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Daily Handful of Nuts Cuts Risk of Many Diseases

Daily Handful of Nuts Cuts Risk of Many Diseases

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By    |   Monday, 05 December 2016 11:39 AM


Eating just a handful of nuts a day can cut your risk of many diseases, including heart disease and cancer, says a study from Imperial College London that examined 20 published studies.


Researchers found that 20 grams a day, the equivalent of a handful of nuts or about half an ounce, cuts the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 30 percent.


The news for respiratory disease is even better — nuts cut the risk of dying from respiratory disease in half and lower the risk of diabetes by 40 percent.


The same handful of nuts also reduces the risk of premature death by 22 percent and cancer risk by 15 percent.


"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," said study co-author Dagfinn Aune. "It's quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food."


The study included all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazel nuts and walnuts and also included peanuts, which are actually legumes. The results were similar whether total nut intake was from tree nuts or peanuts.


Aune says the benefits come from the nutritional value of nuts. "Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, 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."


A study published last year in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that an even smaller amount of nuts daily — at least 10 grams (about two teaspoons) — lower the risk of dying from seven major causes of death an average of 23 percent when compared to people who eat nut-free diets.

One way nuts may improve health is by lowering inflammation in the body, according to a recent study. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital found that people who had a higher intake of nuts had lower levels of biomarkers for inflammation.


The team assessed diet using questionnaires, and also measured three well-established biomarkers of inflammation: C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL6) and tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2).


They found that participants who had consumed five or more servings of nuts per week had lower levels of CRP and IL6 than those who never or almost never ate nuts.
 

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Eating just a handful of nuts a day can cut your risk of many diseases, including heart disease and cancer, says a study from Imperial College London that examined 20 published studies. Researchers found that 20 grams a day, the equivalent of a handful of nuts or about half...
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2016-39-05
Monday, 05 December 2016 11:39 AM
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