Top Health Benefits of Walnuts

Walnuts trace their origins in many places, though it is common knowledge that the earliest were Persian where the health benefits of walnuts were thought to be well known. Walnuts are believed to have been cultivated as far back as 7000 B.C. in the humid regions surrounding the Caspian Sea. Today, California walnuts are some of the highest quality nuts around; in fact, almost 90 percent of the United States’ walnut production grows right in California. Currently, the U.S. ranks as second-highest walnut producer in the world, only to China.

Walnut Types: Take Your Pick
You have probably encountered at least one of three types of walnuts: the English walnut, the black walnut, and the white walnut, or the butternut. These white walnuts are more difficult to find in traditional grocery stores, but feature a sweet taste and oily texture. The English, or Persian, walnut is the most common to find in marketplaces and bears the traditional shell that can be broken with a nutcracker. Black walnuts are native to America, grown specifically in the southern U.S., and possess a rich, smoky flavor.

If you are interested in the health benefits of walnuts and how you can introduce them into your diet, you might have noticed that some recipes call for either black or English walnuts while your cupboard only has one or the other. Not to worry; structurally, both walnuts are quite similar. Recipes that call for black walnuts usually do so to take advantage of their smoky, wine flavor. However, if you merely want to add some crunch to your salad or a baking recipe, you can use either walnut without fear of disaster.

Health Benefits of Walnuts
Some people hold the notion that all nuts are the same. This is especially untrue for walnuts; these unique nuts are made up of mostly polyunsaturated fatty acids-both omega-3 and omega-6-while nearly every other nut is composed predominantly of monounsaturated fats. Moreover, walnuts are the only nut with a significant quantity of ALA, a seed oil that must be acquired through diet. Raw walnuts also have a remarkably high level of antioxidants.

Aside from being a tasty treat, walnuts are notoriously beneficial to your heart and circulatory system. Walnuts assist in lowering cholesterol, which improves blood quality, and they help decrease the risks of excessive clotting and inflammation in blood vessels. As a reliable source of omega-3, walnuts repeatedly assist in the improvement of many cardiovascular functions, even countering high blood pressure.

Studies suggest that raw walnuts can increase fat oxidation and reduce carbohydrate oxidation, leading to a healthier use of body fat in adults. In 2006, a report published by ScienceDaily stated that eating a handful of raw walnuts with meals high in saturated fat appeared to limit short-term damage to the arteries. Of course, eating walnuts will not absolve all health risks that come with eating unhealthy food, but they are a worthy addition to any diet.

Walnuts Join Pursuit Of The Cancer Cure
Along with their cardiovascular benefits, walnuts are now receiving attention from researchers with respect to their role in reducing the risks of prostate and breast cancer. In 2009, the American Association for Cancer Research was presented with a U.S. study that demonstrated decreased tumor sizes in mice that consumed the human equivalent of two ounces of walnuts per day. Although the study was conducted on mice, the walnut’s ability to reduce endothelin levels and decrease the inflammation of blood vessels will surely prove beneficial to cancer patients whose endothelin levels are higher than normal.

Selecting And Storing Your Walnuts
Picking walnuts is a fairly straightforward process. For whole walnuts, choose walnuts that feel heavier for their size, ensure that the shell is intact, without any piercing or cracks, and discard any that appear stained, as this can be a sign of molding nutmeat. Shelled walnuts are often ready to buy in packs or containers. With these, simply have a look over how fresh the walnuts appear. Steer clear of shriveled or rubbery walnuts and, if you can, take a quick sniff just to make sure your walnuts have not spoiled before you have bought them.

They are perishable but, if stored properly, the health benefits of walnuts and their nutrients will keep as long as six months to a year. The best way to maintain your walnuts’ flavor is to keep them cold. If you plan on using your walnuts within a month, you can store them in the refrigerator. For longer storage, the freezer is your best option. Walnuts are capable of absorbing flavors from other foods; so make sure to store them in airtight containers away from foods that have strong odors.

As a tip for your health and your taste buds, save chopping or shelling your walnuts until you would like to use them. Not only do they lose flavor, but the polyunsaturated fats found in walnuts oxidize quickly when exposed to heat or air. Keep your walnuts healthy and fresh from the minute you buy them by storing them properly.

Enjoying Walnuts Is a Piece Of Cake
There are more than a handful of walnut-praising recipes available, but often the easiest way to include this healthy nut into your food routine is just to throw it over your favorite dish! English walnuts and maple syrup make a delectable a topping drizzled over yoghurts. Try your favorite vegetables sauted with some chopped black walnuts for a tasty new experience. Walnuts also make a delightful addition to any traditional stuffing recipe. Here are a few helpful measures for estimating walnut weights in recipes.

