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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 October 13, 2020

            How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

            How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

            Burnout at work is an issue that most people who suffer from it, suffer unknowingly.

            Have you ever felt that you can’t start an assignment, have an immense urge to Netflix binge, or couldn’t get yourself to wake up on time even though you have a lot on your plate? The cause for these might be burnout.

            According to Deloitte’s report, “many companies may not be doing enough to minimize burnout.” This is to say that the responsibility is not only on the employee. According to that report, nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization, and they definitely should.[1]

            Too many companies don’t invest enough in creating a positive environment. One out of five (21%) said that their company does not offer any programs or initiatives to prevent or alleviate burnout. It is the culture, not the fancy well-being programs that would probably do the best work.

            This is a significant problem for individuals and companies, and it’s also an issue on a macro level. A Stanford University research found that more than 120,000 deaths per year, and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs, are associated with the way U.S. companies manage their workforces.[2]

            It is both the employee and the employer’s responsibility—and the latter can certainly take more responsibility.

            In this article, I’ll guide you on how to know if you suffer from burnout and, more importantly, what you can do about it.

            Who Are Prone to Burning Out?

            For starters, it is a good thing to know that you’re in good company. According to a Gallup poll, 23% (of 7,500 surveyed) expressed burnout more often than not. Additionally, 44% felt it sometimes. Nearly 50% of social entrepreneurs who attended the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2018 reported having struggled with burnout and depression at some point.[3]

            According to Statista (2017), 13% of adults reported having problems unwinding in the evenings and weekends. According to a Deloitte survey (consisting of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees), 77% of respondents said that they have experienced employee burnout at their current job.[4]

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            Burnout is not only an issue of the spoiled first-world. Rather, it is a serious matter that must be taken care of appropriately. It affects so many people, and its impacts are just too significant to be ignored.

            Some occupations are more prone to burnout, such as people who deeply care about their jobs more than others. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Passion-driven and caregiving roles such as doctors and nurses are some of the most susceptible to burnout.”

            The consequences can have life or death ramifications as “suicide rates among caregivers are dramatically higher than that of the general public—40% higher for men and 130% higher for women”. It is also the case for teachers, non-profit workers, and leaders of all kinds.[5]

            Deloitte’s survey also found that 91% say that they have an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration. Heck, 83% even say that it can negatively impact their relationships. Millennials are slightly more impacted by burnout (84% of Gen Y vs. 77% in other generations).

            What Is Burnout Syndrome?

            So, what is it, exactly? Burnout was officially included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and is an occupational phenomenon.

            According to the World Health Organization, burnout includes three dimensions:[6]

            1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
            2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
            3. Reduced professional efficacy.

            The 5 Stages of Burnout

            At this point, you must have a clue if you’re at risk of burnout. There are different methods for understanding where you are on the burnout syndrome scale, and one of the most common ones is the “five stages method.”

            1. Honeymoon Phase

            As you may remember If you’ve gotten married, there’s always the honeymoon phase. You’re so happy and feel almost invincible. You love your spouse and at this stage, you’re very excited about everything. It’s the same when it comes to taking on a new job or role or starting a new business.

            At first, most of the time, you’re hyper-motivated. Although you might be able to notice signs of potential future burnout, in most cases, you might ignore them. You’re highly productive, super motivated, creative, and accept (and take) responsibility.

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            The honeymoon phase is critical because if you plant the seeds of good mental health and coping strategies, you can stay at this phase for extended periods.

            2. Onset of Stress

            Let’s continue with the wedding metaphor. Now that you’re happily married for some time, you might start noticing certain issues with your spouse that you don’t like. You might have seen them before, but now they take up more space in your life.

            You might be less optimistic and feel signs of stress or minor symptoms of physical or emotional fatigue at work. Your productivity reduces, and you think that your motivation is lower.

            3. Chronic Stress

            Let’s hope you don’t get there in your marriage, but unfortunately, some people get there. At this stage, your stress level is consistently high, and the other symptoms of stage 2 persist.

            At this point, you start missing deadlines, your sleep quality is low, and you’re resentful and cynical. Your caffeine consumption might be higher, and you’re increasingly unsatisfied.

            4. Burnout

            This is the point where you can’t go on unless there is a significant change in your workspace environment. You have a strong desire to move to another place, and clinical intervention is sometimes required.

            You feel neglected, your physical symptoms are increasing, and you get to a place where your stomach hurts daily. You might obsess over problems in your life or work and, generally speaking, you should treat yourself.

            5. Habitual Burnout

            This is the phase in which burnout is embedded in your life. You might experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, outbursts of anger or apathy, and physical symptoms of chronic fatigue.

