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Take a Page from the Squirrel's Book…

Written by S.O.

Posted on June 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm

Ever wonder how squirrels are able to remain so hyper? Or why they have such an obsession with hoarding their nuts? Your questions have been answered and the statistics are out – nuts have been linked to longevity. Those squirrels were up to something.

New research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that nuts have been linked to a longer life span, having the ability to ward of many life-threatening diseases. The study was conducted in the Netherlands, using a sample size of 12,000 adults ranging from the ages of 55-69.

Specifically, the study pinpointed certain diseases and their prevalence in people who consumed nuts. The results showed that those who ate a substantial amount of tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews, as well as peanuts, had a slimmer likelihood of dying from diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Unfortunately for peanut-butter fiends, peanut butter consumption did not have any correlation with longevity and warding off life-threatening illnesses. Nutritionists speculate that the reason for this is that condensing peanuts at a high temperature strips the nut of its healthy properties. Unfortunately even natural peanut butters and almond butters do not have the same health boosting effects as the raw nuts. Sorry peanut butter lovers…

In terms of the healthiest nuts, nutritionist Gina Keatley recommends opting for almonds, cashews, and pistachios because they have fewer calories. Pecans and macadamia nuts have the highest fat content and calories, so eat those in moderation.

The only downfall to nuts is that it is quite easy to eat too many nuts. Often, a serving of nuts is a very small portion. Think only 36 peanuts for 170 + calories. Because they are so small and nutrient packed, it is easy to go a little overboard and consume beyond the recommended serving size. Again, Keatley recommends pistachios because the cracking process is time-consuming and will slow you down. But don’t worry, you can’t OD on nuts.

Three Types of Wonderful Nuts

Breaking apart each nut (pun intended), they all have different health benefits, so try to consume a variety of different types.

Pecans have been linked to reducing a variety of diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and vision loss. According to the USDA, pecans contain vitamin A, E, calcium, potassium and zinc. Pecans are ranked amongst the top 20 foods for antioxidant capacity.

Love your Hazelnut coffee in the morning? Hazelnuts are an amazing source of copper, magnesium, thiamin, and vitamin E. Hazelnuts protect heart health and are believed to be an anti-inflammatory.

Brazil nuts are the largest of the nuts. Its enormous size packs antioxidants and one serving contains eight times the selenium you need in one day. Besides selenium, brazil nuts also contain phosphorus, copper and manganese.

Next time you are hunting for a healthy snack, take a page from the squirrel’s book and try some nuts. They’re power-packed with antioxidants and just may lead to a longer life.

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