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Eat Nuts and Live Long

Eat Nuts and Live Long

Intuitively it makes sense that scoffing the potential of an entire tree should be good for the body. But even so, it appears that the humble nut is even better for us than previously thought.

Having nuts as part of regular dietary intake has long been linked with preventing cardiovascular disease. Anyone diagnosed with a cholesterol problem may already know that nuts can reduce the amount of low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol) in the blood. They also help keep arteries clear, which helps prevent heart attacks.  See recommendations on how nuts can help your heart’s health from the leading private hospital and research centre, the May Clinic here.

But new research produced in the Netherlands has shown that eating as little as 15g of nuts a day may reduces the risk of death from cancer, diabetes, respiratory, and neurodegenerative diseases as well. This conclusion is based from analysis of data collated since 1986 from 120,000 men and women aged between 55 and 69.

There seems to be an equal benefit from eating peanuts (which technically are not actually nuts at all) and tree nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts etc), although it's interesting to note that there appears to be no longevity benefit from eating more than 15g  each day – that’s just a small handful. That's good news for calorie-counters who may avoid nuts altogether.

Precisely what it is about nuts that generate the longevity benefit is not known. However, it may be something to do with the high fat content (including Omega-3's), which is provided in combination with protein, carbohydrates and minerals in natural form.

Unfortunately, the study found that peanut butter doesn’t count.

 

The study is published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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