Medical researchers around the globe have known for a long time that the benefits of eating nuts are numerous: nuts have been shown to improve blood cholesterol, reduce
inflammation and oxidative stress, improve circulation and stabilize blood glucose levels.
But did you know that eating nuts can also lower your cancer, heart disease and even diabetes risks?
In a nutrition trial conducted by PREDIMED, people who ate nuts (particularly walnuts and almonds) at least three times a week reduced their risk of death by heart disease by 55% and their risk of death by cancer by 40%—incredible numbers for just a few handfuls of nuts a week.
So how can a little old nut be such a powerful weapon against deadly medical conditions like cancer and heart disease?
According to the PREDIMED study, nuts are particularly protective because they are rich in fats and vitamins associated with a wide array of health benefits: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phenolic acids and other phytochemicals (plant chemicals). All of these properties have been shown to keep the heart healthy and the body cancer-free.
So which nuts are the best nuts?
The PERIMED researchers conclude that walnuts are most effective when it comes to combating cancer and heart disease. This is because walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid—an especially potent phytochemical. Also, since the skin of nuts typically have the highest concentration of phytochemicals, and walnuts are typically eaten with their skin, eating walnuts leads to a higher consumption of phytochemicals.
So how does eating more nuts relate to quitting smoking?
If you are a smoker, or have recently quit, then you know that both your heart disease and cancer risks are high. Nuts, then, can assist you on your path back to health—
Quitting smoking is, of course, the best way to cut your cancer and heart disease risks, but eating nuts will help you with those risks even more. So make like a squirrel—and eat more nuts!
Do you think nuts can really cut your heart disease and cancer risks by almost half? Are you interested in learning more about the health benefits of nuts (and healthy eating in general)? We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, so don’t forget to like us on Facebook/3WeekQuitSmokingChallenge. And if you want to give us a shout-out, let the world know via Twitter/YourLifePower!