6 studies on the benefits of nuts
Benefits of nuts can’t be denied. Numerous studies have shown how good nuts are for health. From a healthy heart to a keen memory: in every area, they seem to bring benefits. We have listed the six most fascinating studies for you.
1. Help to live longer
In 2013, scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health researched the health effects of nuts. For this, they studied the data of 120,000 people who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Physicians Health Study. They had to answer questions about their diet for 30 years. Eventually, all participants were divided into categories: from those who never ate nuts to those who consumed them more than seven times.
Eventually, they discovered that daily nut eaters were at less risk of premature death due to cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases. They were 20% less likely to die earlier than those who never ate nuts — moreover, the more nuts someone ate, the lower his or her risk of early death.
2. Nuts strengthen the brain
Researchers in Spain assume that the consumption of nuts in addition to a Mediterranean diet can protect the cognitive functioning of older adults. A Mediterranean diet is based on mainly vegetable products, fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
155 participants followed a Mediterranean diet for which extra olive oil was added. The remaining 147 people received 30 grams of nuts daily as a supplement to the food. Cognitive changes were then measured with them using neuropsychological tests that focused on memory and recognition.
In the end, the participants who had eaten nuts turned out to perform better on memory tests. They were also stronger in remembering names and words.
3. Nuts lower the risk of cancer
Eating nuts reveal the risk of dying due to cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Researchers analysed more than 7,000 people between the ages of 55 and 90 and found that those who consumed 28 grams of nuts more than three times a week were 40 per cent less likely to die due to cancer than non-nut eaters. Also, their overall mortality probability was 39 per cent lower. In walnut eaters, this risk was even reduced by 45%.
4. Nuts reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
Recently scientists have investigated the effect of nuts on cardiovascular health. For this, they studied more than 210,000 people who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study. They were divided into two groups. They were followed for 32 years and asked to provide information about their health and lifestyle. What turned out? Those who consumed more nuts were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Walnuts, in particular, proved to be effective. Participants who ate walnuts two or three times a week ran 19 per cent less risk of cardiovascular disease and were 21 per cent less likely to have coronary heart disease. For tree nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts, these percentages were 15 and 23 per cent respectively.
5. Nuts help against overweight
Researchers at the University of Navarra have studied the effect of nuts on body weight. For this, they asked 8,865 people to fill in questionnaires about their diet for 28 months. In the end, participants who ate at least two nuts a week were found to have a lower risk of weight gain than those who hardly ate nuts. They arrived on average 424 grams more.
6. Nuts help with inflammation
Last year scientists studied the relationship between nut consumption and inflammation. Inflammation plays a significant role in the development of cardiovascular diseases and types 2 diabetes. For their studies, the team studied more than 120,000 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study and 50.00 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. They were interrogated regarding their dietary patterns and well-being.Blood was also collected in which the scientists focused on the CRP value, or ‘C-reactive protein’, and the IL6 level.
These are substances that are produced by the body in response to inflammation. Eventually, the researchers discovered that those who consumed five or more servings of nuts per week had a lower CRP and IL6 value than those who hardly ate nuts. Also, the replacement of red meat and eggs for nuts proved to be advantageous.