4MV #244 How walnuts and flaxseed oil daily improve your brain ✔ and reduce inflammation

⭑ Just walnuts and flaxseed oil daily ✔ here's why it helps
⭑ Stiffer arteries end up creating damage in your brain ✔ Exercise helps
⭑ What! Using your phone in bed doesn’t hurt your sleep ✔ New research
⭑ Why knees click and how to reduce or eliminate it ✔ at home

All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦


Clicking knees.

My knees have been clicking lately when I squat. I think it is tendons running over some rough bone - or something. It doesn't hurt but I did a little research on it anyway - see item #4 the exercise of the week.

The most surprising news this week, aside from a landmark paper on Alzheimer's being retracted after the lead researcher admitted their data was fraudulent, was that screens in bed at night don’t wreck our sleep - see item #3.

You might think of our arteries getting stiffer as we age as just "another cardiovascular" problem. But it is more than that, it can also ruin our brain —see item #2.

Small things daily make a difference, whether exercise, study or diet. I found out kind of by chance that walnuts and flaxseed oil daily have significant metabolic benefits - see item #1 below, and be sure to check the note about getting the right type of flaxseed oil.


01 The Surprising Benefits of Just Walnuts and Quality Flaxseed Oil

You might be as surprised as I was when I discovered that just adding walnuts and flaxseed oil to your daily diet comes with significant metabolic benefits, e.g. better brain health, lower cholesterol and lower risk factors associated with metabolic fat.

Three key benefits are linked to improved longevity and healthspan:

  1. Reduced risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome, such as central obesity and high cholesterol levels, thereby improving overall metabolic health.
  2. Cognitive benefits due to walnuts' high content of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which support brain health and reduce inflammation.
  3. Enhanced cardiovascular protection resulting from lower LDL cholesterol and inflammation, thus protecting against cardiovascular diseases.

Furthermore, our typical Western diet tends to be high in omega-6 and low in omega-3, with a ratio of as high as 20:1. This imbalance has been found to contribute to metabolic inflammation if not balanced with omega-3 fatty acids.

⇒ Flaxseed oil is rich in ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Increasing omega-3 intake through flaxseed oil helps counteract the pro-inflammatory effects of high omega-6 intake. This balance is essential for reducing inflammation and supporting overall health.

What this means for you: Adding walnuts and flaxseed oil to your diet is a simple way to improve it:

  • Walnuts:
    • Dose: 28-56 grams (1-2 ounces) per day
    • Frequency: Daily, can be incorporated into meals or consumed as a snack
  • Flaxseed Oil:
    • Dose: 1 tablespoon (approx. 13-15 grams) per day
    • Frequency: Daily, can be added to salads, smoothies, or other foods

Note: Industrial processing of seed oils can introduce harmful substances, and high temperatures during extraction can degrade beneficial compounds and produce trans fats:

  • Flaxseed oil is highly susceptible to oxidation due to its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Oxidation can lead to the formation of harmful compounds that may have adverse health effects.
  • Choose high-quality, cold-pressed, and minimally processed flaxseed oil to maximise health benefits and reduce the risk of oxidation. Store the oil in a cool, dark place and use it within a few months of opening.
  • Use flaxseed oil as a finishing oil rather than for high-heat cooking to preserve its beneficial properties. Add it to salads, smoothies, or drizzled over-cooked vegetables.

I use cold-pressed flaxseed oil and add it to daily shakes.

Related: Too Much Omega-6 Can Harm Us, Unless We Eat More Omega-3


02 Why Arterial Stiffness Matters More Than You Think

Important new research has clarified the link between arterial stiffness and cognitive decline. This is important to know, especially since you can take practical steps to mitigate the risk of cognitive decline caused by this stiffness.

What's the connection? When arteries become stiff, they lose their ability to expand and contract effortlessly with each heartbeat. This reduced elasticity leads to increased blood pressure, particularly as each pulse of blood travels through an artery.

High blood pressure damages the small, delicate blood vessels in the brain, which results in reduced blood flow, depriving your brain of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function optimally. Over time, this damage accumulates, contributing to cognitive impairment.

High blood pressure can also weaken the blood-brain barrier, a crucial protective layer that prevents harmful substances from entering our brains.

