Today's the Day: Blog
Nuts & Kettlebells!
Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
On Monday we talked about the challenges of packing healthy snacks into our lunches. For all you parents out there, we are starting to see the end, the light at the end of the tunnel of the school year and the challenges of packing nutritious lunches that please our children... Now we need to get set for the summer snacks, of packing quick snacks as we head out the door for adventures, and outings and summer camps. Teri Gentes, our natural nutrition and wellness coach talked about the benefits of making your own nut mixes.
Most people think that nuts are high in calories and fat... and they are right! Nuts are quite calorically dense. 15 cashews, for instance, deliver ~180 kcal! On top of that, it is very tough not to overeat these tasty snacks. If you can restrain yourself from overeating them, nuts can definitely be a part of a healthy diet. Researchers found that people who eat nuts regularly have lower risks of heart disease. In 1996, the Iowa Women's Healthy Study found that women who ate nuts >4 times a week were 40% less likely to die of heart disease. Two years later, another study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found a similar result in another group of women subjects. Furthermore, potential heart health benefits of nuts were also found among men. In 2002, the Physician's Health Study found that men who consumed nuts 2 or more times per week had reduced risks of sudden cardiac death.
Teri mentioned Almonds and Walnuts as key nuts to have in your mixes:
Walnut is a good source of all important omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids has a lot of health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, better mental function, anti-inflammatory benefits in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
- Walnut contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that helps supports the immune system and contain several anticancer properties.
- Walnut has a mild laxative effect, it is beneficial in cases of constipation.
- It contains vitamins and minerals thus making it an excellent food for body and muscle building.
- Walnut helps improve body's metabolism.
- Walnut is recommended for patients with liver ailments.
Eating almonds has the same effect as the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. A one and a half ounce handful of almonds is a leading source of vitamin E and magnesium and offers protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron in 246 calories. Also, almonds (and other nuts) contain phytochemicals, which are plant chemicals that may provide powerful protection against heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases.
New research gives even more support to the healthy benefits of almonds: almonds may well be a food that helps fight obesity and diabetes.
At the recent 2005 Experimental Biology conference there were several studies regarding the benefits on almonds. Almonds may lower LDL (aka â€śbad) cholesterol, and they seem to help block the bodyâ€™s absorption of both fat and carbohydrates. This has numerous implications for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. The fiber structure of almonds may be the mechanism behind this phenomenon, and this reduces the calories available from the almonds themselves. Almonds may slow the actual absorption of the carbohydrates into the body, which means that they help to create a slower rise in blood sugar levels â€“ and therefore help to keep insulin levels in check.
Almonds also have greater levels of satiety, that is, satisfaction or fullness from food. This may be due to the high fiber content of the almonds, and this greater satiety leads to an overall satisfaction of hunger that can help people to maintain a healthy weight. The studies done at Purdue University showed that adding nearly two servings of almonds to a personâ€™s diet did not cause them to gain weight or body fat at all, but rather led them to decrease their intake of calories from other sources of food. Therefore they did not consume more calories overall but kept the same levels of consumption despite adding almonds to their diet.
Teri suggests measuring out your portions... and using about a quarter cup to a half cup in each snack portion. You can be creative and add all the things you like to your own mixes rather than purchasing a ready made mix, that you end up tossing out half the stuff since you don't like some of the nuts!
On Tuesday, Lauren Scott, a personal trainer at Good Life Fitness joined us with another Kettlebell movement. The exercises have been getting tougher and more technical as we have continued to increase the difficulty with the bells. This is not meant for beginners: Todays was called the "Clean and Press". I couldn;t do it properly and it takes some time to get the technique done properly. I found a video that shows exactly how it should be done:
here is some additional information:
I had bruises from trying thisâ€¦.but then again I donâ€™t get to use the kettlebells often, but can see how this really engages the whole body.
You can always contact Lauren for more information at: email@example.com.
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