UNLESS you’re a squirrel with an allergy, here’s some great news: eating nuts every day can help you live longer! Just a handful every day could substantially lower the risk of early death, according to research in Holland. It’s been known for a while that eating nuts is good for keeping your heart healthy, but this is the first research to look specifically at how nuts can combat diseases.
The 10-year study of more than 120,000 Dutch people showed that among people who ate at least 10g (that’s 0.3oz) of nuts a day there was a 23 per cent lower chance of early death.
The premature mortality risk due to cancer, diabetes, respiratory and neurodegenerative diseases was lower among the nut consumers.
The Maastricht University research also showed that among nut eaters there was a decrease of:
45% for neurodegenerative disease
39% for respiratory disease
30% for diabetes
Prof Piet van den Brandt, who led the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, said: “It was remarkable that substantially lower mortality was already observed at consumption levels of 15g of nuts or peanuts on average per day.”
The researchers took account the mitigating factor that nut consumers ate more fruit and vegetables and that women who ate nuts were often leaner, and adjusted the results accordingly.
The research, only recently published, supports an earlier study in America which found that eating 28g of nuts seven or more times per week was associated with a 20% reduced risk of death.
Previous studies have also found that increased nut intake was associated with a reduced risk of several diseases (including type 2 diabetes mellitus, colon cancer, high blood pressure and diverticulitis), and that nut consumption has been linked to reductions in various risk factors for chronic diseases.
By the way, there’s no benefit in eating peanut butter, which is high in salt and trans fats.