Nuts and seeds are ideal representations of Superfoods that enjoy both scientific and clinical validation of efficacy. A large body of research indicates that each time we consume nuts and seeds, probiotic bacteria in our gut extract from them a prebiotic food known as Ellagitannin. Our gut bacteria; subsequently, breaks down the ellagitannin to Urolithins which results in numerous physiological benefits that ultimately prevent heart disease, reduce inflammation and repair mitochondria dysfunction in our cells.
How Scientific Research Validates Nuts & Seeds As Top Superfoods
Multiple peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that nuts and seeds of various kinds contain a prebiotic food called Ellagitannins. Once Ellagitannin reaches our gut, it is immediately consumed by friendly gut bacteria and metabolized into a group of compounds known as Urolithins.
When scientists isolated the Urolithin compounds and fed them to animals, their observations were astounding. Compared to animals not fed these compounds, Urolithin fed animals exhibited a 42% increase in endurance, a 45% increase in the lifespan and these animals generated significantly more energy to complete assigned tasks. Upon further investigation, scientists discovered that the cells in these organisms had regained the ability to recycle their mitochondria, a process known as Mitophagy. Researchers observed the mechanism of action by which the consumption of nuts and seeds directly leads to the repair of mitochondria dysfunction in the cells, boost in energy and reduce chronic fatigue. This is a clear example whereby functional food benefits are being derived from nuts and seeds.
And the benefits don't end there. Others studies show that urolithin compounds prevent arterial damage and; consequently, the inflammation that leads to the hardening of our arteries via inhibition of monocyte-induced plaque buildup along the walls of our arteries. Therefore, a diet which includes the daily intake of raw, sprouted nuts and seeds will help prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, reduce inflammation throughout the body, repair mitochondria dysfunction, boost energy and reduce the signs of aging.
The Top Superfoods Sources of Ellagitannin Prebiotic?
Nuts and seeds like Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Hazelnuts, and Pomegranate seeds contain high amounts of Ellagitannin that friendly bacteria in the gut will readily convert to Urolithins. You can either eat nuts and seeds regularly or eat superfood blends that contain a variety of them in wholesome form without added refined sugars. A good example is the Superfood Granola from Yogi Granola. It contains sprouted nuts & seeds infused with a proprietary blend of adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms designed to provide maximum amounts of bioavailable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and supplementary nutrients. Yogi Granola was originally formulated as a functional food for Yoga & meditation practitioners looking to experience higher states of consciousness, physiological well-being, improved brain function and feelings of bliss. But you don't have to be on a yogic diet to partake. Yogi Granola is delicious and makes a healthy meal or snack for those in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle that involves the daily intake of superfoods.
Further Studies Support Original Findings
In another groundbreaking study conducted by the Department of Food Science and Technology (CEBAS-CSIC) located in Spain, scientists took cells from human aortic arteries and artificially induced plaque buildup and inflammation within these cells. Afterward, they exposed these cells to Urolithin compounds generated by probiotic bacteria that consumed ellagitannins from nuts and seeds. The scientists could observe urolithins directly inhibiting inflammation by inhibiting the action of the monocytes that encouraged this inflammation.
More recently, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry has added Pomegranate seeds to the list of ellagitannin-rich superfoods favored by gut-friendly bacteria for conversion into Urolithin. In this study, researchers observed the same mechanism of action taking place when Pomegranate seeds are digested by probiotics in the gut and, subsequently, converted to urolithins.
These aforementioned studies highlight the importance of integrating sprouted nuts and seeds into our diet on a regular basis. The totality of research shows that eating superfoods high in Ellagitannin compounds will help prevent heart disease by preventing arterial plaque from building up along the walls of our arteries, reduce systemic inflammation, halt pro-inflammatory conditions within the colon that may lead to colorectal cancer and repair mitochondria dysfunction that leads to chronic fatigue.
Furthermore, these studies demonstrate that nuts and seeds are deeply nourishing and confer the kind of systemic therapeutic benefits that positively contribute to our overall physiological well-being. Nuts and seeds are time-tested Superfoods that have been consumed traditionally across the globe for hundreds of thousands of years. We now have scientific data and empirical evidence that shows exactly why they should definitely be a part of our diet. Rest assured that as more research is conducted on superfoods like nuts and seeds, more benefits will be uncovered.
