The magic potion that prolongs our lifetime exists only in fairy tales and Hollywood movies, but it doesn’t mean we’re powerless. A healthy lifestyle characterized by regular physical activity and a well-balanced diet is a great way to live longer and fend off numerous diseases. Well-balanced diet dictates consumption of a variety of foods as they deliver different nutrients and while you’re upping the intake of foods and vegetables, don’t underestimate the powerful effects of nuts as well. In fact, a growing body of evidence confirms that consumption of nuts has a positive impact on your health, but the most recent study found more benefits.
Consumption of Nuts and Your Health
The study was carried out by Dagfinn Aune and a team of researchers at the Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The motivation for the research was the fact that although the intake of nuts has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, the info about less common cause of death and nut consumption is limited. The primary objective was to analyze the relationship between nuts intake and risk of total cancer, cardiovascular disease, cause-specific and total cause mortality.
For the purpose of the research, scientists searched the Embase and PubMed for studies that involved the parameters they wanted to investigate in a relation to eating nuts regularly. After the completion of the research stage, 29 studies from different parts of the world were evaluated. These published works included about 819,000 participants of which:
- 12,000 had coronary heart disease
- 9,000 had stroke
- 18,000 had cardiovascular disease and cancer
- 85,000 people died
Results, published in the journal BMC Medicine, showed that higher nut intake reduced the coronary heart disease risk by 24%, stroke by 11%, cardiovascular disease by 19%, total cancer risk by 18% and all-cause mortality by 19%. In the dose-response analysis, eating about 20g of nuts a day decreases risks of these health problems by 29%, 7%, 21%, 15%, and 22% respectively. This means that not only your cardiovascular health improves significantly when you eat nuts on a daily basis, but you also cut the risk of premature death.
It is also important to mention that eating 20g of nuts a day decreased the risk of dying from the respiratory disease by a half and diabetes by 40%. What’s more, even though populations included in this research varied, benefits of eating nuts still stayed the same.
The co-author of the study, Dagfinn Aune, explained that there is a constant decline in risk factors across multiple diseases, which is a strong indicator that the relationship between eating nuts and positive health outcomes is real.
Surprisingly, the study analyzed all types of tree nuts e.g. hazelnuts and walnuts, but it also involved peanuts which are legumes and discovered that results were similar, regardless of the type of nuts.
Consumption of Nuts and Cancer
This isn’t the first study which focused on the amazing benefits of eating nuts. For example, scientists at the Mayo Clinic conducted a thorough review of 36 studies and discovered that eating nuts regularly reduces risks of certain cancers. Their findings, published in the Nutrition Reviews, revealed that nut intake lowered chances of colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
Scientists recommend that individuals who want to modify their diet and reduce the risk of developing these types of cancers should include nuts into the menu. Of course, the consumption of nuts should be moderate due to the fat content.
The most recent study only confirmed the growing body of evidence showing that eating nuts on a daily basis has a positive impact on health outcomes. Not only you can improve heart health and decrease the risk of numerous diseases, but eating 20g of nuts a day helps you live longer at the same time.