Tag Archives: Walnuts

Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Liver Function

HealthyLiverJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

It’s common knowledge that everything we eat and drink moves through the digestive system. But did you know that everything we ingest, including nutrients, medications, and toxic substances, must be processed by the liver before anything can be utilized, altered, stored, detoxified, or eliminated by the body? A healthy diet and lifestyle helps to support this hard working, often underrated, but vitally important organ that plays a central role in metabolic homeostasis. Second only to the brain in its list of essential bodily functions, the liver is the lone organ that can regenerate and return to normal function if damaged or partially removed.

Each organ plays a role in maintaining homeostasis, or a balanced, at-rest state of the body. While the body’s detoxification system includes the lungs, the skin, the digestive system and the kidneys, the liver is the body’s major detoxification center. In addition to the chemicals we inhale, apply to our bodies, or ingest; the liver must filter bio-toxic metabolites, or waste by-products, produced by the body throughout every metabolic pathway.

Extremely important to energy production, the liver is tasked with carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, transforming amino acids from proteins, producing bile for fat digestion and absorption, and releasing a steady flow of glucose from carbohydrates. Liver cells regulate blood glucose concentrations within a narrow, normal range. As an indispensable fuel for all cells and organs, a constant and steady supply of glucose must be maintained; while at the same time, health damaging elevated glucose levels must be controlled. As blood sugar levels fall, the liver releases newly synthesized or stored glucose. Working in tandem with insulin, when blood sugar is high, the liver converts and stores glucose to be utilized as needed.

The liver is known to perform hundreds of crucial functions, including the synthesis of cholesterol, phospholipids, non-essential amino acids, and blood plasma proteins, as well as immune and clotting factors. It regulates blood clotting and blood levels of amino acids; processes hemoglobin and stores iron; and converts ammonia, a byproduct of protein metabolism, to urea for excretion; all the while cleansing the blood of toxic substances and byproducts.

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, diabetes, and excessive alcohol consumption are high risk factors for developing liver disease. Since it is always preferable to prevent rather than treat disease, it makes good sense to take steps that support liver health.

The American Liver Foundation recommends:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight to avoid the accumulation of liver fat that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • Eating a well balance diet, high in fiber, low in refined carbs and sugar, and moderate in good fats from fish, nuts and seeds.
  • Exercising regularly to burn triglycerides for fuel and reduce liver fat.
  • Using alcohol responsibly to avoid damage to liver cells.
  • Carefully following medication directions, including the use of over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers, that have been shown to be detrimental to liver health when used indiscriminately.
  • Practicing safe sex to reduce the risk of contracting hepatitis B and C.
  • Avoiding toxic chemicals found in household products, insecticides and personal hygiene products.

Foods and supplements that provide nutritional support for liver health and function include the following:

Garlic supplies allicin and selenium, powerful nutrients that aid the detoxication process.

Green tea contains catechins, antioxidants from plants that promote proper liver function and protect against toxin and liver fat accumulation.

Dark leafy greens contain cleansing compounds that help to neutralize pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals.

Avocado is rich in glutathione-producing compounds that actively promote liver health and boost its cleansing powers.

Walnuts are rich in healthy fats, l-arginine, and glutathione, which aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia.

Turmeric provides curcuminoids, powerful anti-inflammatory compounds; and helps to maintain a healthy liver by boosting bile and enzyme production, protecting against toxic damage, and improving overall function.

NAC or N-acetylcysteine is tapped to synthesize glutathione, a powerful antioxidant utilized throughout the body.

Alpha lipoic acid has been shown to have hepatic-protective benefits.

Silymarin has been used traditionally for centuries as a natural treatment for liver health and is commonly known as milk thistle.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality formulations in support of healthy liver function and overall health:

NAC 600 mgNAC by Integrative Therapeutics®: This well absorbed formula provides 600 mg of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine per serving in support of antioxidant protection and glutathione production. Free of gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, yeast, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.


Garlic ForceGarlic Force™ by New Chapter: This pure and potent garlic extract with complementary herbs delivers beneficial whole food nutrients in support of free radical protection and cardiovascular health. Naturally gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Curcumin 500 with...Curcumin 500 with Bioperine® by Pure Encapsulations®: Formulated to support the body’s natural inflammatory response and promote healthy liver, colon, musculoskeletal and cellular function, this product supplies turmeric, standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids, and Bioperine ®, a black pepper extract that enhances bioavailability and absorption. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Alpha Lipoic Acid...Alpha Lipoic Acid by 200 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: This multi-functional and versatile nutrient offers free radical protection, and provides support for nerve health, cardiovascualar function, and glucose metabolism. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Silymarin / Milk...Silymarin/Milk Thistle Extract by Douglas Laboratories: The natural protective and regenerative properties of silymarin have been shown to support and enhance normal liver function, as well as the repair and replacement of damaged cells. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, dairy and artificial ingredients.

The role of the liver in metabolic homeostasis: implications for inborn errors of metabolism. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1749209
Anatomy and Function of the Human Liver. http://www.innerbody.com/image_digeov/card10-new2.html
Liver: Anatomy and Functions. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/liver_biliary_and_pancreatic_disorders/liver_anatomy_and_functions_85,P00676/
How does the liver work? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072577/
Metabolic Functions of the Liver. http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/liver/metabolic.html
The Liver Lowdown. http://www.liverfoundation.org/education/liverlowdown/ll1013/13ways/
Quantifying the Contribution of the Liver to Glucose Homeostasis. http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002577


Go Nuts!

nutsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Whether you are looking for a healthy convenient snack, a little extra crunch in your salad, or a nutrient boost in your morning smoothie, a serving of nuts may be the solution. While the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of nuts vary slightly, all tree nuts are nutrient dense and contain high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, and heart- healthy fats, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and bioactive phytochemical compounds. Evidence has shown that the regular consumption of tree nuts may have beneficial effects on cognitive health and chronic disease prevention. Research suggests that adding a daily serving of nuts lowers the risk of developing chronic inflammation, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and abdominal obesity, all symptoms of metabolic syndrome, that lies beneath the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nuts are nutrient-rich foods with wide-ranging cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits, which can readily be incorporated into healthy diets. While some may shy away from nuts due to the heavy fat content, epidemiological studies and clinical trials show that eating nuts is unlikely to contribute to weight gain and, when portions are limited to just a handful, may even support weight loss over time. Nuts are energy packed, nutrient dense, and filling, helping to suppress the appetite. Studies have shown those who incorporate nuts into their diet tend to weigh less than those who don’t and may have a lower risk of future weight gain. While there is no recommended daily intake (RDI) for nuts, the Linus Pauling Institute suggests that one ounce of nuts, five times per week, is all that’s needed to reap the benefits.

  • Nuts provide important sources of tocopherols and phenolic compounds with potent antioxidant effects that help to fight oxidative stress and boost immunity.
  • The nutrient content of nuts has been well documented to contribute to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and related metabolic disorders. Per the Physician’s Health Study, men who consumed nuts two or more times per week had a 47% reduced risk of sudden cardiac events.
  • Nuts provide a significant amount of fiber, which supports a healthy gut and proper digestion.
  • Consuming nuts helps to boost your healthy fat intake, which helps ease inflammation and supports proper brain function, healthy heart beat, lowered blood pressure, and improved blood vessel function.
  • Studies have shown that nut consumption reduces systemic inflammation, as measured by well-established biomarkers of inflammation including C-reactive protein and interleukin 6.
  • Minimally processed raw nuts, without salt or added flavorings, provide the most health benefits.

Almonds – In addition to protein, vitamin E and healthy fats, almonds are a good source of magnesium, manganese, riboflavin, copper, phosphorus, vitamin E and fiber. Almonds are high in anti-aging antioxidants and have been shown to help reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol. High magnesium levels may have significant benefits for healthy blood pressure.

Pistachios – Rich in plant stanols, polyphenols and flavonoids, pistachios provide phosphorus, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, thiamine and fiber. Pistachios have beneficial effects on risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure, weight and oxidative status, and  may help to improve cholesterol levels.

Walnuts – These heart healthy nuts are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. Rich in antioxidant vitamin E, selenium, magnesium and phosphorus, manganese and copper, these brain shaped gems are associated with healthy cognitive function and are a natural source of melatonin.

Pecans – These southern favorites are a good source of manganese, copper, thiamine and fiber. Pecans provide vitamin E as gamma-tocopherol, and have a high flavonoid and polyphenol content. Along with these beneficial nutrients, pecans provide antioxidants and may help lower cholesterol levels.

Macadamias – Macadamia nuts are an excellent source of monosaturated fats, as well as manganese, thiamine, copper, and iron. Due to their high healthy fat content, macadamia nuts are considered heart-healthy by the American Heart Association, and have been shown to lower LDL and total cholesterol when incorporated into a heart healthy diet.

Now available at Professional Supplement Center:

Walnuts, OrganicOrganic Walnuts from NOW Real Food™ – SAVE 15%! These raw, unsalted, certified organic walnut halves and pieces are a natural source of protein and healthy fatty acids. No additional ingredients. To maintain freshness, refrigerate after opening. Gluten free, vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified.

Raw PecansRaw Pecans from Now Real Food™ –  SAVE 15%! Naturally free of sodium and sugar, these raw, unsalted pecan halves and pieces are a natural source of healthy fatty acids. To maintain freshness, refrigerate after opening. Gluten free, vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified.

Roasted PistachiosRoasted Pistachios from Now Real Food™ – SAVE 15% Consumed in Asia for thousands of years, pistachios are a natural source of protein, fiber and healthy fatty acids. Roasted with sea salt, grown in the USA. Gluten free, vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified.

Macadamia Nuts Dry...Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts from Now Real Food™ – SAVE 15% These super tasty, heart-healthy nuts are slightly lower in protein, while having the highest amount of monosaturated fat of any other nuts, and are a good source of fiber as well. Roasted with sea salt, Gluten free, vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified.

The Wonders of Nuts and Seeds. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0316p22.shtml
Health Benefits of Nut Consumption. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/
What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Nuts & Seeds? http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-eating-nuts-seeds-6701.html
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3-fats/
The Top 9 Nuts to East for Better Health. https://authoritynutrition.com/9-healthy-nuts/