Increased pressure from stiff arteries can also cause tiny tears in the brain’s blood vessels, leading to small, often unnoticed strokes or microbleeds.

⇒ These small injuries add up, leading to significant cognitive challenges such as memory loss and difficulty in thinking and reasoning.

What does this mean for you? The good news is that there are relatively easy, actionable steps you can take to mitigate these risks.

Regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and managing stress are key strategies to keep your arteries flexible.

Additionally, monitoring and managing blood pressure through regular check-ups and medication, if necessary, can significantly reduce the risks associated with arterial stiffness.

⇒ Activities such as brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, and aerobic classes combined with strength training are optimal for maintaining your arterial flexibility.

And, of course, it's best to quit smoking and drink alcohol in moderation.

Related: The Surprising Benefits of Black Tea Daily​​​

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03 Phones in Bed Don't Harm Sleep Quality After All

We've all adopted the idea that using our phones directly before going to sleep adversely affects the quality of our sleep. That may be just be an urban myth!

⇒ Gazing at a screen emitting "blue light" before bed does not appear to significantly affect sleep, according to scientists who recently reviewed the evidence.

We've been told that the bright blue light from TV, phone, and tablet displays can suppress melatonin, a hormone that signals our body that it's time to rest. However, the authors of a new review stated that experiments had not found evidence of a meaningful sleep-delaying effect. "If we consider all the factors that can be detrimental to our sleep, screens are overrated," said Michael Gradisar, a clinical psychologist who co-authored the paper published in the journal Sleep.

⇒ There is no concrete evidence that screen light in the hour before bed makes it harder to fall asleep.

What this means for you: The takeaways from this study suggest:

  • There is an association between evening screen use and staying up past a sensible bedtime due to being engrossed.
  • Some individuals may be more affected by blue light late at night if they have not been exposed to natural light during the day.
  • Some experts advise against evening screen use for individuals experiencing sleeping difficulties.

So we may be back to square one: don't eat or drink too close to bedtime, add some aerobic exercise into your evening routine, using a breathing or meditation app, and listen to some favourite music for 20 minutes or so before you drop off.

Related: ​How Many Pistachios Should I Eat For Sleep and When?


04 Is Knee-clicking bad?

Our exercise of the week is... two for knee tendon health.

Knee clicking, or crepitus, occurs for various reasons, including the movement of ligaments and tendons or the release of gas bubbles in the joint:

  1. Movement of tendons and ligaments: These structures can make a snapping sound when they move over bony structures or each other.
  2. Gas bubbles: The synovial fluid in the joint can release gas bubbles, which can cause a popping sound when they burst.
  3. Cartilage roughness: If the cartilage in the knee is roughened due to wear and tear or conditions like osteoarthritis, it can produce grinding or clicking sounds when your knee moves.
  4. Meniscus tears: Tears in the meniscus, a cartilage cushion in the knee, can cause clicking or popping sounds, often accompanied by pain and swelling.

⇒ Generally, if knee clicking is not accompanied by pain, swelling, or other symptoms, it is usually harmless. However, if there are additional symptoms, it might indicate an underlying condition that requires medical attention.

What this means for you: Improving your knee mobility not only might prevent clicks, but also reduce the risk of injuries and key pain, and ensure you can easily perform your daily activities.

In general, you need to do stretching, strength exercises, balance exercises and release procedures, such as using foam rollers to improve your knee health.

Glute bridges are a classic exercise for improving knee health. But since it is so well known, I am suggesting a far less well-known type of exercise called "gapping", which more directly targets clicking knees.

Gapping helps open up space in the knee joint, promote forward motion of your shin, and enhance your overall knee flexion mobility (improving your ability to bend your knee fully. When your knee can bend smoothly and completely, it helps with various daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, and sitting down).

Go straight to this video for a perfect demonstration.

Related: ​Avoid Ankle Injuries And Gain Balance Better With These Four Everyday Simple Exercises​

Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you are not yet subscribed to my free exercise app, try now ↓↓↓ Free forever. Opt-out any time. Opt-in by CLICKING HERE PLEASE SEND ME THE EXERCISES. NOTE: YOU ONLY NEED TO SUBSCRIBE ONE TIME.

>> My Latest Blog Post: Energise Your Golden Years: Boosting Your Desire to Exercise with Gut-Healthy Foods

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