Alternatively Speaking: The truth about nuts
Alternative medicine enthusiast Natalie Marx answers your questions: Are nuts good for us? What is the best cure for nausea?
Nuts 370 Photo: Courtesey Thinkstock
Q. Dear Natalie, I read such conflicting advice, perhaps you can clarify; are nuts good for us? If so, then which nuts offer the best nutrition?
A. Nuts were indeed once thought of as a dieter's high-fat demon, they are now however viewed as a healthy component of any diet. Nuts have many health benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol to protecting against heart disease. The mantra here is really "everything in moderation."
Since nuts can be high in fat, it's important to note that the majority of the fat is healthy mono and polyunsaturated fat. These unsaturated fats are able to lower our "bad" LDL-cholesterol levels and also reduce the risk of heart disease. Vegetarians can greatly benefit from nuts since they are a great substitute for some of the animal protein in our diets. Nuts are also a good source of fiber which also helps to lower cholesterol and keep our bowels healthy and regular.
Research proves that nuts are also good sources of various flavonoids, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Most nuts you will find are very high in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. This causes cholesterol to adhere to artery walls and block blood flow. Despite their health benefits, not all nut varieties are created equal. Make sure you are aware of some of the nutritional differences between the different varieties of nuts:
Walnuts are high in an essential (omega-3) fatty acid (alpha-linolenic), that helps to lower triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of blood clots. Walnuts also contain a compound known as ellagic acid that provides several anti-cancer properties.
Almonds provide more protein, fiber, vitamin E, and riboflavin than any other nut as well as good levels of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Peanuts contain more protein, fiber, and vitamin E than any other nut. However, it's important that you opt for the dry roasted and unsalted nuts. Make sure that your nuts are not roasted in oil which contains extra fat and calories. Limiting sodium intake is important for those with high blood pressure, so check the packet before you begin snacking.
Each type of nut does contain many good nutrients, so it's a good idea to eat a variety of nuts to ensure the maximum benefits. However, don't forget that nuts are high in calories so should be enjoyed in moderation.
Q. Dear Natalie, I think I suffer from chronic nausea. I am not pregnant and my doctor has said that I am fine. Are there any herbs or any specific diets I should follow to help cure the nausea?
A.Nature has indeed provided a number of herbal treatments for nausea. Ginger root, which comes in many different forms, is perhaps most commonly used in cases of extreme nausea. You can take this in any form you wish, tea, candied, crystallized ginger (which often contains added sugar) and even capsules are also available.
A wonderfully accessible herb to get hold of, even to begin growing at home, is Peppermint. I use this as my main ingredient when treating nausea. You can drink peppermint tea, suck on peppermint lozenges and you can also find peppermint in the form of a tincture used to drop in cold water.
There are also specific foods that often help to reduce waves of nausea. A diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast are all mild foods often recommended to prevent nausea. It is the starches in these foods that absorb stomach acids.
Lemon is a wonderful natural remedy that has been used to prevent nausea. Lemons produce tannins which work to decrease saliva, dry the mouth and ease any feeling of nausea. Try carrying around with you a bottle of water with fresh lemon juice and sip when needed. Lastly I recommend burning lavender oil at home, or adding a few drop of lavender oil in the bath. Rubbing lavender oil onto your wrist area too works to reduce nausea
Q. My child suffers from terrible nightmares. Are there any gentle flower remedies you can recommend that can help?
A.When children have frequent bad dreams, it may be a sign that something important is urging for your attention or resolution. Using flower essences is a wonderful tool which can bring awareness and soothing. Before bed, you can add a drop of soothing essential oils to his/her pillowcase or sheets. You can also rub them (after mixing a few drops with a carrier oil such as almond oil) on your child’s neck, or on their forehead. I recommend trying the most calming essential oils that will help prevent nightmares including lavender, orange, frankincense, rose, and sandalwood.
Another approach is to try using Bach flower remedies which gently support children in developing courage when they are overwhelmed by fear and I have seen great results when used by children who suffer from nightmares. Aspen is commonly used for children who fear the dark, abandonment, and being left alone. When mixed with rock rose and mimulus, it supports children experiencing nightmares.
Using Rock Rose alone is also excellent for terrors, such as those that often appear in nightmares. You can try the Bach Flower remedy White Chestnut since it works well for repetitive dreams that haunt. The Star of Bethlehem (Bach Flower Remedy) is a great overall flower essence to ease fears and terrors and a few drops may be taken in water if your child wakes during the night.
Ask Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer then email Natalie with your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Someone Once Said: "A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs." - Joan Welsh
This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.
Natalie runs a clinic both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem offering a wide range of natural treatment. Healing is achieved using homeopathy, reflexology, massage, flower remedies and nutritional wisdom.
To make an appointment please email email@example.com.