A single walnut half = Two grams
One ounce of walnuts = 14 halves
One cup of walnuts, chopped or pieced = 120 grams
One cup of shelled walnuts = 100 grams, or 50 halves

Treat yourself to a banana-nut muffin for breakfast, or get creative by incorporating ground walnuts into a variety of sauces at dinnertime. Parsely-walnut sauce, walnut-lemon vinaigrette, and cranberry-walnut marmalade are just a few fantastic starts for your walnut-infused diet.

Walnut Allergies
If you suffer from tree nut allergies, it is likely to be healthier for you to stay away from walnuts. Despite their health benefits, allergic reactions to proteins found in walnuts and other tree nuts can include hives, rashes, itching, swelling, breathing difficulties, severe drops in blood pressure, as well as other life-threatening symptoms. If you are concerned about whether you are allergic to tree nuts, consult a doctor before adding walnuts to your diet.

Summary
They are called the heart healthy nut and are packed full of anti-oxidants and nutrients but the health benefits of walnuts are complementary to their delicious taste whether you prefer them in cakes, brownies or topping salads.

Communicate Health Benefits Information More Effectively

All employers have responsibility of guiding their employees about the health benefit schemes offered by them. Even the employees on the other hand also have the right to receive information about the health benefit schemes offered to them. Therefore an employer has the right to inform the employees about certain information regarding the health benefit schemes. For this reason, organizations have created the position of Health Benefit Manager having communication as one of the responsibilities for health benefit related schemes and procedures.

Key information heads to be shared by employer

There is a plethora of information available for communication. It is the skill of the Health benefit Manager to present them in a structured manner on behalf of the employer.

– Employers need to provide a detailed list of information to the employees about what health benefit schemes are provided to them or the scheme they are entitled to.
– Providing information regarding cost sharing as well as arrangements
– To take up necessary steps to resolve problem as well as to deal with appeals.
– To provide and guide its employees about the status of accreditation, certification as well as licensure.
– Provide sufficient and necessary information about the composition of the provider network too.
– To use the emergency care services as when required by the employees of the organization.
– To obtain referrals to specialists
– Most importantly provide all the information regarding the quality, safety of the health benefit plan and the cost of the employer sponsored plan.

Regulatory directives
According to the Employer Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974, it is necessary to provide all detailed information that the employees are entitled to that includes plan rules, covered benefits, documents about the plan management and operation as well. The employees are also entitled to receive a document with the summary plan description, known as SPD. The SPD contains

– Information of the health care services that are covered in the plan.
– Description of what services are being provided by the plan and how these schemes function.
– It provides information also on how to calculate the benefits.
– Explanation on the cost that the plan covers and the cost that the beneficiary has to pay.

Tools and Methods for communicating
There are various methods by which the Health Benefit Manager, on behalf of the employers, can communicate health benefit information to the employees:

– One of the best ways is to communicate with the employees about the health coverage plan but providing too much information of it should also be avoided. The employees should be given the required time to understand the scheme and ask questions if any.

– It is best to explain the changes in simple terms to the employees to make them understand.

– Apart from the employees it is also necessary to explain the health benefit plans to the health benefit managers so that they can explain it to the employees to.

– Employers should be ready to face any questions asked by employees regarding the health benefit scheme and clear their doubts.

– It is equally important as well to be direct and honest when discussing about the coverage plan especially if employees face cost increase due to the coverage plan.

– Discussing the 5C’s too is essential with the employees. This 5C’s include cost, changes in plans, coverage of the plan, comparison of the previous year’s plan and also the current option.

– It is necessary to provide information the employees about the health care providers that are available in the revised and new plan option.

– Providing testimonials of other employees about the changes in health benefit plans can also be quite helpful for the present employees.

– Taking the help of various means like internet, face to face discussions, telephonic conversations, office intranet as well as printed materials can be helpful too. However it is also necessary to use materials that are easily understood by employees.

Using health communication campaigns

What are its advantages?

– It is important for the employers to conduct communication campaigns to educate the employees about the need of health benefit schemes and how they operate.

– The responsible manager’s aim should be to identify the objective and aim of the health care campaign.

– To develop health care message that meets the objectives and aim of the campaign.

– Setting up the criteria for evaluation of the campaign and also the degree to which it is getting conveyed among the employees.

– To implement and the campaign and make sure that the employees understand message that is being conveyed by the employer.

– It is also necessary to make sure that the employees also to address the education need of the employees with language barrier, literacy issues etc.

To conclude, an effective way to communicate about the health benefit scheme is the cornerstone of every business organization. In these schemes, employers can also guide and help its employees to select a scheme and explain every detail they should know. The authority should also explain the new health scheme option and also about the changes in the existing benefits. To improve the health plan costs the employer’s must keep in mind the factor of low health literacy. Health plans and employers should also be able to successfully communicate with employees. Lastly, employees and employers should also be able to communicate clearly about the health benefit plans.