One study tracked 34,000 human beings that consumed nuts between 0 to 7 days per week. The study showed that people who consumed nuts at least five days per week enjoyed a 50% lower risk of heart disease compared to those who did not consume any nuts. Moreover, those who consumed nuts only once a week enjoyed a 25% lower risk of heart disease compared to those that barely ate nuts and seeds. In addtion, a much larger study involving 86,000 Nurses also demonstrated lower rates of heart disease among those who conumed nuts on a frequent basis.
How Often Should Nuts & Seeds Be Consumed To Derive The Desired Benefits?
To better understand how often we should be consuming nuts and seeds, let's look at a recent study conducted at Rovira i Virgili University located in Spain. During this study, a group of patients suffering from metabolic syndrome was made to consume moderate quantities of nuts daily for three months. Periodic blood testing of these patients revealed significant amounts of urolithin metabolites being produced by their gut bacteria on daily basis. However, the control group of patients who were not fed nuts displayed "no" detectable levels of Urolithins in their blood.
How To Best Eat Nuts & Seeds
One of the best ways to eat and enjoy nuts and seeds is in a bowl of superfood granola. You may also top off your salad with all kinds of delicious nutrient-dense, protein-packed varieties of nuts and seeds. They can also be enjoyed individually as a snack or as part of a trail mix. But please be mindful that it is difficult to find trail mixes without refined sugars, preservatives or vegetable oils unless you take the time to make it yourself. And before you buy conventional granola, you should also be mindful that most brands contain high amounts of gluten and are loaded with unnecessary refined sugar.
Nuts and seeds are best consumed after being soaked and sprouted to reduce the levels of phytic acids and deactivate enzyme-inhibitors naturally present in them. Sprouted nuts and seeds are more easily digested by our gut. Avoid consuming nuts and seeds that have been heated or roasted because the nutrient-rich fats contained within instantly turn rancid and toxic due to heat stress. Remember that your intention is to nourish and heal your body with superfoods, not to weigh it down with super toxins.
Throughout the ever-expanding landscape of packaged meals and snacks in the marketplace, the best combination of sprouted nuts and seeds available is the Superfood Granola known as Yogi granola. The folks at Yogi Granola take great care to combine organically grown, raw, sprouted nuts and seeds with a variety of wildcrafted and sustainably sourced adaptogens like Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Rhodiola, medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Lion's mane, etc. to form a truly nutrient-rich superfood granola that is gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, low carb, keto-friendly, paleo-friendly and whole30 friendly. Yogi Granola is Handcrafted in small batches. You can rest assured that great care is taken to produce a product that is pure, healthy and supportive of your well-being. Buy superfood granola now by clicking here.
In the next blog post, we will discuss why nuts and seeds are the very definition of superfoods for weight loss. And why those following a ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting regimen should be sure to incorporate nuts and seeds into their diet.
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RESEARCH REFERENCES & CITATIONS:
Tulipani S, Urpi-Sarda M, García-Villalba R, Rabassa M, López-Uriarte P, Bullo M, Jáuregui O, Tomás-Barberán F, Salas-Salvadó J, Espín JC, Andrés-Lacueva C. Urolithins are the Main Urinary Microbial-Derived Phenolic Metabolites Discriminating a Moderate Consumption of Nuts in Diagnosed Metabolic Syndrome. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 May 27.
Giménez-Bastida JA, González-Sarrías A, Larrosa M, Tomás-Barberán F, Espín JC, García-Conesa MT. Ellagitannin metabolites, urolithin A glucuronide and its aglycone urolithin A, ameliorate TNF-α-induced inflammation and associated molecular markers in human aortic endothelial cells. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 May;56(5):784-96.
Giménez-Bastida JA, Larrosa M, González-Sarrías A, Tomás-Barberán F, Espín JC, García-Conesa MT. Intestinal Ellagitannin Metabolites Ameliorate Cytokine-Induced Inflammation and Associated Molecular Markers in Human Colon Fibroblasts. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Apr 16.
Heber D. Pomegranate Ellagitannins. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 10.