Walnuts Help Decrease Risk for Dementia  

Walnuts can do many things, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of understanding how many health benefits this superfood has. One of the newest discoveries: walnuts can actually be great for your digestive health, which in turn, can help decrease your risk of serious diseases, such as arthritis, depression, and dementia.  

The Study of Walnuts on Digestive Health 

Researchers at Louisiana State University recently conducted a study that showed how the consistent ingestion of walnuts is good for our digestive health. For ten weeks, the researchers fed rats ground walnuts and studied this group, along with a control group of rats that did not receive a walnut-rich diet. At the conclusion of the ten weeks, the researchers found that the rats that received the walnut-rich diet showed an increase in probiotic-type bacteria that can be extremely healthy.  

Probiotic Bacteria, Gut Health, and Anti-Inflammation  

Probiotic bacteria have been lauded recently for their beneficial nature when it comes to gut health. This is a relatively new field of study that has been found to be extremely important to one’s overall health, especially according to Professor Lauri Byerley, head researcher for the study.  

“Our study is showing walnuts change the gut, which could help explain why there are other positive health benefits to eating walnuts such as heart and brain health.”  

But there’s more! Probiotic bacteria have been linked to anti-inflammation, which is good for your body in a number of ways. Chronic inflammation has also been found to be linked to a number of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Making sure you eat foods that can help promote more anti-inflammatory bacteria in your system could be a way to help you avoid issues with these and other diseases.  

What Does This Mean for the Future?  

Further research is needed, obviously, and you won’t be seeing pharmacists handing out bags of walnuts any time soon as a treatment for these diseases. However, it could actually benefit you in the long run to make sure you eat a good amount of walnuts each day.  

The suggested amount of walnuts for those looking to reap these benefits is about 2 ounces. This is approximately 30 walnut halves or a small bag of these nuts. You should always make sure to cook your walnuts as well in order to make them as healthy for your digestion as possible. 

Eat Walnuts Daily for Digestive Health  

Is there anything walnuts can’t do? Aside from helping people lose weight and promoting heart health, a new study has also found that these nuts can actually increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut that help with digestion.  

The Study on Walnuts and Digestive Health  

According to Louisiana State University researchers, eating a handful of walnuts a day could actually increase the amount of probiotic bacteria in your gut, allowing your body to more easily digest food and stay healthy. “Gut health is an emerging research area, but we are seeing that greater bacterial diversity may be associated with better health outcomes,” said Lauri Byerley, PhD, RD Associate Professor of Research in the Physiology Department of Louisiana State University and lead researcher.  

The study involved feeding rats ground walnuts every day for 10 weeks. The rats ate about half a cup each day, and a control group was set up where another group of rats did not receive walnuts at all. The rats that ate the diet rich in walnuts actually saw an increase in the good bacteria and an improvement in digestive health, while the rats that did not eat the walnut-rich diet remained the same.  

Can Walnuts Really Improve Your Digestive Health?  

It seems very possible that walnuts could be a beneficial option for one’s digestive health. In addition, those with diets that are more diverse are likely to experience a greater diversity of bacteria, which is healthier for the gut. “Low diversity,” said Byerly, “has been linked to conditions such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.”  

A healthy gut is also an extremely beneficial part of one’s whole body health. And since the consistent presence of walnuts does actually seem likely to change gut health and improve digestive health, this could lead to a whole-body benefit, which nutritionists and other health workers may not have realized before.  

Gut Health Leads to Overall Health 

In addition, walnuts are able to promote health in other ways, from helping those on diets feel fuller for longer to allowing people to get their daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids. And Byerly believes that gut health associated with eating walnuts can actually be the starting point for these benefits.  

“Our study is showing that walnuts change the gut, which could help explain why there are other positive health benefits to eating walnuts such as heart and brain health.” 

How Walnuts Benefit Skin, Hair, and Nails

 

Eating a daily handful of walnuts is meant to be healthy for your body. These nuts can help you maintain weight loss, and they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, you may not know that walnuts can also benefit your skin, hair, and nails, making you look just as beautiful and healthy as they make you feel.

Walnuts for Healthy Skin

Walnuts can actually help delay the aging of your skin. Because they are a great source of vitamin B, they can help to lower our stress levels, which can preserve the youth and vitality of your skin. In addition, walnuts can actually moisturize dry skin, especially if you apply walnut oil to your skin often. Those who suffer from dark circles under their eyes can also use walnut oil to lighten these features.

You can also use walnuts, honey, oats, and cream to create a face pack that will smooth and rejuvenate your skin. This is a quick and easy recipe you can find here.

