7 Best Nut Sources Of Protein

nut protein high in amino acids that are a good source of protein for vegans

7 Best Nut Sources Of Protein

Some of the best nut sources of protein, amino acids, minerals and nutrients for vegans, vegetarians and clean eaters. Why protein plays such an important part in making and repairing cells in the body.

What is Protein?

Protein is one of the body’s biggest building blocks of the body, every cell in the body contains protein. Protein is a chain of amino acids. We need protein to grow and repair the body, it is especially important for children, teenagers, and during pregnancy.

What Are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are molecules used to make proteins.

20 different amino acids are needed for us to function healthily.

9 amino acids known as essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body so must come from the food we eat.

 

The 9 Amino Acids That Are Essential are tryptophan

Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine.

 

Nut Sources Of Protein

The total protein content in nuts is very high which is why nut sources of protein are one of the most common sources of proteins for many vegans, vegetarians, and those on a clean plant-based diet.

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7 Best Nut Sources Of Protein

Some of the best nut sources of protein and amino acids easy to source

Almonds

Almonds are reputed to be the best nut source of protein, and high levels of vitamin e, calcium and phosphorus. Almonds contain over 130 antioxidants, help lower HDL levels, low-density lipoprotein and are said to help reduce sugar spikes so a great snack for diabetes sufferers as well as supporting a healthy gut.

Almond provides only 7 of the 9 essential amino acids paired with buckwheat, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, or carrots to get all 9 amino acids.

21 grams of protein in 100 grams of Almonds.

 

Pistachios

Pistachios are another good source of protein. Pistachios are said to have a high level of amino acids, the highest percentage of branched-chain amino acids compared to many other types of nuts. They are full of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, fibre especially beta carotene, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and Vitamin B6. Pistachios have the greatest phytosterol content among other nuts.

A serving of pistachios is said to have the equivalent of protein that one egg has. Accompany with buckwheat, quinoa or rye to ensure you are getting a complete combination of amino acids in one meal.

Did you know pistachios are one of the oldest nut trees in the world?

20 grams of protein in 100 grams of Pistachios.

 

Cashews

Cashews are a good quality nut source of protein, copper, and magnesium. As well as calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc. Cashews are also a high source of unsaturated fats.

Did you know over 80% of the world’s cashews are eaten by Americans?

To make sure you are getting a full spectrum of all amino acids in one meal combine cashews with non-GMO soya beans, buckwheat, quinoa, and pita bread.

Nut Sources Of Protein Infographic

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are a healthy source of protein, vitamin E and calcium, manganese, copper, omega 3, and omega 6. Hazelnuts also have very high levels of antioxidants.

Combine hazelnuts with chia seeds, buckwheat, rye bread, non-GMO soya.

15 grams of protein in 100 grams of Hazelnuts

 

Walnuts (English or Persian Walnut)

Walnuts have the highest sources of Omega 3’s, other than being a good nut source of protein and calcium they have a  higher level of antioxidants than most food.

Not all walnuts are edible, but the common walnut also known as english walnut or persian walnut is grown all over the world and reputed to have many great health benefits which include reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and great for brain health.

To get a full complete meal of protein using almonds consider combining with for example chick peas, quinoa, rye break.

15 grams of protein in 100 grams of Walnuts.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are a good source of protein, selenium, and calcium. They have several antioxidants, including vitamin E and phenols. Known to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body they are said to be good for heart health, and diabetes and help reduce the risk of cancer.

Brazil nuts should be eaten with baby portobello mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, cranberry, or watermelon.

14 grams of protein in 100 grams of Brazil Nuts.

 

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts although viewed as a nut are actually seeds. Pine nuts are high in protein and high unsaturated fats, rich in antioxidants, iron, magnesium, protein and zinc. Reputed as good brain food, also great for the heart and can help reduce risk of diabetes.

Pine nuts contain Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Zinc

Eat with cranberry, carrot, cauliflower or watermelon to get all amino acids.

14 grams of protein in 100 grams of Pine nuts

 

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Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms And Treatment

symptoms of magnesium deficiency

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms And Causes

Magnesium deficiency symptoms and treatment depend on the severity of the deficiency. We always talk about how minerals like Calcium and Iron are so important for our bodies. Magnesium, the 4th most common mineral in the body, is gaining a lot of attention these days. That’s because more and more people are ingesting less than the Lower Reference Nutrient Intake (LRNI) and hence are prone to Magnesium deficiency.  [Derbyshire] Magnesium deficiency symptoms could be treated by increasing the intake of magnesium by taking magnesium supplements, including Magnesium-rich foods and correcting dietary habits. This essential mineral is very demanding and you will agree with me as you read further. Let’s learn more about Magnesium deficiency symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Magnesium good for?

Magnesium is needed for some of the most basic processes such as energy production and synthesis of RNA and DNA. There are over 300 enzyme systems that require Magnesium for protein synthesis, muscle contraction, blood glucose control, nerve function and many more!

How much Magnesium do I need?

As per the British Nutrition Foundation, 2016, males who are 15 years old and above need 300 mg/day.  15- 18 yr old females need 300 mg/day, while those 19 years and above require 270 mg/day. 

The US FDA has set higher requirements (RDA) of magnesium. 

Magnesium deficiency:

The normal concentration of Magnesium in serum is 75–95 mmol/L. Research shows that serum levels of Magnesium less than 85 mmol/l indicate a Magnesium deficiency. 

Why does magnesium deficiency often go undetected?

Serum magnesium does not amount for the intracellular magnesium i.e. magnesium inside the cell, which in fact makes up for most of the magnesium in the body. This is the reason why magnesium deficiency goes undetected in most cases. [DiNicolantonio et al.]

What are the causes of Magnesium deficiency?

Many of us are deficient in this essential mineral as a result of chronic diseases and many other reasons listed below:

  1. Cooking and boiling vegetables leads to loss of magnesium content in food
  2. Reduced levels of magnesium in processed foods
  3. Meat, sugar, white flour provide less than 20% of the Magnesium required daily
  4. Alcohol, coffee, tea, soft drinks, salt, and sugar increase the excretion of Magnesium.
  5. Increased excretion of Mg is seen in case heavy menstruation, excessive sweating, increased stress
  6. Disease involving increased Mg excretion: Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, prolonged vomiting/diarrhea, severe sunburns, hypoparathyroidism, gastrointestinal disorders such as gluten sensitivity, ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) 
  7. Other diseases: Cancer (increased demand for Mg), liver diseases such as cirrhosis, hemochromatosis (iron overload) etc. (leading to Vitamin  D deficiency and therefore reduced Mg absorption), viral, fungal or bacterial infectious agents that cause widespread tissue death, renal transplantation, etc (depleting Mg)  [S Johnson]
  8. Cigarette smoking reduced the plasma concentration
  9. Soil depletion of nutrients due to some fertilization methods and agricultural techniques
  10. Use of pesticides- some of the pesticides have the ability to bind minerals such as Magnesium thereby lowering its content in the soil and produce. Consider eating clean or eating organic
  11.  Aging- another cause for reduced absorption
  12. Medications such as diuretics, antacids, antibiotics, etc. diminish Mg absorption. [Schwalfenberg et al.]

Yes…it is surprising how so many factors influence magnesium levels and at least one of them is bound to go wonky at some point. No wonder magnesium deficiency is becoming so common these days.

Common Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms:

Clinical signs of magnesium deficiency may not be seen in most cases as it is in the latent stage. You may experience general weakness, tiredness, leg pain, irritability and so on.

Severe Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms:

  1. Neuromuscular- weakness, tremors, facial twitching, muscle spasm of the hand and forearm
  2. Central Nervous system- increased risk of depression, agitation, involuntary eye movements (nystagmus), seizures
  3. Cardiac- irregular heartbeat

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms And Treatment In Relation To The Level Of Deficiency Of Magnesium In The Body

 

Benefits of Magnesium supplement:

The upper tolerable limit for Mg supplementation is 350 mg/day.

