More Than Alive Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds & Cacao Review

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More Than Alive

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I have forged a fantastic relationship with such a gold mine of a shop in More Than Alive. I am so thankful for this relationship because it has allowed me to discove an incredible jackpot of foods and skin care product. I find this site to be one of the very best resources for many organic necessities. They carry essential oils, superfoods, activated charcoal, bulk herbs and bulk foods. They also are reasonably priced (I’ve done the leg work–and you’ll save money on organic superfoods by shopping thru More Than Alive).

You can read some of my prior More Than Alive reviews and giveaways here:

https://runonorganic.com/2014/07/25/more-than-alive-vitex-dong-quai-giveaway/

https://runonorganic.com/2014/02/27/more-than-alive-diatomaceous-earth-review-giveaway/

https://runonorganic.com/2013/11/24/more-than-alive-scarf-essential-oil-review-giveaway/

https://runonorganic.com/2013/10/13/more-than-alive-bulk-superfoods-pack-review-giveaway/

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Raw Walnuts

About:

“Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. When it comes to health benefits, walnuts definitely are not a hard nut to crack. This delicious nut is rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Nuts in general are high in plant sterols and fat-but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 fatty acids-the good fats).

Omega 3 is a protective fat the body cannot manufacture. Walnut’s concentration of omega 3s has many potential health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, to the promotion of better cognitive function, to anti-inflammatory benefits helpful to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties. More than a decade of scientific evidence shows that incorporating walnuts in a healthy diet reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel elasticity and plaque accumulation. Omega 3 has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.

Walnuts have often been thought of as a “brain food”, not only because of the wrinkled brain-like appearance of their shells, but because of their high concentration of omega-3 fats. Your brain is more than 60% structural fat. In order for your brain cells to function properly, this structural fat needs to be primarily the omega-3 fats such as those found in walnuts.

Melatonin, a powerful antioxidant, has also been discovered in walnuts, in a bio-available form. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is involved in inducing and regulating sleep. Melatonin has been shown to help improve sleep for night shift workers and people suffering from jet lag. Maintaining a healthy level of this hormone is important for everyone over the age of 40 since the amount of melatonin produced by the human body decreases with age.

Studies show that enjoying just four walnuts a day significantly increased blood levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids and alpha linolenic acid. This proves even a very simple change in diet can have a highly beneficial and lasting effect on our health. Boosting your body’s supply of omega 3 fatty acids couldn’t be any easier. Just add a few walnuts to your morning cereal or daily salad or grab a handful for an afternoon snack.

In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eats nuts. Study authors concluded, “Frequent nut consumption was associated with a reduced risk of weight gain. These results support the recommendation of nut consumption as an important component of a cardio protective diet and also allay fears of possible weight gain.” So, don’t let concerns about gaining weight prevent you from enjoying the delicious taste and many health benefits of nuts.”

Organic, Raw Pumpkin Seeds

About:

“Pumpkin seeds are one of nature’s almost perfect foods. They are a natural source of beneficial constituents such as carbohydrates, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K. They also have the minerals calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. Pumpkin seeds have mainly been used to treat prostate and bladder problems, but they have also been known to help with depression and learning disabilities. They are generally recommended in some countries as a “brain food.” Pumpkin seeds can improve bladder and urethra function and prevent hardening of the arteries. Native American tribes were among the first people to notice the beneficial aspects of pumpkin seeds. They used them to treat kidney problems and to eliminate parasites from the intestines.

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of proteins and monounsaturated fat, as well as providing a wide range of traditional nutrients. Our food ranking system qualified them as a very good source of the minerals, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper, protein, and zinc. One half-cup of pumpkin seeds contains 92% of your Daily value of magnesium, which a nutrient most Americans as deficient in.

Zinc is one further nutrient found in pumpkin seeds that might impact prostate function. The fact that pumpkin seeds serve as a good source of zinc may contribute to the role of pumpkin seeds in support of the prostate. Benign prostatic hypertrophy, (or BPH) is a condition that commonly affects men 50 years and older in the United States. BPH involves enlargement of the prostate gland. One of the factors that contribute to BPH is overstimulation of the prostate cells by testosterone and its conversion product dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). Components in pumpkin seed oil appear able to interrupt this triggering of the prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT. Because of the pumpkin seed oil extract, scientists began to conduct research on the pumpkin seeds themselves. The prostate-helpful components found in the pumpkin oil extracts are definitely found in the pumpkin seeds. Men with higher amounts of carotenoids, which are found in pumpkin seeds, are at less risk for BPH.

In addition to maintaining prostate health, another reason for older men to make zinc-rich foods a regular part of their healthy way of eating is bone mineral density. Although osteoporosis is often thought to be a disease for which postmenopausal women are at highest risk, it is also a potential problem for older men.

Phytosterols, found in pumpkin seeds, lowers cholesterol. When phytosterols are present in the diet in sufficient amounts, they are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease the risk of certain cancers. Phytosterols beneficial effects are so dramatic that they have been extracted from soybean, corn, and pine tree oil and added to processed foods, such “butter-replacement” spreads, which are labeled as cholesterol-lowering foods. Why settle for an imitation when nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of phytosterols and cardio protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as well?

The healing properties of pumpkin seeds have also been recently investigated with respect to arthritis. Unlike synthetic drugs, pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to the progression of arthritis. Adding pumpkin seeds to a daily diet helps reduce the inflammatory symptoms of arthritis.

