According to the Nurses' Health study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (November 21, 2013, people who ate the most nuts (seven or more times per week) had the lowest risk of premature death. The study included 76,000 women and 42,000 men. Nuts are rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Nuts also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Nuts contains the minerals magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc needed for strong bones, immunity, energy production, and preventing inflammation. Inflammation is related to most chronic diseases but has direct links to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The Nurses' Health study also found that those that consumed the highest amount of nuts per week had significantly less inflammation than those that consumed the lowest.
The best value for your money are almonds and walnuts. Almonds are high in calcium and walnuts are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. Grab a handful (about a quarter of a cup) every day for the health benefits. Add them to oatmeal, baking, or trail mixes.
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Kendall CW, Esfahani A, Truan J, et al. Health benefits of nuts in prevention and management of diabetes. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2010;19:110-116.
Li TY, Brennan AM, Wedick NM, et al. Regular consumption of nuts is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in women with type 2 diabetes. J Nutr 2009;139:1333-1338.