19 January 2008

Good Nuts versus Bad N.U.T.S.

It turns out that nuts are not just for squirrels. I've been reading the book YOU: The Owner's Manual by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. and found some interesting facts about how nuts can be very good for one's state of mind and well-being, while N.U.T.'s can be detrimental to one's state of well-being and emotional equilibrium.

Good Nuts
It turns out that eating just 12 walnuts a day (or just 1 ounce of any other nut of choice) can not only help to raise your HDL cholesterol (that's the good kind) and help your arteries be clearer, but the same 12 walnuts a day can also boost your mood by providing your body with omega-3 fatty acids which can raise seratonin in your brain thus helping to reduce depression.

If you're not a fan of walnuts, then 24 almonds will also do the trick. Don't overdo it or the calories will become a problem. Just stick with the magic number of 12 (or 24).

Drs. Oz and Roizen say that by making that one simple change in one's daily diet a woman can make her RealAge™ 4.4 years younger while a man can make his 3.3 years younger.

Bad N.U.T.'s
While judicially consuming nuts everyday can make you healthier, Drs. Oz and Roizen say that there are some N.U.T.S. that you need to get rid of--Nagging Unfinished Tasks. N.U.T.'s are those annoying things that hang around in the back of your mind (the book cites the example of "the nagging stress of sitting on a wobbly toilet seat and never fixing it"). These N.U.T.'s are stressors that can be quite detrimental, even moreso than the stress of a flat tire or other little "emergencies" that arise in our day--Important But Manageable events or I.B.M.'s.

Even though your N.U.T.'s may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, if they're bugging you incessantly they can have a negative impact on your health and wellness. Repeated stress elevates the levels of the hormone cortisol in your body and that leads to stuff that isn't great for you in the long-run.

Making Chip and Dale Proud
Remember the old Disney cartoons with Chip and Dale and their tree full of nuts precariously packed in just ready to come pouring out if one little thing shifts? The information from Drs. Oz and Roizen brought that image into my mind when I thought of my own N.U.T.'s. I got to thinking... which N.U.T.'s do I "stockpile" in my life? Over the past couple of days, I've taken a really cold hard look at how many N.U.T.'s I've got crammed into every nook and cranny of my life and, therefore, my brain. My brain is just like Chip and Dale's tree! One little shift and all those N.U.T.'s come crashing down! Just like it wasn't good for Donald Duck, it isn't good for me either.

So instead of stockpiling N.U.T.'s, I've decided to focus on "piling up" my 12 little walnuts a day. I've started a little therapeutic daily ritual of taking my 12 walnuts out into the back garden so I can sit on my chaise lounge in a patch of sun while I crack them open. As I crack open each walnut I do so in a kind of meditative way thinking about the good it will do my body and my brain. Then I meditate and try to remove the bad N.U.T.'s from my life (most of which are there because I put them there) or at least re-prioritize them so they don't clutter up my mind. Gradually, I think I can finally tackle the bad N.U.T.'s as I take in the good nuts.


Joanie said...

You are the best NUT I know. Great article and thanks for the heads-up about almonds (I can't like walnuts)
I hope you can statically remove your N.U.T.'s
Love you,

Anonymous said...

my husband and I read about the value of walnuts and almonds a few years ago, so we use them as a snack most days, when you'd otherwise go for chips etc. They do a good job of stopping a craving when you feel hungry.

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