Nutty people aren’t really nuts after all. They’re just consuming pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts in steady helpings, perhaps because they’ve figured out the significant benefits of a true health dynamo.
According to a new 30-year Harvard study that tracked 119,000 participants, both male and female, nut eaters showed a staggering advantage over those participants who never ate nuts: They were 20 percent less likely to die.
Though many of us are aware of the heart-health benefits of nuts, the striking news from this latest study is that the actual risk of dying from heart disease plunged by a whopping 29 percent. Unsurprisingly, the researchers found a correlation between the consumption of nuts and the risk of death. Cancer death rates also fell by an astounding 11 percent for those participants who consumed nuts seven or more times each week compared to participants who never ate them.
Considering that this is the largest study conducted to determine the mortality rate of nut eaters versus nut avoiders, we want to understand what these results say about the intrinsic medicinal value of this magical food.
But researchers offered no explanations other than the raw data—cause and effect were not established. Why? Because who knows how the nuts are most often consumed. Do nut eaters eat nuts on salads, in nuts bars, or in creamy and nutritious nut butters and fruit smoothies? Are nut eaters less likely to drive through the Golden Arches or hit the couch with a sugary soda and a sack of Doritos? Do nuts promote a healthier lifestyle overall?
The study did in fact show that the nut-eating group stayed slimmer, exercised more often and engaged in less smoking. Even a modest increase in nuts seems to have shown extremely positive results.
Weekly Consumption Decreased Risk Of Death:
- 7 or more times: 20%
- 2-4 times: 13%
- 1 time: 11%
- less than once: 7%
You can read the full study, led by Dr. Ying Bao and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
While you’re reconsidering your diet, make sure to think about the health benefits detailed in another recent and positive study on the Mediterranean diet. It, too, was shown to lower the risk of heart-related problems.
Eat healthy. And remember the honeybees because they support us by pollinating nut trees and every third bite of our food supply. We’d go nuts without them.
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