Walnuts for Healthy Hair

You can actually use walnuts to take care of your hair. Walnut oil can be used on your hair regularly to strengthen it and to make it grow longer, healthier, and fuller. Using walnut oil regularly can also minimize the issues of hair loss and dandruff. Also, walnut oil moisturizes the scalp, which needs love too, especially if you are going to be able to enjoy healthy hair.

Some people who like to color their hair but do not want to use chemicals to do so actually prefer to dye it with walnuts. You can find a recipe and advice on using walnuts as hair dye here.

Walnuts for Healthy Nails

As stated previously, walnuts contain vitamin B biotin, which helps to promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. Those who eat walnuts regularly will be more likely to see improvements in their nail strength and health. The vitamin E found in walnuts can also give your nails a nice shine, much in the same way that they can do for your hair, and it can help minimize the appearance of grooves or ridges in your nails over time.

The Health Benefits of Walnuts

While walnuts can help you get healthier in many ways, most people don’t know they can actually create more radiant, stronger, and healthier hair, skin, and nails. Now that’s a good reason to eat more of these delicious nuts!

How Red Wine Makes You Look More Beautiful

You read that right: a new study on the effects of red wine, and the antioxidant resveratrol in the grapes used to make it, has found that this particular type of vino may actually help slow the processes of bacteria that cause acne. In addition, your favorite red may also be able to strengthen the effects of your over-the-counter acne medication.

The Study

According to a study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy, researchers studied bacteria that cause acne and how quickly these colonies can spread. However, when they applied resveratrol, which as stated above is often found in abundance in red wine, to the bacteria, the growth of the colony slowed. Then, the researchers applied benzoyl peroxide, which is the active ingredient found in most over-the-counter acne drugs, and found that the combination of resveratrol and benzoyl peroxide was stronger than the latter alone.

The Benefits of Resveratrol and Red Wine

The researchers, though likely pleased with the results, will naturally need to spend more time studying these effects, but this definitely isn’t the first time the benefits of resveratrol have been pointed out. The antioxidant is also found in peanuts, pistachios, cranberries, and blueberries and has long been known to be a benefit for those who like to consume these foods.

This is one of the strongest reasons why red wine is considered to be a healthy option when used in moderation. Though doctors still recommend that people only have a glass to a glass and a half every day, the benefits of red wine have been greatly extolled recently—and most often—because of the health benefits associated with resveratrol. However, the ways in which this antioxidant may be beneficial for the treatment of acne have not been thoroughly studied as of yet, especially when associated with the daily intake of red wine.

What Does This Mean?

While it’s unlikely that your doctor’s office will start handing out prescriptions for a bottle of wine in order to minimize your signs acne, it is interesting to think about the repercussions of this study as well as what kinds of treatment options may be available to us in the future. After all, who doesn’t love the idea that their favorite glass of wine could potentially help keep acne at bay and make them more beautiful? We’ll drink to that.

Eating and Drinking in Moderation: What It Means

Everything in moderation. You have probably heard this advice more than once, especially if you are someone who likes to diet often. But what does this phrase mean and why is it so important when it comes to taking care of your body and your food and drink intake?

Moderation Is Subjective

Eating and drinking in moderation is good for you because it essentially means not binging on any one type of food or drink. However, the term itself is actually fairly subjective. Some people think drinking one soda a day is keeping with the concept of moderation, while others wouldn’t dare to drink more than one a week.

Still, the idea of eating and drinking in moderation boils down to being aware of the choices you are making when it comes to your intake and limiting yourself sometimes rather than eating whatever you want, whenever you want it.

Ways to Eat and Drink in Moderation

There are a number of practices you can take on in order to make sure that your intake is appropriate and that you are able to curb yourself from drinking and eating too much.

  • Counting calories: The average adult needs to consume about 2,000 calories a day to be healthy. Most of us know this, but many of the foods we eat contain almost this entire amount all in one meal, especially fast foods and restaurant foods. Making sure you know how many calories are actually going into your body is a good way to consume in moderation.
  • Portion control: For the most part, people hate counting calories. However, portion control is a great way to achieve moderation without having to take all the fun out of eating. When you control the portions you eat based on recommended servings, you can practice moderation easily.
  • Variety of foods: Another great way to practice moderation is to avoid eating large portions of the same foods over and over. Instead, create a meal with variety and that touches on as many of the food groups as possible.

When you learn some of the tricks that will help you eat more mindfully, you will be able to better control and moderate your eating habits. This is what the great phrase “everything in moderation” means: making sure you don’t overindulge and allowing yourself to enjoy your life while also being healthy.

