2016 was a year of powerful and positive news stories for nuts, as the health research and scientific communities globally continued to uncover the many benefits of enjoying a ‘healthy handful’ daily. Here we’ve picked 12 of the best news stories to showcase the breadth of insights that made headlines last year.
20 grams of nuts a day slashes early death risk
Results of a study from researchers in Norway and England attracted worldwide media attention when they revealed that consuming a handful of nuts every day could reduce the chances of dying early by more than a fifth. The meta analysis combined the results of 20 studies and found that nuts cut the risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30%, cancer by 15%, respiratory disease by 50% and overall early death by 22%. The results generated extensive online news coverage and were also reported on prime time TV news in Melbourne.
Nut consumption linked to reduced incidence of breast and colon cancer
With so much press around factors that can cause cancer, it’s fantastic to see nuts headlining the conversation around prevention. Multiple studies have concluded that adding nuts to your diet is associated with a reduction in the risk of several cancer types, including breast, colon, pancreatic and lung. Read more here.
7 reasons why macadamias are a diet essential
Everyone loves the inimitable taste of macadamias, and now their myriad health benefits are gaining increasing media attention as well. Weight loss, heart health, fibre, protein, cholesterol management, good fat content and fulfilling nutritional requirements during pregnancy are detailed in this article, presenting a compelling case for making macadamias an essential part of a regular, healthy diet.
Nut consumption slashes prostate cancer risk by one third
Prostate cancer affects 35,000 men each year in the UK alone, with 10,000 of those losing their lives to the disease. However a major study has shown that by eating nuts regularly, sufferers could slash their risk of death by more than a third. Eating five one-ounce servings of any kind of nut per week was found to reduce mortality rates by 34%. The finding has come from the largest ever study into the effects of a nut-rich diet on prostate cancer. Read more here.
Nuts are good mood food
Daily nut consumption to support physical wellbeing is vitally important, but what about mental health? Research out of China suggests that nuts have a role to play here as well, with a cross-sectional study revealing nut consumption may help prevent symptoms of depression. Proof that nuts are good for body and mind.
Nuts linked to good gut health
Gut health is an increasingly popular area of research, with a healthy gut thought to be an important gateway to optimum overall health. Preliminary research suggests that nuts, and particularly nut skins, could benefit your gut health, due to their high fibre content and anti-inflammatory properties. This is a new area of study and there’s more work to be done to fully understand the relationship between nut consumption and the gut microbiome, but it’s shaping up to be very exciting. Read more here.
Mighty macadamia oil
American Spa Magazine published a feature article on the use of macadamia oil in skin care. As the understanding of the curative properties of macadamia oil have increased, so too has its use as a powerful ingredient in skin care and hair care products. Macadamia oil absorbs quickly, reduces skin irritation and inflammation and restores and maintains moisture levels. It also helps other active ingredients absorb more easily into the skin. Read the full story here.
Nuts to fight fatigue
Feeling tired? It could be what you’re eating. As this article explains, in order to boost energy levels and stay alert, it’s important to eat nutrient dense foods that combine complex carbohydrates, healthy fat and/or protein. Nuts top the list of fatigue-fighting foods, being an excellent source of energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, with macadamias singled out thanks to their monounsaturated fat content and the beneficial effect this has on triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Macadamias an everyday superfood
High profile Australian naturopath Anthia Koullouros defines superfoods as ‘foods considered to be especially beneficial to our health.’ So when her list of ‘Everyday superfoods you should be eating’ was published, it was fabulous to see macadamias as her number 1 pick, thanks to their diverse nutrient content. Containing thiamine, manganese, magnesium, anti-oxidants and high quality healthy fats, