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How Walnuts Can Transform Your Health + 5 Great Recipes

How Walnuts Can Transform Your Health + 5 Great Recipes

If you are like most people and have a crazy busy schedule, you probably feel like you don’t always have time to take care of yourself as well as you should. The good news is that there are many small things that you can do to help improve your health, even on the busiest of days. One of these is adding walnuts to your daily diet. Below are some of the best health benefits that come from these tiny, power-packed treats.

Walnuts Can Lower Your Cancer Risk

Cancer, like heart disease, is still a top killer in the United States, Europe, and many other parts of the world. Walnuts can lower the chances of cancer due to a number of their active ingredients, including ellagic acid (a powerful antioxidant), as well as compounds called phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that all of these compounds have anti-cancer properties and recent study found that people with a higher intake of walnuts had a greatly reduced chance of pancreatic cancer.

Walnuts Are Great For Your Brain

Walnuts aren’t just healthy for your heart, they are also great for your brain and can help manage a variety of problems, like depression and cognitive issues such as loss of memory or difficulty concentrating. In one 8-week study, participants who ate walnuts showed an improvement in memory and learning skills.

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Walnuts Are A Great Part Of A Vegetarian Diet

If you are vegetarian or vegan, protein is an important part of your life — and without meat and dairy products, this can be a difficult thing to get. However, walnuts (and other ground and tree nuts) can help you to get the protein that you need even if your diet is mostly or entirely plant-based. They can be made into vegetarian, high-protein dishes like nut loafs or vegetarian burgers to keep you healthy, no matter what your dietary restrictions are.

Walnuts Can Help Improve Your Sleep

If you have problems with getting a good night’s sleep, walnuts just might be the perfect bedtime snack for you. Walnuts are rich in melatonin, a neurohormone which regulates the circadian rhythm of your sleep-wake cycle and helps you to get the rest you need to face the day. If you have insomnia, consider adding walnuts to your diet: they can help you treat your problem naturally without the use of medications.

Walnuts Will Give You Beautiful Skin

Good skin is a prerequisite for beauty, and eating walnuts every day can help you achieve the glowing complexion you want naturally. That is because walnuts are rich in B-complex vitamins, which are powerful antioxidants that can protect skin from the aging process and reduce the risks of wrinkling.

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Walnuts Are Great For Your Digestion

Walnuts are rich in both protein and healthy fats, but they are also a great source of fiber! As a matter of fact, a cup of walnuts will give you 7.8 grams of fiber. Fiber is great for keeping the digestive process going and for preventing problems like constipation that can cause pain and bloating.

Walnuts Improve Your Heart Health

Heart disease is still a major health concern for Americans and those in other developed nations — it is actually the number one cause of death around the world. The good news is that there are many lifestyle choices that can help reduce your chances of developing this condition. One of these is adding walnuts to your diet. Walnuts are rich in alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), catechins like EPA and DHA, and copper, all of which have been shown in clinical studies to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increase circulation, and decrease inflammation.

Walnuts Help You Lose Weight

Many people avoid walnuts and other nuts when they are dieting because they are calorie-dense foods that are high in fat. However, these are healthy fats and, in combination with their proteins and fiber, they help to reduce the appetite naturally. This can make it easier to eat fewer calories and lose weight without as much effort. Several studies have shown that people who included walnuts in their diet regularly lost more weight than those who did not.

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Walnuts Are Versatile And Easy To Add To Your Diet

More great news? There are lots of quick and easy ways to get more walnuts in your diet, like the 5 recipes below.

1. Rum Walnut Cake

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    2. African Squash Soup with Walnut Cream

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      3. Blue Cheese Walnut Green Beans

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        4. Apple Walnut Muffins

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          5. Caramel Nut Tart

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            Try these recipes today! The health benefits of walnuts range from boosting heart health to aiding in weight loss and ensuring that you have younger-looking skin. Including them in your diet is a simple, easy way to help improve your health — even with the busiest of schedules!

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            Brian Wu

            Health Writer, Author

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            Last Updated on December 2, 2018

            How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

            How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

            Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

            The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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            The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

            Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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            Review Your Past Flow

            Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

            Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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            Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

            Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

            Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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            Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

            Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

            We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

            Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

              Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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