            The Causes of Burnout

            So, now that we know how to identify our stage of burnout, we can move on to tackling its leading causes. According to the Gallup survey, the top burnout reasons are:[7]

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            1. Getting unfair treatment at work – This is not always something that you can fully control. At the same time, you should remember that even if you’re not calling the shots, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept unfair treatment. The consequences mentioned above are just not worth it in most cases.
            2. Workload – Another leading cause of stress according to dozens of interviews conducted before writing the article. According to Statista, in 2017, 39% of workers said a heavy workload was their leading cause of stress. We live in a busy work environment, and we will share some tips on how to manage that.
            3. Not knowing your role – While not something you can fully control, you can, and probably should, take action to better define it with your boss.
            4. Inadequate communication and support from your manager – Like the others above, you can’t fully control that, but as we’ll soon share, you can take action to be in better control.
            5. Time pressure – As mentioned, motivated, passionate workers are more in danger of experiencing burnout. One of the reasons is that they’re pressuring themselves to do more, sometimes at the expense of their mental health. We’ll address how to work on that as well.

            How to Overcome a Burnout

            After going over the stages of burnout and the leading causes of becoming burned out, it might be a good time to let you know that there is a lot you can do to fight it head-on.

            However, let’s start with what you should not do. Burnout cannot be fixed by going on a vacation. It should be a long-term solution, implemented daily.

            According to Clockify (2019), these are the popular ways to avoid burnout:

            1. Focus on your family life – 60% of adults said that stable family life is key to avoiding burnout. Maintaining meaningful relationships in your life is proven to reduce stress (instead of having many unmeaningful relationships).
            2. Exercising comes in second, with 58% reporting that jogging, running, or doing any exercise significantly relieves stress. Even a relatively short walk might improve your body’s resilience to stress.
            3. Seek professional advice – 55% say they would turn to a professional. There are online websites where you can speak with professionals at reduced costs.

            Aside from the three most popular ways of avoiding burnout, you can also try the following:

            1. Improve Time Management

            Try understanding how you can use your time better and leave more time for relaxation. That’s easy to say (or write) but more challenging to implement. It would help if you started by prioritizing yourself. Understanding the connection between your values and your everyday tasks is a tremendous help. You can use proven methods to improve the relationship between your vision and goals to your daily life tasks’ lists. Check out the Horizons of Focus or V2MOM methods to get started.

            2. Use the P.L.E.A.S.E. Method

            The P.L.E.A.S.E. is a combination of things you should do to be at your best physically. It means Physical Illness (P.L.) prevention, Eat healthy (E), Avoid mood-altering drugs (A), Sleep well (S), and Exercise (E).

            3. Prioritize

            You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes across your way at work (or in other aspects of life). You’d be surprised how easy it can become once you start saying no. Some might even describe it as exhilarating.

            4. Let Your Brain rest

            Culturally, most of us are already wired to think that hard work is essential, and while that’s true in most cases, we sometimes forget that our brain needs to rest for it to recharge. Seven hours of sleep are essential (depending on your age). Meditation might be helpful, too.

            5. Pay Attention to Positive Events

            According to Therapistaid.com, we tend to focus on the bad things in our lives. However, by focusing on positive things, we can change our mindset. One way to practice this daily is by writing three good things about your life every morning or evening. It’s been scientifically proven that doing so for a few months can help rewire your brain.

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            6. Take Some “You” Time

            A Netflix binge is not always good for you, but it might be in some cases. The better the leisure time is, the better you’ll feel in the long term. It’s usually better to read a book or start a new hobby that requires more cognitive skills than just lying on the couch. But as long as you feel good watching a movie, that might be a good start.

            7. New Technologies Might Be Helpful

            There are tons of self-help apps such as Fabulous, Headspace (meditation), Noom (diet and exercise), and others. They’re good to use, but you should also be careful not to run away from your problems only to watch social media for hours. It’s not real, and no one’s life is perfect (even if their Facebook or Instagram feeds might seem so). You should also be aware not to be in an “always-on” mindset.

            Bottom Line

            Whether you’re at the first or the fifth stage of the burnout phases, the goal of this article is to show you that there are always ways to fight it. The first thing is self-awareness—knowing that there’s a problem. The second step is to decide what to do about it.

            You can also consider using Lifehack’s community. You’re more than welcome to share your burnout story on our Facebook page.

            Bonus: Rebound from Burnout in 8 Hours

            Watch what you can do to rebound from burnout quickly in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

            https://youtu.be/MNnyqQWK_zg

            Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

            Reference

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