Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

The Perks of Going Nutty

almond-pistachiosI never realized that nuts were so good for us. But those pistachios, almonds, peanuts and co. really want to help us out. According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, people who eat a handful of nuts every day are 20% less likely to die from chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease. The span of the research is very impressive and encouraging, with 118,000 people who ate nuts seven or more times a week being followed over the course of thirty years, the results finding that their chances of dying from any such cause were reduced by the aforementioned twenty percent. But wait! There’s more: the study also showed nuts to lower cholesterol, oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance. And we’re talking about any kind of nut here; apparently our bodies do not have a preference.

The thing that drives some people to avoid eating nuts is the amount of fat they contain-an ounce of them carries 160 to 200 calories with it, many of these derived from fat. The good news is that although nuts are high in fat, they’re high in the good kind of fat, and studies have found that people who eat a daily handful seem to be losing weight rather than gaining it, leading to speculation that nuts may be having a positive affect on our metabolisms. Other lifestyle considerations may be influencing this of course, but research seems to have been pretty consistent on the issue.

The recommended nut dose is one serving a day, something around 18 cashews or 24 almonds. As a huge fan of pistachios myself, reading about the healthiness of nut consumption has rekindled my desire to spend some time with them on a more regular basis. Nuts are also an excellent source of protein that can help to replace the loss of protein that comes with eating less meat.

What’s your favorite nut? If it would help to hear a list of different kinds, you might want to check out the video below.

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