Health Benefits of Nuts. The Search For The Next Superfood Holy Grail:
So, ever since the beginning, HT has been about finding that extra hack that can help a lot if done consistently over time. Maybe even change your life.
And nowhere is that quest more symbolized than the hunt for the elusive Superfood.
They may seem like nothing more than drug-like hopes pinned on weird foods, but with things like blueberries & broccoli, the power of selective-nutrition grows as science progresses.
Well, another chapter of that quest looks like it might possibly be opening for another food…
Yes, It’s Good News, But Don’t Go Nuts Yet:
-With some qualifications.
But according to a recent study and one in 2015, Nuts might just be the next addition to the Superfoods family.
Researchers from the UK, US, and Norway went back and looked at the results from 20 different studies which all concerned themselves with people’s dietary intake.
And what they found was that people who ate nuts regularly were healthier and more disease-free.
Impressive But Modest Percentages:
More-specifically, the subjects had about:
1) A 30% reduced risk for heart disease
2) A 20% reduced-risk for cardiovascular disease
3) And about a 15% reduced-risk for cancer
On a few odder-notes, they also had about:
4) A 50% reduced risk for respiratory diseases
5) 40% less risk of [probably Type 2] diabetes
6) About a 75% reduction in infectious diseases
The Bad. Confounding-Factors In Dosage:
Weirder-yet was the trend in Dosage.
Most of the health-benefits were associated with people who ate roughly 1-1.5 ounces of nuts per day.
–But there was Not An Increased Reduction Of Symptoms in people who ate More than that.
The Ugly. Other Confounding-Factors:
The U. Maastricht study showed nut intake more associated with fruit & veg intake, education, exercise, lower BMI & less associated with smoking.
So, it’s then possible that nut consumption is just a more-probable-habit of people who have already healthy lifestyles. And people who have unhealthy lifestyles might be less-likely to experience a noticeable positive impact.
There is also an element of Innacurracy in the studies.
Because most normal people don’t weigh their nuts, they estimate. So 1.5 ounces is a guess.
Peanut Butter consumption was also ruled-out of the 20 study survey because it normally has added sugars and trans-fats.
At least for the 9 US Studies from the survey, there have been some allegations of industry conflict-of-interest.
And lastly, some commenters have pointed out that for people over a certain age, consuming Nuts & Popcorn brings a potential risk of unpleasant GI problems.
That being said,…
All nuts are all a great source of: Protein, Healhty-Fats, Fiber, Copper, Vitamin E, Folate, Magnesium & Arginine.
But certain varieties have more focused comparative benefits.
- Almonds: Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin E, Flavonoids in skins
- Brazils: Selenium
- Cashews: Magnesium, Iron, Zinc
- Chestnuts: Starch, Fiber, B Vitamins, Low in Fat & Carbs
- Hazelnuts: Folate
- Macadamias: Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Fats
- Peanuts: Folate
- Pecans: Plant Sterols, Antioxidants, Oleic Acid, B3
- Pistachios: B6, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Potassium, Fiber
- Walnuts: Antioxidants, Fats, Omega3
Another study ranked them in-terms of health benefits:
- Walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios are equally effective.
- Almonds are almost as good.
- Pecans & Macadamias ranked a little lower because of their higher fat-content.
Still other studies have said almost any are good, including the lowly peanut.
One More Light At The End Of The Tunnel:
Not only that, there’s one more positive: The King Of Micronutrients, Dr. Joel Fuhrman.
He’s made up a list of foods that can save your life, called GBOMBS.
Greens, Beans, Onions+Garlic, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds. -Nuts are also included in the Seeds category.
And if anyone knows all about the 100s of little-studied beneficial micronutrients in all different kinds of foods, it’s Dr. Fuhrman.
From the steroids in Spinach, the specific chemicals in blueberries, and the compounds in Broccoli that reverse aging, Joel is the guy.
So even though there are many potential confounding issues and a lack of increased-benefits, with increased-dosage, if he believes they’re worth it we should be willing to take his word for it.
• Source: NHS UK
• Source Studies:
• BMCMed-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
• IJE-Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality: a cohort study and meta-analysis