Nuts - The amazing health benefits of this delicious snack

By Jake Biggs, Nutrition Longevity

What are nuts?

Nuts is actually considered some fruit! Composed of an inedible hard shell as well as a seed, which is typically edible. Nuts are widely used in cooking or eaten whole as a snack or part of a meal.

What are widely used popular nuts to consume?

• Almonds

• Brazil nut

• Cashew

• Chestnut

• Hazelnut

• Macadamia

• Peanut

• Pecan

• Pine nut

• Pistachio

• Walnut

Are there health benefits of eating nuts?

Yes – Absolutely! Nuts are excellent sources of protein, dietary fibre, healthy fats (omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids), vitamins and minerals.

What is evidence based articles pertaining to the consumption of nuts in relation to health and preventing illnesses/medical conditions?

1. Weight maintenance: Previous studies have hypothesized the consumption of nuts leading to onset of weight gain and potential obesity. However, A meta-analysis of 33 randomised controlled trials pertaining to the consumption of nuts on adiposity measures (body weight, body mass index & waist circumference) found that the consumption of nuts did not substantially affect weight loss or weight gain.

2. Longevity: Individuals who consume nuts live longer that individuals that do not, this is due to the consumption of nuts having the potential to prevent onset of chronic disease.

3. Reduction of chronic diseases: Consumption of nuts can reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and elevated cholesterol levels) and certain cancers (pancreatic cancer, colorectal and endometrial cancer).

4. Blood sugar management: Eating nuts (due there healthy micronutrient/macronutrient profile) can improve in the maintenance of blood glucose levels.

5. Blood clotting: Consumption of nuts has been linked to reduced risk of developing blood clots, which can cause the onset of a heart attack and potential death.

6. Anti-inflammatory: Nuts have a fantastic dietary fat ratio (high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) which reduces chronic and acute inflammation in the body.

7. Weight loss: Recent evidence suggests that the consumption of nuts may assist in weight loss. Nuts have a relatively high caloric density, however research illustrates that the body does not absorb all the calories, as a section of fat stays entrapped within the nuts fibrous wall during the digestive process. So it is essentially, the body not absorbing all the calories from nuts.

8. Nutrient dense rich food: Nuts are packed with micronutrients and are highly nutritious. For example, just ONE Brazil nut provides more than 100% of the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council recommended daily intake (RDI) of the micronutrient Selenium.

As a nutritional medicine practitioner, I strongly advocate the consumption of nuts as a nutrient dense snack for all of my clients. When consuming in moderation, evidence points to the amazing health benefits of this nutrient rich food! This is further extremely beneficial with clients complaining of ravenous appetites, with implementing nuts in the diet; I have seen anecdotal evidence of a large decrease in appetite with further assisting weight management.