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Inflammation, Free Radicals and the Antioxidant Benefits of Nuts

March 22, 2019

By Joan McDaniel                  March 22, 2019

This is a re-write of the original article

Inflammation, Free Radicals and the Health Benefits of Nuts.

By Joan McDaniel                                                August 30, 2012

My first real lesson on illness was the understanding of the word Inflammation. This became one of my first basic principle in understand how the body gets sick and how it can get well again.  The key words to understand are antioxidants, oxidation, free-radicals, and inflammation.

Inflammation – a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.

I remember when I first tried Coconut Oil I said to myself “This oil is putting the fire out.”

You may know inflammation, such things as swelling or a red rash or a temperature etc indicates illness but Inflammation is the source of all disease. Inflammation is also pain, itch, tenderness and irritation externally or internally.

Let me repeat that Inflammation is the SOURCE of all DISEASE 

The next earth-shaking discovery was to fix or help your body fix or get rid of the inflammation  —— all you need is to  eat food that contain antioxidants. These foods I would later call Super Foods.

Antioxidant a substance that inhibits oxidation.

Oxidation – A chemical reaction which causes the loss of elections. Causing an unstable molecule or free radical

Free radicals – rob the molecule of energy and make it unstable in other words sick.  See later in article

I learned the definition and working common sense understanding of illness all illness as inflammation caused by free radical damage.

Next I learned I could reduce inflammation and start the healing process by eating 7 walnuts a day.

Seven Walnuts

The first antioxidant food I found was simply nuts – Walnut to be exact.  Eating no more than 7 walnuts a day gets you started on a healthy sugar-free antioxidant diet.

Now on with the article;


Tree Nuts

Nuts provide high quality antioxidants that fight inflammation and free-radical damage.

Nuts are a natural whole food, you do not need an expensive insurance paid prescriptions, from your expensive insurance paid doctor, for an expensive and toxic insurance paid pharmaceutical



stock-photo-pill-bottle-stuffed-with-money-dollar-bill-isolated-on-black-background-17277358 Note the money inside the bottle

Drug, that probably does nothing except give you side effects.

Nuts are a form of a long list of natural whole antioxidant foods.  (NaturalNews)  “ Natural whole foods are packed with synergistic nutrients that work together in unity to provide a plethora of health benefits without causing negative side effects — and walnuts are no exception!”

“Nuts are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins including Vitamin E.  What’s more they have a wide variety of health benefits, particularly for the cardiovascular system. Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, a substance that improves artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots. Some nuts also contain healthy plant sterols.”

There are several types of nuts and nut butters:

Almond, Almond butter/cheese/milk, Beechnut, Brazil, Butternut, Cashew, Cashew butter, Chestnut, Chia seed, Flaxseed, hazelnut (filbert), Hickory, Litchi, Macadamia, Peanut, Peanut Butter, Pecan, Pecan butter, Pine (Pignola), Pistachio, Poppy seed, Pumpkin Seed, Sesame butter, Sesame seed, Sunflower butter, Sunflower seed, and Walnut (black/English)

But the King for health benefits is the Walnut.

Walnuts are considered the king of nuts for health benefits according to US researchers. Walnuts contain higher quality antioxidants then even almonds, peanuts, pecans or any other nut.

Why do we need antioxidants?

Glycation theory:

Diets consisting of excess Glucose or sugar cause Glycation. Glycation  is like oxidation with glucose taking the place of Oxygen.  When a white blood cell encounters a glyrated protein, it sets off an inflammatory reaction which creates Advanced Gyration End Products (AGE’s). The receptors for AGEs are known as RAGE leading to chronic inflammation and degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and diabetes.  The more you accumulate, the more quickly you and your brain age.

Man made Polyunsaturated Hydrogenated Fat (Crisco):

For more information; 

See A Brief History of Trans Fat for a history of Trans Fat

In Summary

Our ancestors cooked their food mostly using Bacon Fat.  I’m in my 70’s and I remember my family having a jar of bacon fat which we used to cook other meals.  I also remember the introduction of Crisco Oil back in the 1950’s.  It was the first convenience food.

Since the introduction of Crisco Oil in the early 1930 most Americans began to eat Trans Fat.  The use of trans fat, destroyed the taste of the food, so sugar was added to most processed food. An Americans increased their consumption of sugar and began the recommended low-fat diet or Standard American Diet (SAD).

fat free                      harvardsrecentfoodguide

Terms used

Free Radicals

Diets not only excess sugar but diets consisting of polyunsaturated hydrogenated oils are a major cause of free radicals.

Poly unsaturated Hydrogenation Fat Diet or Low-Fat

Hydrogenation, a man-made cooking fat added a hydrogen atom to the fatty acid chain which created a polyunsaturated fat or Trans-fat. This oil is heated to such a high level that anything that was alive or real isn’t anymore. Polyunsaturated fats readily oxidize and become destructive free-radicals.  Once free-radicals are formed they attack other unsaturated fats and proteins steeling an electron and creating more free radicals and stress and inflammation.

