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Health Tips

Go Nuts for Health – The Latest Research

By 18/06/2012 No Comments

Nuts are packed full of beneficial nutrients for good health, including a broad range of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Whether it’s almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts, enjoying one to two handfuls of nuts a day as part of a healthy diet can help to protect your heart, may help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and manage your weight.

New research continues to reveal the wide-ranging health benefits of regularly eating nuts. Here’s the latest nutty nutrition news from around the globe:

Swap It – Switch Your Protein To Protect Against Stroke

New US research has shown swapping red meat for alternate sources of protein such as nuts, chicken and fish may reduce your risk of stroke.

The study, by Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, followed 84 010 women aged 30 to 55 years and 43 150 men aged 40 to 75 years without diagnosed cancer, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease for more than two decades. The researchers assessed their diet examining the link between the type of protein they ate and incidence of stroke.1

After 26 years of following the women and 22 years of following the men, the researchers found those who ate more red meat had a higher risk of stroke, while those who ate more nuts had a lower risk of stroke.

Researchers concluded swapping red meat with other sources of protein may reduce the risk of stroke. In fact they estimated swapping one serve of red meat (85g) a day with 30g of nuts could lower your risk of stroke by 17 per cent. Similarly swapping with poultry lead to 27 percent lower risk, fish 17 percent lower risk and low-fat dairy by 11 per cent. So start swapping.

Skins and All

New research from Turkey has shown it’s important to eat hazelnuts with the skins.

Testing on dry roasted hazelnuts showed a decrease in antioxidants, phenolic profiles and antioxidant capacity as the skins fell off as part of the roasting process.2 The skins of hazelnuts are a rich source of phenolics, compounds found in plants that have antioxidant activity and also a rich source of fibre.

So with the Australian hazelnut season in full swing, now’s the perfect time to buy fresh Hazelnuts. And when enjoying a handful, whether natural or dry roasted, make sure you eat your hazelnuts skins and all, for an antioxidant and fibre boost.

Go for 2 + 5 + a Handful for Vascular Health

Research by the national University of Singapore3 has shown a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts and fish may improve endothelial function. The endothelium is a thin layer of cells that lines the inner surface of all blood vessels, from the heart to the smallest capillaries helping to keep the blood vessels wall elastic. Loss of endothelial function can develop into vascular diseases and the progression of atherosclerosis – the thickening of the artery walls and narrowing of the blood vessel, due to the accumulation of fatty material such as cholesterol <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholesterol> .

So go for 2 + 5 + a handful or two – two serves of fruit, five serves of veggies and a handful or two of nuts a day.

Emerging Research – Nuts and Cancer

Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry have reviewed the potential impact of nuts on cancer prevention.4

Nuts contain a number of anti-cancer compounds and emerging research shows they may also have chemopreventive action, especially on colorectal and prostate cancer.

Chemoprevention is the use of chemical compounds to interfere early stages of cancer and tumor development. Some of the most promising chemoprevention compounds are found in nuts, fruit and vegetables.

Further research is needed to accurately assess the link between nut consumption and cancer risk reduction.

What we do know is that by enjoying a healthy diet including fruit, vegetables and nuts, being physically active every day and maintaining a healthy body weight, you can lower your risk of developing cancer.

Issued on behalf of Nuts for Life