HOPE FOR HEALTH

March 1, 2011Read: 3 John 1

"I hope all is well with you, and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." --3 John 1:2

If you missed it like I did, read the verse again. Yep, that's it. In one verse, God has woven permission for a healthy concern of the body. Never at the expense of what's most important, but when was the last time you and I hoped the same for someone? Oh, we often ask how the kids are, how the job is going, and the progress of one's golf game -- but what about their health? Not the casual, "So how you been" or "How you doin'?," but rather a real longing to see your friends and family as healthy on the outside as they are on the inside.

Truth is, we may be as timid to ask as we are to be asked. But either way, it's okay. Because we have both permission and an obligation to hope for health.

--J.P.

PASS THE PECANS Research shows that almonds may not sit alone in the nut hall of fame

Over the last several years, the almond has become the rock star of the nut family and rightly so -- it's a wonder food that promotes heart health and aids in fat loss in addition to a host of other health benefits. But new research is showing that the pecan, which is also rich in healthy fat, may deserve at least co-billing as top nut.

Researchers at Loma Linda University demonstrated that the naturally occurring antioxidants in pecans, specifically Vitamin E, may help contribute to heart health and disease prevention. The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that a pecan-enriched diet lowered levels of LDL cholesterol by 16.5 percent -- more than twice the American Heart Association's Step I diet, which was used as the control diet in that study. Similarly, the pecan-enriched diet lowered total cholesterol levels by 11.3 percent (also twice as much as the Step I diet).

"This does not give you permission to pound down pecan pie," says Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days" (Regal Books). "But having three ounces of raw, unsalted pecans daily, as in the study, could help you ward off heart disease and some cancers."

Source: Science Daily