Red vs. White Wine Drinkers

While we’ve never met a woman who would turn down a glass of wine, it is pretty much a given that most ladies have their preference: you’re either a white or a red wine drinker. But what does this distinction say about who you are as a person and does it really mean anything when it comes down to the nitty gritty (or the last sip in the bottle)?

You Prefer One or the Other

It’s true of most women. And though you’ll probably accept a glass of red when you really like white—or vice-versa—you won’t be wholly pleased if you don’t have your perfect option available to you. And while most of us have a preference when it comes to chardonnay or pinot grigio, cabernet or merlot, women can pretty much always be separated into white wine drinkers and red wine drinkers.

So What’s the Difference?

The difference is in the women in general and how they live their lives. We maintain that there is no wrong way to drink wine and that every woman should do what she wants in order to be her most authentic self. So here are our comparisons.

  • Red wine drinkers tend to be confident and outspoken while white wine drinkers may start off shy if they don’t know you well.
  • Red wine drinkers tend to look for love and end up in committed relationships while white wine drinkers like to play the field a bit more.
  • Red wine drinkers are often better talkers while white wine drinkers are better listeners.
  • White wine drinkers love to be the center of attention at a party while red wine drinkers tend to hang back and talk to a smaller group.
  • Red wine drinkers prefer old school devices like a pen and paper or a typewriter while white wine drinkers feel the newer the gadget, the better.
  • Red wine drinkers are studious and tend to peruse higher education. White wine drinkers like to consider themselves students of the world.
  • White wine drinkers love to go to the movies while red wine drinkers prefer to spend the night in reading.
  • White wine drinkers are dog lovers; red wine drinkers are cat lovers.
  • Red wine drinkers love texting. White wine drinkers would rather talk on the phone.
  • White wine drinkers enjoy eating seafood while red wine drinkers stick with steak. (Or maybe that’s just because they taste better with their respective wines…)

 

Study Shows Personality Dictates Wine Choice

There may actually be meaning behind which wine you prefer when it comes to who you are and what your personality is. A recent study commissioned by French Wines with Style seems to have uncovered the link between those who prefer a nice chilled white, those who stick with a room temperature red, and those who like to drink rosé.

The Skinny on Wine Personalities

According to Gerard Basset, spokesman for French Wines with Style, the study found red wine drinkers are “the more relaxed of wine fans,” as reported by the Telegraph.  White wine drinkers, on the other hand, “love the status quo.” Rosé fans differ from both and tend to be “itching for a change.” Since these three types of wines are so distinctive and wine lovers are very clear about the fact that one is their preferred choice, it’s not hard to see the connection between wine and personality.

Earnings and Career

Also according to the study, red wine drinkers tend to make more money and are more likely to be college or university graduates than red wine drinkers. 81 percent of red wine drinkers are also happy in their fields, but 65 percent admit to wanting to climb higher when it comes to their jobs. On the contrary, 42 percent of white wine drinkers say they wouldn’t consider themselves ambitious, and 55 percent of rosé drinkers leave school by the age of 18.

Love and Marriage

86 percent of red wine drinkers proclaim to be in happy marriages while 52 percent of them have gotten married. White wine drinkers are more likely to feel happy being single, with 85 percent saying they aren’t actively looking for a relationship. Rosé drinkers are most commonly found in happy but unmarried relationship.

How They See Themselves

Red wine drinkers tend to describe themselves with adjectives like strong, intelligent, and confident while white wine drinkers like to see themselves as practical, shy, reserved, and bright. Rosé drinkers, on the other hand, see themselves as warm, loud, and charming.

Red wine drinkers are also likely to take pride in their appearances, with 88 percent of them saying they do. 56 percent of white wine drinkers describe themselves as stylish.

Social Media vs. Reality

Rosé drinkers are the most likely to be found on Facebook, averaging 146 friends and visiting the site more than 10 times per week. Red wine drinkers especially prefer real friends and conversations versus virtual interactions.

How to Grow a Walnut Tree

Walnut trees can grow just about anywhere and have a strong resistance to all types of climates. However, because there are so many different species of walnut, it is best to choose the type that is most native to where you are from. Here are some other tips about how to plant and grow a walnut tree.

Prepare Your Walnuts for Planting

Some people buy walnuts in order to plant them, especially those who are interested in creating a whole grove of walnut trees. If you’re only planning to plant one, though, you can collect fallen walnuts from an already thriving tree. Remove the husks afterward so you can determine if the walnuts are undamaged.

Then, make sure to keep the nuts moist when you store them for the winter. Keep them in a moist bag and in a refrigerator for 3 to 4 months.

Planting Your Walnuts

When the ground has been thawed for at least 90 days and you are ready to plant your walnuts, make sure they have small sprouts coming from them. This shows they are ready to be planted.

