Tag Archives: Tannins

Superfoods – Walnuts


Walnuts are superfoods for many reasons.  Eating walnuts regularly provides the body with essential omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.  Walnuts have the highest antioxidant content of the tree nuts.

Research suggests that walnuts can be a healthy part of the diet for the prevention of not only breast and other cancers, but also diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Walnuts – “The King of Nuts”

Walnuts are considered by many as the “king of nuts” from a nutritional perspective.  Walnuts, like other nuts are high in monounsaturated fats.  These are the same type of health-promoting fats that are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.  Therefore, to get the health benefits of walnuts, a moderate handful is sufficient.

Other health benefits of walnuts include:

  • Prevent Gallstones – as little as 1 ounce per week has been shown to reduce the risk of gallstones.
  • Source of Bioavailable Melatonin – improves the quality of sleep.
  • Prevents Atherosclerosis – lowers LDL’s (bad cholesterol).
  • Controls High Blood Pressure – omega 3 fatty acids help to regulate the blood pressure.
  • Antioxidant King – one of the highest antioxidant levels of all superfoods.
  • Promotes Heart Health – reduces overall cholesterol, reduces LDL’s (bad cholesterol), increases artery elasticity, antioxidant activity reduces heart disease risk by protecting the blood vessels from free radical damage.
  • Regulates Type II Diabetes – improved overall cholesterol profile, which helps to regulate the effects of the disease.
  • Protects Bone Health – supports bone health and prevents excessive bone turnover with the bioactivity of alpha linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid found specifically in walnuts.
  • Enhances Brain Activity – omega 3 fatty acid  content helps to sustain a clear, healthy brain by supporting the cellular function via the fatty brain cell membranes.

Walnuts are a fantastic source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have been found to not only protect the heart and promote better cognitive function, but also provide anti-inflammatory benefits for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema and psoriasis.

Walnuts also contain the antioxidant compound ellagic acid, which is known to fight cancer and support the immune system.  Studies have shown approximately 16 polyphenols in walnuts, including three new tannins, with antioxidant activity so powerful it was described as “remarkable.”

So ‘in a nutshell’, walnuts are incredibly healthy for many different parts of the body.  Try incorporating them into main meals like ‘spinach roasted pumpkin and walnut salad‘ or treats like ‘walnut raisin cookies‘ in the following video:

Is Wine Healthy?

Are there any health benefits of wine?

Enjoying a Glass of Red

Enjoying a Glass of Red

Red or white? – that is the question!  Red has greater positive health benefits than white wine.  Wines with higher tannin levels carry more of the protective polyphenols that are good for blood vessel protection.  The polyphenols in wine have a specific interaction with the lining of the blood vessels and that interaction is able to dilate the blood vessels, relax them, and have anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effects.

Red wine adds more health benefits.  Only certain types of red – preferably with a style that allows enough time for the extraction of the beneficial polyphenols.  Look for wines that are described as having firm tannins.  Cooler temperature regions with older vines and slow ripening grapes are preferred.  (For those of us in Western Australia, the Margaret River Region is ideal!)

How much?   Moderation is always the key.  A good rule of thumb is no more than 1-2 glasses (125ml) per day for women and no more than 2-3 glasses (125ml) per day for males.  It is actually important that the wine be consumed with food.  This helps to get the benefits of the polyphenols as the alcohol levels are kept down while it is being absorbed.  Alcohol absorption is slowed down when it is being consumed with food, so that there is less damage being caused to the liver.  The small amount of alcohol that is good for you helps prevent excess clotting.