Research indicates that supplementing with magnesium can help alleviate some ailments and help improve general well-being as well. However, further research for some of the benefits is needed.

Reduces hypertension:

-Magnesium helps prevent the blood vessels from constricting which reduces blood pressure. [Jee et al., Zhang et al.]

Bone health:

-Suppresses bone turnover (which in very simple terms means bone is broken down and re-made) in post-menopausal women and young men and can thereby prevent osteoporosis [Aydin H et al., Dimai HP et al.]

Halves the risk of eclampsiain pregnant WOMEN [The Magpie Trial Collaborative Group]:

-Eclampsia –meaning convulsions in pregnant women with high blood pressure. This is again due to the ability of Magnesium to reduce blood pressure.

Magnesium isstrongly recommended for migraine-

-In this case, Magnesium citrate has been shown to be effective in migraine without aura. Whereas, Magnesium sulfate may be useful in migraine patients with aura. [Bigal ME et al.]

Reduces the risk of diabetes:

 -Magnesium helps improve glucose control and insulin levels. [Kim DJ et al., Hruby A et al.]

Used in Treating Depression and may help prevent depression [Derom ML et al.]

-Magnesium plays a vital role in brain health. In that, it controls the neurotransmitters which send signals throughout the body. For example, Magnesium is essential to produce Serotonin, the happy hormone.

Helps improve symptoms of insomnia:

– This is because Magnesium plays a key role in sleep regulation.[Abbasi B et al.]

Cancer:

– Magnesium supplementation reduced the risk of colorectal cancer. [Wark et al.]

Premenstrual symptoms:

-Magnesium helps decrease premenstrual symptoms. [Walker et al., Facchinetti et al.

Smoking:

-Magnesium helps reduce the number of cigarettes smoked. [Nechifor et al.]

Exercise:

-Few studies show Magnesium can actually help increase exercise capacity in athletes during periods of stress and increases oxygenation. [Golf SW et al.]

What is the best form of magnesium?

The answer to this question is debatable.  However, I will list some of the research that’s been done or is on-going. 

Magnesium citrate:

Studies show that Magnesium citrate (MgC) has higher bioavailability as compared to MgO. A review by Rylander et al. shows more than one study supporting this fact. I found this interesting article where Anna Bolton O’Byrne talks about the study they conducted on Magnesium citrate v/s Magnesium glycinate (MgG). Their results show that  MgC is better than MgG in terms of increasing magnesium concentration in blood serum and urine. MgC could help improve overall magnesium levels in the body. MgC is also beneficial in migraine without aura.[Bigal ME et al.]

Magnesium glycinate (also known as Magnesium bisglycinate)  and Magnesium taurinate:

There are rumors that Magnesium glycinate (MgG) is the most bio-available. However, upon researching, I found that it lacks enough evidence to prove it. There are a few case studies discussed in this paper by Eby GA et al.  which say that MgG and Magnesium taurinate (MgT) assist in recovering from depression. Interestingly, Glycine and Taurine are neurotransmitters which explain their beneficial effects on depression. Not only that, Magnesium is mostly deficient in depressed individuals. If you are stressed out, MgG may help you better as it contains Glycine which is known for its soothing effect. 

(By the way, MgG is the one I use. I take it in combination with pyridoxine and it works well for me. I have found it beneficial in reducing premenstrual symptoms such as bloating, pain and abdominal discomfort.)

Magnesium chloride:

Magnesium chloride (MgC) has greater bioavailability as compared to MgO. It is proved to be effective in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. [Tarleton et al.] But it has gastrointestinal (GI) side-effects such as bloating and diarrhea.

Magnesium sulfate:

This is also known as Epsom salt, which is used for a relaxing bath. Some papers talk about the intravenous use of Magnesium sulfate (MgS) in pregnancy blood pressure and eclampsia. In fact, the WHO recommends MgS for the prevention and treatment of eclampsia. There’s evidence for its use in migraine with aura. [Bigal ME et al.]

Magnesium threonate:

This form of Magnesium has been studied in patients with mild-to-moderate dementia. The patients showed improved cognitive abilities after 12 weeks of supplementation.

