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There’s one snack you may have been avoiding that can cut your risk of dying from cancer, heart disease and respiratory illnesses by an average of 20 percent.
A snack, something you would actually like to eat, could decrease your chances of death from some of the most dreaded diseases out there (like colon cancer) by 20 percent and even up to 50 percent in some cases.
That’s a snack even your doctor would give you the all-clear to eat, right?
Yet, many people stay away from it due to its high fat content and you could be one of them, missing out on this snack’s amazing health benefits.
So, which snack food could help you to live longer and healthier, free of diseases like cancer and heart problems?
The answer is nuts.
And, not in a “This answer is going to sound crazy kind of way.”
The answer really is nuts. We’re talking walnuts, almonds, cashews and yes, even peanuts.
In fact, according to a study at Harvard, just a handful of nuts a day could help you live longer. What makes the findings of this research so important is that it wasn’t just a short term study of a handful of people.
This study actually followed 120,000 participants over 30 years of their lives, tracking their health, causes of death and what they ate.
And, it found that the more often a person ate nuts, the less likely they were to die of any disease.
The surprising health benefits of nuts
There are a number of reasons why nuts are so healthy for you.
The first is the unsaturated fats that nuts deliver. You see, these unsaturated fats help to lower your bad cholesterol or LDL and raise your HDL or good cholesterol.
And, who wouldn’t want to optimize their cholesterol levels without resorting to those prescription statin drugs that cause side effects like muscle pain, liver damage and high blood sugar.
Nuts are also chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are the same ones found in fish oil that have been shown to help prevent blood clots. Think of it like taking aspirin, without the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding.
Third, nuts contain arginine, an amino acid that your body uses to make nitric oxide to help relax constricted blood vessels and improve blood flow.
And, if all of that wasn’t enough, nuts are also rich in vitamin E to protect your body against toxins, potassium to improve your blood pressure and metabolism, folic acid to help your body produce and maintain new cells, and antioxidants to protect your body from free radicals, along with many other vital nutrients for your health. You’d be surprising how many of us actually need double the vitamin E we get…
The weight gain dilemma
Most people that avoid eating nuts do so because they’re worried about gaining weight due to the high amounts of calories and fat found in these tasty treats.
And, they’re right.
You don’t want to add nuts into your diet without removing calories from another source.
Since each ounce of nuts contains around 172 calories, you could quickly pack on the pounds if you don’t reduce you intake in other areas.
The easiest way to do that is to replace a snack you already eat with a small handful of almonds, walnuts or other nut. But, be sure to measure out your portion size before you eat. It’s easy to underestimate how much you consume when you sit down with an entire jar.
If you’re concerned about the price of these snacks, don’t worry.
Peanuts were found to be just as effective in the study as the costlier nuts despite the fact that they are technically legumes.
So, when you’re ready for a snack, reach for that jar of nuts to live longer, healthier and disease-free. It will be one of the healthiest choices you ever make.
Eating nuts linked to healthier, longer life — Harvard University
Statin side effects: Weigh the benefits and risks — Mayo Clinic
Peanuts linked to same heart, longevity benefits as more pricey nuts — Harvard University