Nuts are nutrient-dense foods that are packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.
Some of the most commonly consumed nuts include almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and peanuts (which are actually a legume).
Nuts have been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
They are also believed to improve brain function, boost weight loss, and improve overall nutrition.
One of the key reasons why nuts are so healthy is their high concentration of healthy fats.
Specifically, nuts contain high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Nuts are also a great source of plant-based protein, making them an ideal snack for vegans and vegetarians.
In addition to their healthy fats and protein, nuts are also packed with vitamins and minerals. For example, almonds are high in vitamin E and magnesium, while cashews are a good source of zinc and iron.
Many nuts also contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, which can help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
A recent study at Imperial College London and other institutions has revealed that people who consume at least 20 grams of nuts daily have lower risks of developing heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.
The research reviewed all available studies on nut intake and disease risk, finding that consuming a handful of nuts per day could decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30%, cancer risk by 15%, and the risk of premature death by 22%.
The study conducted the analysis of 29 published studies, including more than 819,000 individuals, with over 12,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 9,000 cases of stroke, 18,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and more than 85,000 deaths.
The researchers found that nut consumption was linked to a reduction in disease risk across most of them, and the study included all types of tree nuts, such as hazelnuts and walnuts, as well as peanuts, which are actually legumes.
Nuts are highly nutritious, and rich in fiber, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial for reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering cholesterol levels.
Certain nuts, such as walnuts and pecans, are high in antioxidants, which can help fight oxidative stress and reduce cancer risk.
Despite being high in fat, nuts are also high in fiber and protein, and some evidence suggests that they may even reduce the risk of obesity over time.
However, the researchers found that if people consumed more than 20 grams of nuts per day, there was little evidence of further improvement in health outcomes.
The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine and conducted by Dagfinn Aune and colleagues.
These findings suggest that adding a handful of nuts to your daily diet can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of several chronic diseases, emphasizing the importance of a balanced diet for overall health and well-being.
When it comes to incorporating nuts into your diet, it’s important to remember that they are high in calories, so portion control is key.
A handful (about 20g) of nuts is a good serving size to reap the health benefits without consuming too many calories.
Nuts can be enjoyed on their own as a snack, added to salads or stir-fries for added crunch, or used to make nut butter as a healthy spread alternative.
The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine and conducted by Dagfinn Aune et al.
If you care about health, please read studies about how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk, and vitamin D supplements could strongly reduce cancer death.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about how drinking milk affects risks of heart disease and cancer, and results showing aspirin is associated with higher heart failure risk.
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