Magnesium oxide:

Magnesium oxide (MgO) has very low bioavailability and has GI side-effects such as diarrhea. However, it is occasionally used as a laxative.

How should I take a magnesium supplement?

In my case, taking 2 capsules at a time increases bowel movement. So, I take my magnesium supplement twice a day, one in the morning/afternoon and one at night. 

Note: Please consult a physician to decide upon the dosage you need since diseases and a host of other factors come into play when Magnesium is concerned.

What should you take with magnesium?

Magnesium goes well with:

  1. Magnesium with Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) showed a greater effect on people under severe stress. [Pouteau et al.
  2. Vitamin D: The sunshine vitamin is a must for the absorption of Magnesium. It is better to get yourself checked for vitaminD deficiency and correct it.

 

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Magnesium Rich Foods:

Hemp seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Flax seeds, Cacao, and Brazil nuts are super-rich in this mineral. Almonds, Spinach, Cashews, Peanuts, Cereals, Soy-milk and Edamame are some good sources of Magnesium.

Improve Magnesium Absorption:

    1. High calcium intake may decrease magnesium absorption. Ideally, avoid taking calcium-rich foods or supplements 2 hrs before and after Magnesium-rich food or supplements. 
    2. Cut down on or if possible avoid the consumption of Sodas, Alcohol, Tea, and Coffee
    3. Treat Vitamin D deficiency
    4. Consume raw vegetables and reduce consumption of processed foods
    5. Quit smoking.
    6. Try including “clean” or organic foods in your diet since they contain higher amounts of nutrients including Magnesium. [Crinnion WJ]

magnesium rich super foods infographic

Summary:

  • Magnesium is essential for basic processes such as energy production and for the proper functioning of 300 enzyme systems.
  • As per The British Nutrition Foundation, the requirement of magnesium is 300 mg/day, varying as per gender, age, nationality, and in case of deficiency.
  • The signs and symptoms of Magnesium deficiency are often unseen. They manifest depending on the severity of the deficiency. Some of the symptoms are facial twitches, neuromuscular weakness, tremors, seizures, irregular heartbeat, depression, etc.
  • Magnesium absorption and elimination are influenced by several factors including medications,  gastrointestinal and renal diseases, other nutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin D, stress, some agricultural practices, and cooking resulting in the foods’ Magnesium content.
  • Magnesium can aid in alleviating migraine, depression, hypertension/eclampsia in pregnancy, insomnia, premenstrual symptoms, and stress; reducing the risk of diabetes and cancer; improving exercise capacity and helping reduce the number of cigarettes smoked.
  • Among the many forms of Magnesium supplements, Magnesium citrate seems to be the most bio-available and safe. Magnesium glycinate is another great option if you are looking for relief from stress. 
  • Hemp seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Flax seeds, and Brazil nuts are super rich in magnesium. Almonds, Spinach, Cashews, and Peanuts are also good sources of magnesium.
  • Consider consulting a physician to decide upon the dosage since magnesium metabolism is affected by a ton of other factors. 
  • Magnesium goes well with Pyridoxine and vitamin D.

Some Simple Tips To Increase Magnesium Levels are:-

  1. Leave a gap of 2 hrs before and after Magnesium-rich foods 
  2. Treat Vitamin D deficiency
  3. Reduce the consumption of processed foods and have more raw veggies
  4. Try cutting down on sodas (soft drinks), alcohol, tea, and coffee
  5. Quit smoking
  6. Try including “clean” or organic foods in your diet

 

 

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5 Easy Ways to Enjoy Natural Sweetness

natural sweetness swpa sugar nutrition tips the world of health

5 Easy Ways to Enjoy Natural Sweetness by Rochelle Marie Lawson

Sugar is a delicious way to add sweetness into your lives, but it isn’t the best. Sugar can
be addictive while also causing a plethora of other conditions, like added weight, diabetes,
increased inflammation in the body, and ageing.