Clear the planting site and place your walnuts in small holes, usually about 12 feet apart. If you are planting seedlings instead of starting with nuts, make sure to plant them in the spring in loamy soil that can easily be drained.

Caring for Your Walnut Tree

Water your seedlings occasionally. This is especially important when the weather is dry. This is necessary for the first two years or so of the tree’s life. After this, walnut trees only need to be watered during hotter times in the year or droughts. Keep the area where your walnut tree is planted weeded, and start pruning your tree early in order to make sure it grows straight. You will also want to use fertilizer on your walnut tree when it grows bigger than a sapling.

Understanding Walnut Tree Care

Growing walnut trees takes time and work. The tree itself probably won’t begin to fruit until 10 years after it is planted. It can also make things difficult for a gardener because walnuts can release chemicals into the soil that may kill other plants.

Squirrels can also cause problems for your walnut crops, so make sure to prune your branches. If these pests truly become an issue, you can cover your walnut tree’s trunk with plastic guard to prevent them from climbing.

Wine During Pregnancy: It Is Just as Bad as They Say But Not Only for Your Child

While we have understood for quite a long time that drinking while pregnant could potentially affect one’s child and cause serious, irreparable damage, a new study shows that engaging in this behavior could potentially lead to problems for later generations of children, specifically your grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.

The Study

A study conducted at the University of California, Riverside found developmental effects in mice that were exposed to alcohol while in the womb, which isn’t surprising. However, the effects seem to be more intense than even this. Mice that were exposed to alcohol in the womb tended to have their own children with developmental issues, even if they hadn’t had any alcohol while they were pregnant. These effects reached all the way to the great-grandchildren of the original mouse who drank alcohol while pregnant.

According to Kelly Huffman, psychology professor at University of California, Riverside, in a press release, “We found that body weight and brain size were significantly reduced in all generations of prenatal ethanol exposure animals when compared to controls.” This seemed to suggest that fetal alcohol syndrome could, in fact, be an inheritable condition.

What Does This Mean?

In recent years, doctors have told pregnant women that one glass of wine at a certain time during their pregnancies may not be harmful. Still, as stated by Romper, there has never been a clear consensus among organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC that any amount of alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy. From the results of this survey, this assertion is sounding more and more likely.

Different doctors may give different recommendations, and for many, a glass of wine at night or before bed can be relaxing and even help facilitate sleep. Other studies, like this one from 2014, have even found positive effects in children whose mothers drank small amounts of wine while pregnant. But because there is still so much that we do not know about the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and the general issues associated with drinking alcohol while pregnant, it may be best to avoid any altogether during this time.

The implications of the study are such that side effects might not even be present in the child a person who drinks wine is carrying but rather in their children, or their children’s children, years down the road.

Global Warming and the Wine Industry

Global warming is threatening another large industry: the wine industry. This issue that is causing many problems all across the planet has been recently studied for the effects of higher temperatures on grape picking, and the results are not favorable.

The Study

According to the Huffington Post, the analysis itself was published in the journal Temperature. It highlighted some of the serious issues associated with higher temperatures in Europe (caused by global warming) and the way these temperatures have affected the wine industry.

The study took place in the Mediterranean region where, during August, also known as the peak of harvest season, the mean maximum temperature has now increased to around 36 degrees Celsius. According to the study, “These working conditions would be considered a heat-wave in central European countries such as Germany.”

Grape Picking and Global Warming

Grape pickers were studied during this time period for their ability to perform the functions of their job. They were also studied in cooler weather during another point in the year. Overall, their ability to perform their job changed immensely during this time.

A 27 percent labor loss was recorded when the temperatures in Cyprus increased to 36 degrees Celsius. This was attributed to an increase of the exertion of the workers’ metabolic and cardiovascular systems, as perceived by the researchers. During this time, there was also a 15 percent decrease in the amount of time workers were actually working. Instead, they had to take more work breaks that were both unplanned and irregular, leading to less time actually being able to carry out their tasks.

Because the grape picking industry is still dominated by manual labor, the researchers hypothesized that the effects of global warming would intensely affect the industry itself. This seems to have been correct, as these decreases in labor and time will likely begin to cause issues for the industry if they continue in this fashion.

How Bad Is the Issue?

Because the researchers were only able to study in one area of the grape picking industry (and for a number of other reasons), they warned others against reading the study as an exhaustive explanation of the entire effects of global warming on the wine industry. However, there does seem to be a strong indication that potential issues could increase in the future, though a more exhaustive study is well in order if we are ever going to learn how extensive these effects truly will truly become.