Using pumpkin seeds in cooking is popular in many cultures. Adding roasted pumpkin seeds to soups and salads provides a nutty flavor. Pumpkin seed oil can be used as a salad dressing when combined with products like honey and olive oil. Roasted pumpkin seeds are of course commonly eaten as snacks, but be aware that while roasting brings out their full flavor, the heat also destroys their natural fatty acids. Thus they are most nutritious when eaten raw. Also make sure to refrigerate pumpkin seeds so the oil does not turn rancid.”

Organic, Raw Cacao Powder

About:

“Cacao is the bean that chocolate is made from. In its raw state, it contains more antioxidant flavonoids than red wine, green tea and blueberries. Our raw cacao powder is rich in a number of essential minerals including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese. Raw cacao powder also contains many rare key nutrients that enhance physical and mental well-being.

Cacao contains anandamide, which is also produced naturally in the brain. It is known as the “Bliss” we feel, because it is released while we are feeling great. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies’ ability to breakdown anandamide. This means after eating cacao, that a natural anandamide and/or cacao anandamide may stick around longer, making us feel good for a longer period of time.

Cacao has been proven to be an excellent source of PEA (Phenylethylamine). It is an adrenal-related substance that is also created naturally by the brain and released when we are in love. This is one of the reasons why love and chocolate have a deep correlation.

Antioxidants are what keep you looking younger and help fight disease. An antioxidant laboratory analysis confirms that there are over 25,200 antioxidants in a single spoonful of raw cacao powder. Dark chocolate has been touted as a source of antioxidants, but this raw chocolate is way beyond that. Researchers found eating 100 grams of dark chocolate each day for 15 days lowered blood pressure. Another study concluded that the body’s ability to metabolize sugar (a problem for people with diabetes) was improved. Cacao also contains the antioxidant of catechin, which has a protective effect against heart disease and some cancers.

Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. It contains massive quantities of this essential nutrient. Magnesium is used to balance brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate your heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, which is present in approximately 80% of Americans, is linked with hypertension, heart disease and joint problems.

Cacao is also high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver and supports healthy pancreas functioning. One of the key amino acids, Tryptophan, is found naturally in cacao. Tryptophan enhances relaxation and promotes better sleep. Cacao powder also contains Arginine, the aphrodisiac-like amino acid believed by body builders to build muscle and aid in muscle recovery.

Cacao contains subtle amounts of caffeine and theobromine. However, experiments have shown that these stimulants are far different when consumed raw, rather than cooked. One experiment conducted with a decoction of roasted ground cacao beans in boiling water produced an excitement of the nervous system similar to that caused by black coffee. Interestingly, when the same decoction was made with the raw unroasted beans; the effects were unnoticeable, leading the researchers to conclude that the physiological changes were caused by aromatic substances released during roasting.

So, use raw cacao when you get those chocolate cravings! This raw cacao powder can be used in place of cocoa powder in any recipe. This will not only add great taste to whatever you’re making, but it also adds all these health benefits as well.

This cacao powder is certified organic and raw. Our premium cacao beans come directly from the farmers who cultivate them. These farmers grow their crops on their own land, using the same sustainable methods that have been used for generations. These cacao beans are guaranteed to be free of heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. They are USDA certified organic. They are imported from Peru and Ecuador.

The cacao powder is created by cold-pressing raw, organic cacao beans into a pressed cake separating the oil from the protein and fiber. The temperature is never allowed to exceed 120° F and is usually 104° F (all other cocoa powders are exposed to temperatures as high as 300° F!). A high-accuracy thermometer monitors the process. The remaining dry ‘cake-like’ material is then cold-ground and fine-milled so that only the finest raw cacao particles become the finished product.

This raw cacao powder has antioxidant activity as exhibited by an ORAC score of 1377 TE/g and is an excellent source of magnesium (42% DV) and iron (22% DV).

Suggested Uses:

  • Get your day started right, by adding raw cacao powder to your morning smoothie.
  • Create a protein drink from cacao. It’s a perfect fuel for competitive sports.
  • Bake your own raw chocolate bars or fudge using cacao powder.
  • Blend into cold coffee drinks.
  • Sprinkle on banana, other fruits or your cereal.”

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My Thoughts:

The only reason you don’t see a 5-star “WAHOO!!” rating is because I do not believe that the walnuts in this bundle are organic. However, I am crazy about the quality of the cacao powder and the pumpkin seeds.

Cacao powder: where do I start? If you start incorporating one single superfood into your diet, make it raw, organic cacao powder. Be very mindful about what you’re buying. The majority of what you’ll see on grocery store shelves is cocoa powder, which has been heated to extend the shelf life. In that process,  a large mass of its nutrients have been stripped. That’s why raw is so important. Raw cacao (just like merely any plant other food) is so much better or you when it’s raw, as the nutrients and antioxidants are the most plentiful in this state. Not only is cacao one of the best (if not the best) tasting superfoods, but it’ll serve you as a natural energy booster and can even contribute to skin health, among a bunch of other overall health benefits. I use a few tablespoons in my morning superfood drink that contains: cacao, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon & maca powders.

I do my best to keep my consumption of junky fats to a minimum (over-processed oils, butters, etc.) However, I do not fear fat. Your body truly needs fat in the diet to operate optimally. Amongst various tasks, dietary fat plays a key role in the endocrine system, helping facilitate hormones dispersement. I say all of that to say–walnuts and pumpkin seeds are two healthy, nutrient dense options of fat sources. You can add them to a smoothie, a fruit bowl, make them into nut or seed butter, or even make your own homemade nut or seed milk! (it’s super simple: a handful of nuts or seeds into a blender filled to the top with water. Then blend! Voila!)

 

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