In the Sunday paper yesterday I came across a headline from the Associated Press proclaiming, “Researchers link eating nuts to good health, low death risks.” Sigh. I wonder how much that project cost us when common sense costs nothing?
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;” Proverbs 2:6
Here we have yet another study professing shock that a food supposedly bad for us at one time, actually holds beneficial nutritional value. The study goes on to report that 119,000 people who ate nuts practically every day had a 20% less percentage of dying of any disease than those who avoided nuts. Those participating found heart disease dropped 29% and cancer risk 11%.
This was true of any variety of nut they tested; almonds, pistachios, walnuts, even peanuts. It didn’t however test how they were prepared, meaning salted, oiled, raw or roasted. If that important factor had been added to the equation, I believe results might have been decidedly higher. Peanuts eaten dry-roasted would likely yield a different result than consuming typical peanut butter with hydrogenated oil.
A bonus was that the study’s participants actually remained thinner!
Since I seem to be developing a theme lately regarding false claims about wholesome foods, I thought I’d clear up some confusion about the lowly nut. (and no, I’m not talkin’ about your Uncle Sal)
Unbelievably this article actually stated: “Researchers don’t know why nuts may boost health . . .” but went on to inform us of the cholesterol and inflammation lowering hypotheses found in other studies as well. My goodness, researcher, non-celebrity, nutritionist me, could have advised them why nuts are beneficial to health. How many other costly studies do we need, in order to know basic nutritional science?!
Want to know a few reasons why nuts are beneficial? Here’s why:
Nuts contain magnesium, an essential nutrient needed for enzyme activity. Enzymes are necessary for all metabolic properties. Magnesium, also used in conjunction with calcium and potassium, regulate heart function.
Nuts are high in vitamin E which of course protects against artery damaging heart disease.
Nuts have blood thinning properties which assists in preventing blood clots, making your blood more elastic, thus cutting down on heart disease.
Nuts also contain alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-tocopherol, two 50 cent words which reduces the risk of coronary heart disease with its anti-arrhythmic properties.
Ellagic acid in nuts, prevent lung, esophagus, liver and skin cancers.
Nuts contain Fiber. Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into our system, thus regulating blood sugar. Peanuts are especially beneficial, therefore diabetics would benefit from a small handful (1/4 cup) nuts.
Fiber from nuts also protect one from colon cancer by escorting toxins out of our system so they don’t fester in our digestion tract.
Brazil nuts contain selenium, an antioxidant which lowers the risk of cancers and heart disease. Selenium also improves mood, which reduces stress. (But one should only take two a day because they’re toxic in large doses!)
Nuts are rich in oleic and omega-3 essential fatty acids – not only heart healthy but benefits healthier skin and hair.
This doesn’t give one license to over-indulge, but any food’s fine in moderation. God instilled us with common sense for a reason and if I need a study, it’ll be Biblical. My soul already revealed that truth to me.
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” 3 John 1:2