Nuts are a combination of prebiotic fiber and phytonutrients and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects. According to 2005 “My Pyramid” it has been grouped with the meat and bean group. Bioactive compounds of nuts such as resveratrol, phytosterols, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and carotenoids display synergistic effects on preventing many age related pathologies. Resveratrol has been reported to extend the lifespan in model organisms such as yeast, Drosophila and mouse. Reports propose nuts as the best substitute for red meat to reduce mortality risk. Macadamia nuts with a rich source of monounsaturated fats (oleic and palmitoleic acids) imparts cholesterol lowering effects thereby preventing coronary artery disease. Anacardic acid, a phenolic lipid found in cashew nut shells, is specifically enriched in metastatic melanoma patients in response to immunotherapy. The non-bio-accessible materials of nuts serve as a substrate for human gut microbiota. Regular Walnut enriched diet improves lipid content and enhances probiotic and butyrate producing bacteria composition in healthy individuals. This also reduces cardiovascular risk factors by promoting beneficial bacteria. Gut microbiota diversity studies report an enrichment with genera capable of producing short chain fatty acids (SCFA) following consumption of nuts. The prebiotic effect of nuts can be partly from refining butyrate producing bacteria composition. Hence an optimized diet rich with nuts can be an intervention for promoting a healthy microbiota population and thereby improving overall physiology.
Part of the book: Nuts and Nut Products in Human Health and Nutrition
Arthropods community structure and composition provides multiscale information about an environment health. Their reproduction and growth model are effective to assess the impact on ecosystem in response to stress such as anthropogenic activities (climate change) or natural (drought). Terrestrial and aquatic insects are potential bio-indicators. Terrestrial insects are an excellent model to assess the quality of terrestrial ecosystem. These insect species are assayed to detect metallic pollution and forest abundance. Soil and litter arthropods are used for examining soil quality. Honey bee mortality rates and the residues such as heavy metals, fungicides and herbicides presence in honey are good indicator of environmental pollution. The specificity of food and habitat selection by wasp population make it suitable for assessing habitat quality. Similarly butterflies habitat itself signifies a healthy ecosystem because of their sensitivity to even slightest change. Different arthropods act as keystone species and these keystone interactions also reveal many facets of an ecosystem quality. Similarly fly population such as Drosophila subobscura and their shift in the genetic composition indicate the global climate warming. The arthropods are explored as screening platform to understand the ecosystem resilience to disturbances. These underscores arthropods potential for evaluation of environmental impact and global climate change.
Part of the book: Arthropods