A handful of nuts a day slashes the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases according to scientists worldwide who continue to research the link between health and nut consumption..
In 2016, researchers from the UK and Norway published an article, “Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause- specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies” (D. Aune, N. Keum, et al,) They analyzed 20 scientific studies to help identify gaps in knowledge as well as to further strengthen results. Their findings were reported in the journal BMC Medicine. The research showed that a handful of nuts (20 grams) eaten daily can decrease the risk of heart disease by 30%, and the risk of cancer by 15%. The nuts included in the studies were walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, Brazil nuts and peanuts. Interestingly, peanuts decreased the risk of stroke death by 35%.
The study raises the question that if consumption of nuts actually decreases the risk of the mentioned diseases in the studied areas, then “1.19 million deaths due to coronary heart disease, 469,000 deaths due to cancer, 1.07 million deaths due to respiratory disease, and 139,000 deaths due to diabetes may be attributable to a nut intake below 20 grams per day.”
Nuts’ Positive effects
According to the authors, there are several reasons why nuts appear to have such a positive effect on disease occurrence and death. Nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Research has indicated that these nutrients have a very positive impact on cholesterol levels and insulin. Other chemicals found in nuts decrease cancer cell multiplication and movement.
Besides the health impact of nuts, they are easily accessible in local stores and reasonably priced. A pound of nuts, with a cost of $20, with 454 grams in a pound, works out to be approximately 23 servings of 20 grams each, with a daily cost of less than 90 cents, to reap the positive effect of nut consumption. They are also tasty.
One local purveyor is the Bassett Nut Company located at 6210 Merger Drive in Holland. Their phone number is 419-866-7500 and their hours of operation are Monday – Friday 8:30 – 5:00 pm with special Saturday hours in December.
In discussion with Mr. Larry Robbins, V.P. of Sales, I learned that while Bassett Nut happily sells to the public, the majority of their business is corporate food gifts, providing customers, other businesses and employees with healthy snacks. According to Mr. Robbins the latest trend in the nut business, in the corporate sector, is a movement toward healthier options. Sales of raw nuts and non-salted nuts has increased.
Consider eating a handful of nuts a day to improve your health.