Going Nuts over the Health Benefits of Nuts

  • By grabbing a handful of nuts on a daily basis, you can reduce your risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. In a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of Harvard researchers saw significant reductions of deaths in those that ate nuts regularly. This report is not the first one to declare the health benefits of these dried fruits and it will not be the last. 1, 2

     

    So why are nuts so beneficial? Let us count the ways. Think about what a nut is; a dried fruit with a single seed, meant to propagate the plant from which is came from. It has to survive harsh conditions and provide enough nutrients for a small plant to emerge and thrive.  This seed is packed with vegetable protein, particularly L-arginine, an amino acid protein that is an essential ingredient for a healthy vascular system. Other nutrients found in nuts include unsaturated fatty acids like oleic, linolec, and Omega-3. Walnuts are especially loaded with these healthy fats. And contrary to popular belief, nuts do not contribute to obesity. In fact, those that eat nuts are more likely to be thin. 3

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    Other health benefits from nuts come from some important micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Vitamin B6 (folate) is found in high concentrations and contributes to a healthy nervous system, vascular system and even skeletal system. Minerals that are found in nuts include calcium, magnesium and potassium. All of these minerals are critical to sustaining biological life. Almonds and walnuts are also loaded with defensive anti-oxidants.3

     

    With so many health benefits from consuming nuts, people are really starting to go nuts over nuts. In 2003, the FDA issued a health claim about nuts because of their association with the reduced risk for heart disease. And the scientific evidence keeps growing in favor of these edible seeds. Ever since the health benefits have been revealed, more and more health conscious individuals are eating more and more nuts… going nuts over the health benefits of nuts.

    References:

    1. N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 21;369(21):2001-11
    2. N Engl J Med. 2013 Apr 4;368(14):1279-90
    3. Nutrients. 2010 July; 2(7): 652–682
Published On: January 17, 2014