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Good for heart
The nuts have beneficial effects on risk factors for heart disease. Studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, in the context of healthy diets, and there is emerging evidence of beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity.
Several studies have shown that nuts (almond and pistachios) can help in losing weight. Similarly to almonds, pistachios may improve cholesterol levels. Eating 2–3 ounces of pistachios a day may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Also, don’t forget the walnuts – they may benefit heart health.
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Aging and cardiovascular health
The new study, done by Italian researchers and published in Hypertension, involved 90 people over 65 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
This condition causes memory problems more serious than those seen with normal aging, but less severe than those of dementia. It’s estimated that 20 percent of people over 70 have MCI and that 5 percent of those with MCI progress to dementia each year.
After eight weeks, the high-flavanol group did better on a series of memory, verbal fluency, and other cognition tests, followed by the intermediate-flavanol group. Their blood pressure, blood sugar control and oxidative stress levels also improved.
Though flavonoids may have direct effects on neurons and neurodegenerative processes, the researchers concluded that the cognitive benefits were related primarily to better insulin sensitivity, which affects blood sugar control as well as brain function. The benefits may also derive from the cocoa’s effects on cardiovascular health in general and blood pressure.
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Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Research suggests that goji berries can help you feel better and boost your immune system because they are packed with antioxidants. Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin A, zinc, antioxidants.
They are also one of the very few plant-based foods that can provide you with a complete protein. By supplying your organism with these nutrients, they may help increase your overall well-being.
You can eat these berries plain as a snack, in a trail mix, in your oatmeal, in a green salad, or in a tea.