Antioxidants fight free Radicals

Our only defense against free radicals is antioxidants.  

Antioxidants found in fresh, minimally processed foods are helpful to your health because they are able to provide the electrons that free radicals want. Once free radicals are neutralized by antioxidants, they become harmless, and are eventually eliminated from your body.

Inflammation – is a normal natural response to injury and stress to the body.  It stimulates the influx of blood and oxygen into the injured area to facilitate healing.  The blood brings platelets to stop bleeding, if necessary, along with other proteins to rebuild damaged tissues. Inflammation will remain as long there is irritation causing chronic inflammation.

Now back to Inflammation

“All Illness is caused by Inflammation.”


(NaturalNews) “Persistent, systemic inflammation is at the root of practically all known chronic health conditions, including everything from rheumatoid arthritis and high cholesterol to dementia and cancer. These health conditions are not necessarily inevitable, and neither is chronic inflammation.” This inflammation can be reduced and cured by watching what you eat and eating foods that help fight inflammation.

Free radicals – Are toxic renegade molecules that attack and destroy other molecules


Accumulation of damage over the years results in degenerative tissues and loss of function that typifies old age.  Basically a free radical is a molecule that is missing a neuron; it is a reactive element that then steals this neuron from healthy cells thru a process call oxidation. The tissue becomes impaired over time.  (Oxidation is the process that also causes iron to rust.)  Once a free-radical reaction is started, it causes a chain reaction which in turn will destroy thousands of cells. The brain tissue of neurodegenerative diseases are riddled with free radical damage.

Antioxidants found in fresh, minimally processed foods are helpful to your health because they are able to provide the electrons that free radicals want. Once free radicals are neutralized by antioxidants, they become harmless, and are eventually eliminated from your body.


Modern Medicine and the Standard American Diet (SAD)

There are literally hundreds of illnesses caused by chronic inflammation and free-radicals, but modern medicine (Allopathic medicine) has classified this inflammation as unique and unrelated, when in fact they are all products of the same underlying imbalances inside the body. When the root causes of these imbalances are properly addressed chronic illness is less likely to taking hold and the body is left free to fix itself.

Generally Inflammation is caused by consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD) or food stripped of all nutrition. The USDA’s Food Pyramid or Food Plate is a diet high in simple carbohydrates and refined sugars and low in fat especially saturated fat.

There are additional causes of inflammation such as environmental toxicity, not drinking enough clean water, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise all contribute to low levels of chronic inflammation.  But diet is the main cause. Inflammation often goes undetected for many years until disease finally emerges.

I found a Video which is extremely helpful on Inflammation November 22, 2013 Joan

Inflammation is associated with killer diseases

Inflammation has been linked to conditions or diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Many books have been written about “Anti-inflammatory diets.” They tend to complicate some very simple guidelines and then try to

sell you expensive supplements.

Here, Dr. Randy Horowitz keeps it simple.

Eating a whole foods diet that eliminates highly processed foods and emphasizes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is key to reducing inflammation in the body.

Video (1:48):


16K subscribers

Anti-Inflammatory Diet, What Is This?

A Handful of Walnuts is enough to Boost Your Health

Reportedly, it only takes about seven walnuts a day to get their potential health benefits.

But Eat Nuts

Eat nuts at least 1 to 2 OZ. a day.  Walnut and Almonds (Natural Almonds not Pasteurized) are at the top of the list but any and all nuts are good to eat.



The amazing thing about walnuts and other whole foods, is no single nutrient inside them can be pinpointed and isolated as the sole beneficial factor. In explaining this very important fact, researchers note in their report that “[t]he walnut diet’s beneficial effects probably represent the effects of the whole walnuts’ multiple constituents and not via a specific fatty acid or tocopherol.” In other words you cannot manufacture the whole food’s benefit, nor can you improve on Nature.  This benefit cannot be man-made.

What else can you do, to fix the inflammation caused by Free Radicals?

There are other food high in antioxidants. Many of these foods are called super foods like the berry. The super food berry includes blueberry, strawberries and basically all berries.  There are hundreds of superfoods.  This web-site will be covering many of them.

The best place to start is to eat a good diet and to concentrate on decreasing intake of food that causes inflammation in the first place.

Note: This or another food cannot be considered a cure-all for inflammation or any other disease.  Your body does the curing.  What these food do is give your body the ammunition it needs to fight the fight. Remember to help fight inflammation use the same common sense diet our ancestors used.

This introduces my first supper food,  I would go on to investigate many other supper foods.

Till Next Time

Sources for this article include:

Walnuts may help battle prostate cancer – Western Farm Press

Benefits and Ways to Enjoy Walnuts – Sheer Balance

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