Eating A Handful Of Nuts May Prevent Major Diseases

Posted: Dec 5 2016, 8:46am CST | by , Updated: Dec 5 2016, 8:51am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
Eating a Handful of Nuts may Prevent Major Diseases
Credit: Eisenhut and Mayer Wien
 

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New research suggests that consuming at least 20 grams of nuts or peanuts per day is associated with a lower risk of premature death from cancer, diabetes and other diseases

Nuts are more than just a tasty snack. All nuts are enriched with different nutritious credentials and can offer some serious health benefits.

According to a new research, eating at least 20 grams of nuts per day may reduce the risk of dying from a wide range of diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

To arrive at the conclusion, researchers from Imperial College London and Norwegian University of Science and Technology looked at the data of 29 published studies, involving up to 819,000 participants. Those studies also included cancer, stroke and heart disease patients.

Researchers found that nut consumption was associated with a reduction in disease risk irrespective of the participant’s gender, age and region they belong to.

“In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we're starting to see data for other diseases,” said co-author Dagfinn Aune from Imperial College University.

“We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It’s a quite substantial effect for such a small amount of food.”

Cardiovascular disease and cancer are two of the most common causes of premature deaths worldwide, accounting for up to 25 million deaths in 2013. Eating nut can cut the risk of developing coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent, the risk of cancer by 15 percent and the risk of premature death by 22 percent from any cause.

Researchers suggest that the results were similar for tree nuts like, such as hazelnuts and walnuts and also peanuts, which are actually legumes.

“Nuts and peanuts are high in fiber, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats - nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels,” said Aune.

“Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk. Even though, nuts are quite high in fats, they are also high in fiber and protein and there is some evidence that suggest nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time.”

Next, researchers are planning to analyze large published datasets related to other foods like fruits and vegetables. So, they can determine their impact on a wide range of diseases.

The study was published in BMC Medicine.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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