Nuts are often deemed a high power brain food, thanks to their Omega 3 fatty acids, but new research suggests that a handful of nuts a day might do more than just keep the brain sharp. In a long term study, individuals who ate one ounce of nuts daily were connected with a longer lifespan and lower risk of disease.
This finding makes sense from what we already know about the nutrient rich food, which is high in protein and fiber. Other studies have reported similar conclusions, but the size and timeframe of this particular study gives a great boost of support to the earlier research.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School evaluated the death rates of more than 118,000 people, both men and women. Those participants who reported eating more nuts had decreased risk of disease, especially cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases. Compared to people who never ate nuts, those who consumed nuts 7+ times a week experienced a 20% lower death rate after 4 years.
The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation helped fund the study, but had no involvement in the study or the report.
What to Eat
Nuts can help lower cholesterol and stop the development of artery plaques which cause heart disease, so on your next stop to the store, you might want to pick some up. Walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts are just a few of the different kinds of nuts available.
Though the fat content in nuts is extremely high, Mayo Clinic states that the healthy fats and other nutritional benefits make them a healthy substitute for saturated fats like those found in meat and dairy products. Still, it’s important not to over-indulge because even a few ounces of nuts contains a very high number of calories.
Preventing disease with diet is not a new concept; many different foods have been touted as “superfoods” or “brain foods”, which can help you prevent mental decline. Read more about how eating a healthy diet can affect your brain and heart or learn ways to eat to help prevent dementia.