Have you ever opened a bag of your favorite candy, meaning to have just one little
piece and ending up eating half? Or worse, the whole bag? That alone should tell you
how addicting it is to consume sugar. This addictive property of sugar then leads you to
eating more of these sweet treats than you should. This excess sugar has more calories
than other types of food that you consume, and the more of these sugary treats you eat,
the more calories you consume, thus leading to added weight.

Sugar is known to cause inflammation in the body. Studies show that there is a link
between elevated inflammation and added sugar and carbohydrates. The excess sugar
consumed by subjects in certain studies caused an increase in inflammatory markers.
Moreover, the sugar you consume reacts with protein, creating what doctors and
scientists like to call AGEs or advanced glycation end products. This substance is what
causes wrinkles because of hardened cell structures. Yikes!

If you have a liking for sugar, say, a sweet tooth, or if you are flat out addicted to the
stuff, you will want to take a closer look at your sugar-eating habits.

Not all sugars are created equal. The sugar that you find in fruit and vegetables are
naturally-occurring, and usually accompanied by fiber, which slows the digestion of
sugar. Other foods like milk also contain sugar. The good news is, natural sugar has not
been linked to inflammation. Keep an eye out for sweeteners and sugars found in
processed food, or “added sugars,” and make yourself aware of sugar that comes
disguised as high fructose corn syrup, juice concentrates, and the like.

The thing is, you CAN conquer the need to fill your body with sugar and still enjoy
sweetness without risking the conditions I mentioned earlier. You can enjoy sweetness
without having to worry about the peaks and crashes that we all dread. It’s all about the
way sugar is delivered.

healthy sugar substitutes

Read on for 5 easy ways to enjoy natural sweetness:

Instead of using added sugar, stir an overripe banana or some chopped dates into your
favorite recipes like batters and doughs for bread, muffins, cookies, and even pancakes!
The acidic flavor of tomato sauces can be balanced by adding sweet veggies like grated
carrots, beets, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes. Carrots, beets, and apples are
great for adding sweetness to smoothies and baked goods as well.
Coconuts are a fantastic sweetener because of their natural sweetness! You can use
shredded and flaked coconut (unsweetened) as a lovely topping to your desserts, and

even use coconut milk in your oatmeal and granola. This natural sweetness will
definitely help keep the cravings at bay.

Some fruit grow sweeter as they ripen. In moderation, you can enjoy fruits such as
peaches, avocados, apricots, bananas, cantaloupes, apples, mangoes, nectarines,
papayas, plums, and even pears without worrying about sugar highs and sugar crashes.
There are so many things you can do with fruit! You can bake them into your favorite
pastries, enjoy them as a topping in many different dishes, or even enjoy them on their
own!

Greek yogurt and plain yogurt without any fruits are a better option than, say, low-fat
yogurts. Low-fat yogurt relies on more sugar to taste good. Instead of having yogurt that
has been filled with artificially sweetened fruit products, choose something plain and
your own choice of fruit instead. Now that you’ve got a list of yummy, sweet fruit (see
above), your options are anything but limited to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Looking for sweetness in your savory dishes? Caramelized onions are a sweet and
yummy treat to add into dishes like burgers and salads, spring rolls, or even on top of
rice! You can draw out the natural sugar in onions by cooking them over low, slow heat.
Living in today’s society that is geared towards convenience and quick eating, sugar is
everywhere and the temptation to consume it can be strong. Easy access to processed
and fast food can make it difficult to avoid sugar. But knowing what sugar does to you is
a great place to start in your journey to breaking free of these sugar shackles. You don’t
need to be bound to your cravings and to these bad habits now that you know how to
naturally cut down on sugar.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.
Namaste,

Nutrition
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS, The Queen of Feeling Fabulous

 

rochelle marie lawson nutrition the world of healthRochel Marie Lawson is a Registered Nurse, Ayurvedic Health Practitioner, Holistic Health and Wellness Consultant, International Best Selling Author, Speaker and Radio Show Hostess. She is the President of Blissful Living 4 U, which was founded to improve wellness, wisdom and wealth by utilizing ancient holistic principles that only lead to success. 

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