According to a study conducted by researchers from the Maastricht University nuts can help you live longer. It seems that just a handful of nuts can noticeably lower the risk of developing diseases which are linked with early mortality such as cancer. The paper was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
In order to check how nuts can help you live longer the Dutch researchers used for their research data from the Netherlands Cohort Study which started in 1986 and is still ongoing. The study was conducted on 120.000 participants, both males and females, with ages between 55 and 69 and it involved analyzing the nut-eating habits of the subjects. Some of the questions asked requested information about the amount and the consumption frequency of peanuts, tree nuts and peanut butter. Afterwards the research team studied the data about mortality rates taking into consideration both the specific and the general causes of death.
The findings of the study indicate that the participants who consumed around 10 g or 15 g of nuts a day had a 23% lower risk of death. If the intake was increased the mortality risk was not further reduced. However the researchers also reported a 45% decrease in the risk of developing neurogenerative diseases, a 39% decrease in the risk of developing respiratory diseases and 23% decrease in the case of diabetes risk.
The study also indicates that the participants who showed a lower risk of disease also had a higher degree of education, were younger, consumed more fruits and vegetables and took supplements. In addition they drank more alcohol and were hypertensive.
It seems that both tree nuts and peanuts contain various vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.in addition some compounds contained by nuts can help you live longer. These are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids which contribute to lowering the mortality rates.
However regarding peanut butter, it seems that the trans fatty acids, the vegetable oils and the salt which it contains might lower the protective effects of the peanuts. Previous studied have also proved that peanut butter and the peanut fruit do not have the same content. So even if nuts can help you live longer the lead author of the study, Piet A van den Brandt, warns people about eating peanut butter.
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