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Healthy Monday Tip #13: Go Nuts

Posted Oct 11 2010 8:09am

Healthy Monday is a public health initiative founded in 2005 in association with Johns Hopkins University, Syracuse University, and Columbia University with the goal to end chronic preventable disease in the U.S. by offering people and organizations a weekly prompt to start and sustain healthy behaviors, intentions, actions and initiatives.

Let me start by apologizing for the bad pun in the title. It was all that I could come up with on this Monday AM. Anyhow, according to Time Magazine , a recent study found that a handful of walnuts a day may help keep stress away:

Among people with high cholesterol ( that’s nearly one-third of American adults , for those keeping score at home), foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. Now a new study finds that some types of these polyunsaturated fats — namely the alpha linolenic acid found in walnuts and flax seeds — can also improve people’s response to stress.

Study participants who consumed walnuts and walnut oil not only reduced their LDL levels, but they also showed significant drops in resting blood pressure and, most surprisingly, in their blood pressure response to stress. Participants’ blood pressure was measured as they either delivered a speech or put one foot in a bucket of cold water, both considered low-grade stressors in most people.
So there are many good reasons to include nuts in your diet, and it looks as though we may have one more. Start this week off by grabbing a handful for a healthy snack.

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