New research suggests that consuming a handful of nuts a day can greatly benefit your health. The study found that eating 20 grams of nuts daily lowers the risk of developing various conditions.
Heart disease risk was found to be reduced by 30 percent, cancer risk lowered by 15 percent, and premature death risk was lowered by 22 percent.
Consuming 20 g of nuts a day was also associated with a risk of death from respiratory disease cut by half and a 40 percent reduction in the risk of diabetes.
The researchers analyzed 29 published studies from around the world which included nearly 819,000 participants in total, 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.
Coauthor of the study Dagfinn Aune explained, “In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we’re starting to see data for other diseases. We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It’s quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food.”
The study looked at the consumption of all types of nuts. Aune added, “Nuts and peanuts are high in fiber, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats – nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels. Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts, are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk. Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fiber and protein, and there is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time.”
The researcher did note that consuming more than 20 grams of nuts a day did not translate into a greater benefit, so eating more won’t necessarily mean better health outcomes.
Eating walnuts may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and prostate cancer, as well as improve colon health, according to different studies. The Connecticut-based research center conducted a study among 46 adults aged 30 to 75. All of the participants were overweight, with BMIs greater than 25. Men had waist circumferences larger than 40 inches, and women had waist circumference larger than 35 inches. The study group was also at risk for developing metabolic syndrome, a precursor to more serious disorders like cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.
With the single addition of walnuts, the study participants improved their endothelial function and reduced their risk of heart disease and diabetes. The research reveals that making a few small changes to the diet – including highly nutritious foods, for example – could help to improve the health of those suffering from metabolic syndrome and other obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.