Your concierge medical doctors at MD 2.0 in Jupiter, FL, want you to know that nuts are not just for snacking on at parties. Several studies have shown that all types of nuts can help improve your general health. From weight control to heart health, and even lower cancer risk, those little tree fruits can make a real difference in your overall well-being.
For example, a 2013 Harvard study tracked 119,000 men and women over 30 years and found that those who ate nuts every day were 20% less likely to die over the study period than those who never ate nuts. Those who ate nuts once a week were 11% less likely to die. Another 2013 study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, combined several other studies from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia, and included more than 819,000 participants. It found a 24% decrease in heart disease, an 18% drop in cancer, and an 11% decrease in strokes in those who ate nuts daily. And two studies done in 2014 found that nuts can help control blood sugar for those at risk of diabetes, or even those who already have the disease.
And, despite their relatively high calorie count (160-200 calories per ounce), researchers at Perdue University found that nuts do not contribute to weight gain. In fact, other studies have shown that daily intake can even help in losing weight.
How is it possible for such tiny little things to yield such amazing results in so many areas of health?
Because they’re loaded with good-for-you things. Like fiber, which has been shown to steady blood sugar, lower inflammation throughout the body, help control weight, and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. And protein, which helps control appetite and build muscle mass. Nuts also contain: folate, which not only helps maintain a healthy brain but is critical to pregnant women; magnesium, which helps your nerves, along with maintaining the calcium-potassium balance in your body; and L-arginine, an amino acid that helps relax blood vessels, making them less prone to blood clots.
Although nuts are about 80% fat, it’s healthy unsaturated fat, which helps lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels. They are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which—among other benefits—can prevent the dangerous heart rhythms that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
So what type of nuts should you eat? Any and all, including walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, and peanuts (which are actually a ground nut, but confer the same benefits as their tree-born cousins).
The studies also found it doesn’t take much to reap the benefits: less than a handful a day will do it.
For more specifics on this and other health issues, consult your concierge medical physicians at MD 2.0 in Jupiter, FL.