Cut your cancer risk! Lose weight! Meals taste better! Is there anything nuts can’t do? You’d be crazy not to eat nuts regularly – unless of course you are allergic. Scientists have known for a while that almonds, walnuts, pistachios and more are a healthful addition to your diet. But recent research shows that eating nuts daily offers a bounty of benefits. Here’s why you should aim for a handful a day. 1. You May Live Longer – People who ate at least 20 grams of nuts per day (about a handful) were 22 percent less likely to die prematurely, according to a 2016 review article published in BMC Medicine. 2. You May Help Your Heart - People who ate the most nuts had nearly a one-third decreased risk of having coronary heart disease and a 21 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with people who ate little to no nuts, according to the same 2016 review. Researchers say that the high levels of fibre, polyunsaturated fats and magnesium may all contribute to lower cholesterol and improved heart health. 3. You May Cut Your Cancer Risk – Study participants who popped a handful of nuts or more daily had a 15 percent lower risk of developing cancer compared with those who ate the least, according to the same study. This may be because of the high levels of cell-protecting antioxidants in nuts. 4. You May Weigh Less – Nuts have calories, but they also have fibre, protein and fat which can help curb your appetite. When researchers put overweight adults on a diet, people whose plan included almonds lost more weight and kept it off for longer compared with those who ate more carbs, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Meatabolic Disorders. 5. You May Deter Diabetes – Many studies show that people who eat more nuts have less risk of diabetes. But researchers now say that nuts may even help prevent people with prediabetes from developing into the disease’s full-blown version. When adults who had prediabetes added 2 ounces (a heaping handful) of pistachios to their daily diets their levels of insulin resistance improved, according to a 2014 study from Spain. 6. You May Enjoy Your Food More – They are the flavour, texture and extra something many foods need. Throw some peanut butter in oatmeal or a smoothie and breakfast is no longer boring. Use almond meal with a few spices and a pinch of salt in place of breadcrumbs for the best chicken fingers ever. Toss a handful of toasted walnuts or pistachios in a salad to add crunch. Nuts are your allies, both in terms of the nutritios and the delicious. See: http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/6-reasons-to-eat-nuts for the full article.
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