As you drive from Portsmouth to Reading in the United Kingdom, as I did this week as I traveled to my various lectures in the UK, you pass one of Prince Charles’ farms. You also drive past the odd Waitrose supermarkets that stock the Duchy brand of foods – these foods are sourced from the organic farms that the Prince owns. I thought about him when I purchased my bag of organic walnuts and wondered if he knew how much choosing to grow walnuts was helping mid-life women to age healthily. I hope his wife Camilla eats them too.
I’ve had a busy week this week up in the United Kingdom and I’m so appreciative of the hundreds of women who have joined me on my lecture series tour to Portsmouth, Reading and Oxford, where I am currently.
When I ask women who has become confused about food and what to eat, most put their hands in the air. Yes, food has become very confusing. But not to me any more. Because, by positioning our menopause transition into women’s healthy ageing research, the fog has cleared literally, on what we must eat to ‘age healthily’.
One of these ‘must-eat’ foods, unless we are allergic, is walnuts.
I would like to thank all the thousands of NHS nurses throughout the UK, who participated in this study which explored the effect of nut consumption on certain markers of healthy ageing.
Over the past week, I have been explaining to women that many of their symptoms in menopause are due to the inflammation that has accumulated over our life-time which is now clashing with our entry through menopause and into our biological ageing. It is becoming better known through the ageing research that our past matters in more ways that one to how well we age and our menopause transition is a vulnerable time for us as our declining reproductive hormones clash with our modern ways of living.
Reversing the effects of this inflammation is important to all of us during our menopause and post-menopause years. As I explained this week to women, we have to also understand that menopause symptoms aren’t just about our ovaries. Lowering oestrogen affects other organs around our body as well. This is why ‘how’ we transition through menopause affects our health as we age. And for those women who are already experiencing health changes, it’s important to ‘turn back the clock’! How to achieve this is all part of the MyMT™ 12 week programmes and yes, one of the foods that I have in the Food Guide, is walnuts.
That’s why I was in Waitrose picking up a bag of Duchy Nuts. 🙂
Women consuming nuts at midlife have a greater likelihood of overall health and well-being at older ages. According to researchers in a large study of nut consumption in mid-life women, eating walnuts may represent a simple intervention to explore and promote healthy aging. In the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), researchers reported that better diet quality and a greater dietary flavonoid intake at midlife were related to a greater likelihood of overall health and well-being in women as they age.
In over 33,000 middle-aged NHS nurses, researchers observed a significant association between consumption of nuts at midlife and healthy aging. This was broadly defined across four domains – chronic diseases, mental health, and cognitive and physical function. When analyzing several specific types of nuts, walnut consumption appeared to have the strongest relation with healthy aging.
In my coaching groups for the MyMT programmes, [My January SALE ends tomorrow!], I often talk about the Dietary Inflammatory Index. These are lists of foods and dietary approaches that have been evidenced as contributing to or not contributing to, inflammation in the body and the role of these foods in contributing to several chronic diseases as we age. This is important to know in menopause, as menopause itself is the transition pathway towards our ageing.
Walnuts feature in the list of anti-inflammatory foods and in my food guide that is part of my 12 week programmes. Walnuts contain good fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). Good fats are not only important for uor immune health, byt they helps to transport fat-soluble vitamins around our body. These vitamins are A, D, E and K. All of which can be low in women as they transition menopause, especially if women already have health concerns as they enter their mid-life transition. Walnuts are also a valuable vegetarian source of the essential fatty acid omega-3. They contain iron, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and some B vitamins – all of which contribute to our energy levels as we transition through menopause.
There is so much confusion about food choices these days isn’t there? And that’s why I decided to put some research into how much food, what type of food and when we should be eating so that we all enter into our years beyond menopause as healthy as we deserve to feel. If you are confused and never want to go on another ‘diet’ every again, then please join me for 12 weeks when you can. I will allay your confusion because I have positioned the MyMT™ programmes in women’s healthy ageing research. Walnuts are on the menu as are peanuts, if you aren’t allergic to them.
That’s why I picked up my small bag of Duchy organic walnuts from the Waitrose supermarket this week and as I did, I wondered if Prince Charles knows how much he is contributing to the health of women as they age. 🙂
As I often mention in my live-events, the future for all of us is to focus on our health as we age, especially if we already have some health changes that our menopause transition has bought to the fore. How to do this is what you learn in my 12 week programmes which have been on a January SALE. This sale ends tomorrow and details are HERE.
Dr Wendy Sweet [PhD/ Women’s Healthy Ageing Researcher and lover of walnuts 🙂 ]
Freitas-Simoes, T., Wagner M., et. al. (2020). Consumption of nuts at mid-life and healthy aging in women. J. of Aging Research, Volume 2020, Article ID 5651737, pp. 1-7.
Steck, S., Shivappa, N. et al. (2014). The Dietary Inflammatory Index: a new tool for assessing dietary quality based on inflammatory potential. The Digest, Vol. 49, July, 2014.