of the healthiest dishes you can prepare for the Christmas dinner, along with useful tips that will help you make the best of their health benefits!

1. Bold Winter Greens Salad

You can never go wrong with a greens salad, regardless of the season or occasion. Fast and effortless, the bold winter greens salad is one of the healthiest dishes you can have on your Christmas table. For this dish, you will need two to three cloves of minced garlic, a pinch of kosher salt, a touch of freshly ground pepper, two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, one tablespoon of sherry vinegar, three or four rinsed and chopped anchovy fillets that will make the bold winter greens salad even more filling, a quarter of a cup extra virgin olive oil, three hard boiled eggs as well as 12 cups of chopped mixed salad greens, including escarole, chicory, radicchio and such. The result will undoubtedly take you by surprise and you will be left asking for more!

2. Roasted Green Beans

Another great healthy Christmas dish idea is the roasted green beans. A simple yet very filling dish, the roasted green beans include some tarragon, a touch of balsamic vinegar and a few drops of olive oil for that distinctive olives taste that we all adore. One serving of roasted green beans has no more than 50 calories along with four grams of fiber which will keep you full throughout the entire evening! Besides this, the roasted green beans go very well with glazed ham, although they can also be the main dish for your vegetarian friends who do not fancy meat.

3. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

One of the benefits of cooking mashed potatoes is that the recipe can be easily adapted for just about any occasion: you can serve them on your birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on. For the creamy version of the mashed potatoes, you will need two pounds of cubed red potatoes, three cloves of peeled and chopped garlic, half a cup of low fat milk, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper as well as two tablespoons of butter of your choice. What you have to do now is to place the garlic and the potatoes n a large saucepan and bring them to a boil at high heat. Slowly reduce the heat, drain them and then return the pot over low heat. Gradually add the butter, the milk, the salt and the pepper and then mash the potatoes to the desired consistency.

4. Apple And leek Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Although this may sound as a rather complex dish for the Christmas dinner, the truth is that it can be prepared in an hour and it is incredibly healthy at the same time. For this recipe, you will need two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, one cup of chopped leek, one sweet apple that is chopped and peeled, one teaspoon of freshly chopped thyme, a teaspoon of salt, two cups of apple cider, two teaspoons of mustard (preferably Dijon), two teaspoons of cornstarch, two cloves of peeled garlic, one and a half pounds of trimmed pork tenderloin, half a cup apple brandy and a touch of freshly ground pepper, to your taste.

5. Glazed Ham With Blackberry Sauce

If you are a fan of ham but you want to add a healthy twist to this year’s Christmas main dish, then you can always try the glazed ham with blackberry sauce. For this recipe, you will need one smoked and trimmed ham shank, one teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, one tablespoon of brown sugar, half a cup seedless blackberry jam, one cup of apple cider for the sauce, half a cup dry white wine, one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, one tablespoon of Dijon sauce (in addition to the one for the ham) and one cup of seedless blackberry jam, also for the sauce.

6. Salmon With Red Pepper Sauce And Mushrooms

Salmon is widely known for its health properties, and for a good reason. However, if you want to take the health benefits to the next level, then you can always combine it with mushrooms and red pepper sauce, for a Christmas dinner dish you will not forget too soon – and neither will your guests.

7. Leek, Apple And Butternut Squash Gratin

Bursting with both Vitamin C that improves your immune system (which is particularly important during the cold season) and beta-carotene that is great for your eyes, the leek, apple and butternut squash gratin is one of the healthiest Christmas dishes you can possibly serve. Besides this, the good news is that you can prepare this meal 24 to 48 hours in advance, and then refrigerate it.

8. Acorn Squash With Cranberry Apple Stuffing

Everybody loves the sour taste of the cranberry apple stuffing – a stuffing that is also known for its health benefits. For the acorn squash and cranberry apple stuffing, you will need two portions of acorn squash, two peeled and chopped applies, half a cup of dried cranberries, one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, along with two tablespoons of coconut oil.

9. Rack of Lamb With Lentil Salad And Warm Apple

Lamb is great not only for your Easter dinner, but for your Christmas dinner as well. For this delicious dish, you will need two tablespoons of coarse dry breadcrumbs, one and a half teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, three teaspoons of Dijon mustard, one and a half pounds of trimmed rack of lamb, a pinch of freshly ground pepper, a pinch of Kosher salt, a teaspoon of freshly chopped rosemary, two teaspoons of cider vinegar, two stalks of celery with leaves, one finely chopped apple, lentils, two finely chopped shallots.

10. Apricot Citrus Stuffed Ham

Another great and healthy idea for the ham fans is the apricot citrus stuffed ham, for which you will need one and a half pounds of extra lean and roast cut ham, 18 dried apricot halves, two tablespoons of brandy, half a cup fresh lemon juice, two teaspoons of honey, one and a half teaspoons of orange zest, one tablespoon of lemon zest and four tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate.