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Varied Health Benefits of Peanuts

<h2>Peanuts Battle Diabetes Type 2</h2>

Given that the salted peanut is the no. 1 most popular nut snack for Americans, it is always good to learn about additional health benefits it offers.  A recent report in the Health News Digest taken from a Diabetes Care issue, has found that by consuming two ounces of nuts (like peanuts) instead of another carbohydrate on a daily basis, blood glucose control and blood lipids can be improved for people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes.

Indeed, according to one expert, David Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc, “nuts, including peanuts, can make a valuable contribution to the diabetic diet by displacing high glycemic index carbohydrates and replacing them with vegetable fats and vegetable proteins which have been shown in the long term to be associated with better cardiovascular health and diabetes prevention.”

<h2>Protein-Packed Peanuts</h2>

But for those not battling diabetes, can the yummy snack also be beneficial?  Apparently so.  Peanuts have a significant amount more of protein than any other nut and also provide substantial amounts of mono and polyunsaturated oils.  According to the report, “increased proportions of fat and protein, especially of plant origin, may confer metabolic benefits and reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease and diabetes.”

<h2>Anti-Oxidant Rich</h2>

Another great reason to eat peanuts is that research has also revealed that they are very high in antioxidants, possibly even more so than a lot of fruits.  Indeed, for those eating the roasted variety, they can enjoy them in the knowledge that they have more antioxidants than even blackberries, strawberries, carrots and beets with their high levels of antioxidant polyphenols.

So it seems like there are many reasons to enjoy the nutty snack. It’s true that peanuts are high in calories, but if eaten in moderation, research has also revealed that they can help control weight as they significantly curb hunger.

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Flu Shot Time Has Arrived

As fall has arrived, it’s time to look ahead to getting your flu shot for the winter season.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every person six months and older get a flu vaccine.  This year’s flu vaccine for the 2010-2011 season will protect against three flu viruses – an H3N2 virus; an influenza B virus; and the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu.

The good news for this year is that a record number of vaccine shots are expected to be distributed throughout the country so that there won’t be the panic and pandemonium that there was last year.

In a recent news release, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, “Influenza is serious, and anyone, including healthy people, can get the flu and spread it. Flu vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and those around you.”

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MS Symptoms – Influenced by Weather Changes

Here’s the latest interesting news about multiple sclerosis and weather.  Temperature changes may actually influence the severity of MS symptoms.  This is according to a study published recently in Neurology.

Researchers, looking at the brain patterns of 44 untreated MS patients, found that they were two to three times as likely to have disease activity during spring and summer months.

As author Dominik Meier of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported to BBC News, “Not only were more lesions found during the spring and summer seasons, our study also found that warmer temperatures and solar radiation were linked to disease activity.”

Up until now, MS was thought to get progressively worse with time.  These weather-influenced findings, however, suggest that MS patterns may change on a regular basis.

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Enjoy an Intelligence Toilet!

Talk about efficiency. The Japanese have created a new way to be even more efficient – while you’re “doing your business.” Their latest gadget allows you to test your sugar levels in your urine, while also checking your weight and blood pressure, all while you use the facilities.

The scale is built right into the floor and the blood pressure armband is offered to you next to the toilet seat.  Your results are all displayed on a readout screen attached to the wall.  The system can only keep track of up to five people’s health data – so this is a device for the home and for the family.  Visitors will have to invest in their own “Intelligence Toilet” if they want to keep track of their health in this way.

So far, this device is only available in Japan and the price tag is between $4100-$5850 USD.

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Delaware – Taking Charge Where Obesity is Concerned

Some local coalitions are getting creative to get children’s weight back on track.  One local coalition of Delaware County organizations has created a program called Healthy Living Take Charge!  Their goal is to take concrete steps to lower the county’s high obesity rates among adults and children.

As Tamara White, co-chairman of Healthy Living and a Delaware County Health Department employee, said, “Instead of reinventing the wheel, coming up with a program that may get funded for a couple of years and that’s it, we created small grants to assist agencies that already have a good track record creating obesity-focused programs. The focus on obesity is what we needed in this community and this way we’re working on this issue.”

Healthy Living Take Charge! is using its $14,000 in mini-grant dollars to offer money to programs that address both nutrition and physical activity.  They are trying to encourage day cares, preschools and other agencies that work with young children to use their forum to address obesity and to teach children at an early age.

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