If you’re still following that debunked, nonsensical advice about fat and calories, you’re probably missing out on one of the most nutrition-packed foods out there.
It’s the humble nut — and I’m talking about all kinds, from pistachios to peanuts to walnuts.
So, it’s time to stop feeling like you’re indulging in some kind of forbidden fruit when the nut bowl is out — because the exciting truth is that you want to go nutty!
And not just during the holidays… but throughout the whole year.
According to a recent study, that’s especially true where two kinds of nuts are concerned, since they can boost your brain power and even help you sleep better at night!
Good things come in small packages
There are superfoods, and then there are Super Foods!
And two recent studies examining the power of nuts have definitely put them into that second category.
The first, from researchers out of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, utilized research that studied over 210,000 men and women — many for a span of over 32 years — finding that if you want to stay healthy, eating nuts is the way to go.
That extensive investigation discovered that by regularly enjoying a serving (considered to be one ounce) of these tasty treats, you can significantly lower your risk of suffering from heart disease, including reducing the chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
The lead author of this research, which was published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, explained that those benefits all come from the fact that nuts are overflowing with “healthy fat, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and several other bioactive compounds, such as antioxidants.”
While that may be quite enough incentive to get you cracking, a group of researchers at Loma Linda University just released their own study finding that frequently eating nuts and legumes (peanuts are technically legumes) can help strengthen your “brainwave function.”
This means that making it a habit to reach for a bag of nuts can improve certain brainwave frequencies that are connected to enhancing your memory, staying out of sick bay, and having a better night’s sleep.
The Loma Linda scientists actually boiled down certain benefits to certain kinds of nuts by having volunteers eat different varieties while measuring their brainwave signals with an EEG.
Some of what they discovered included: pistachios produced more “gamma wave” responses, linking them to better “cognitive processing,” such as recall and memory. Peanuts were especially good for “delta waves” associated with better immune function and healing, as well as getting a full night’s rest.
And walnuts had the highest antioxidant levels of all the nuts tested!
As the study’s head investigator noted, “Nuts are as good for your brain as they are for the rest of your body.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that nuts have basked in such a healthy glow.
Recently, we told you about research out of Harvard finding that men with prostate cancer could up their odds of not dying from the disease 34 percent by consuming all kinds of tree nuts (which include pistachios, cashews, macadamias, and walnuts), when compared to guys who don’t regularly eat nuts.
And last year, scientists from the Imperial College London pored over reams of previous research on nuts, discovering that they can cut your risk of respiratory diseases in half… lower your chances of coming down with diabetes by 40 percent… and slash the odds of developing cancer by 15 percent.
It’s pretty obvious by now that nuts are definitely Mother Nature’s gift to help us stay healthy from head to toe.
So, include more walnuts and almonds in your holiday cooking, take a bag of pistachios along with you to snack on, and don’t ignore those little round hazelnuts (or filberts) that are always left behind in the nut bowl!
But when out shopping for nuts, go for the ones with no added ingredients (except, perhaps for some sea salt), rather than those with GMO oils (such as corn and soy) and other risky additives.
“A handful of nuts each day may lower risk of heart disease” Linda Carroll, November 13, 2017, Today, today.com