A handful of walnuts daily could ward off chronic diseases

A handful of walnuts daily could ward off chronic diseases

Study suggests nuts can help you live LONGER

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How long we live comes down to several factors. While some are out of our control, there are things we can do to make healthier lifestyle choices that impact longevity. One such choice is diet.

According to research shared by California Walnuts, eating walnuts as a daily snack is a proven way to boost your health and potentially live longer.

As part of the ongoing Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, scientists reviewed 20 years of diet history and 30 years of physical and clinical measurements of more than 3,300 people.

They found participants who ate walnuts early on in life showed a greater likelihood for being more physically active, having a higher quality diet, and experiencing a better heart disease risk profile as they aged.

Lead researcher on CARDIA, Lyn Steffen, said: “Walnut eaters seem to have a unique body phenotype that carries with it other positive impacts on health like better diet quality, especially when they start eating walnuts from young into middle adulthood – as risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes elevates.”

In a more recent study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases, it was theorised that this could be due to the unique combination of nutrients found in walnuts and their effect on health outcomes.

Using data from the CARDIA study, the team compared data on 3,000 people who were categorised as either “walnut consumers,” “other nut consumers,” or “no nut consumers.”

Average intake of walnuts during the study was about 21 grams a day, and intake of nuts among other nut consumers was about 42.5g a day.

Overall, the researchers reported the following results for walnut consumers compared to the other groups:

  • Higher self-reported physical activity scores
  • Better heart disease risk profile
  • Less weight gain over the study period, and fewer participants who ate walnuts were classified as people with obesity
  • Significantly lower fasting blood glucose concentrations.

The study concluded: “Study findings that walnut and other nut consumption was associated with better cardiovascular disease risk factors and diet quality aligns with the 2020–2025 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendation to consume nuts, such as walnuts, within the context of a healthy diet.

“Our study findings support the health claim to include walnuts as part of a healthy diet by adding the observation of a more favourable risk profile after 30 years of follow-up, a duration that cannot be addressed in randomised control test designs.

“In addition, our findings are consistent with and add a long-term dimension to the 2020–25 DGA to consume a variety of protein sources, including nuts in a healthy eating pattern, and to replace saturated fat with other fats, including those from nuts and olive oil.”

Walnuts contain significant amounts of the plant-based essential omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, which research shows may play a role in heart health, brain health and healthy ageing.

They contain 4.4g of protein and 1.4g of fibre per 30g.

Further to this they are filled with other nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate and potassium.

They also contain thiamin, zinc, pantothenic acid and iron.

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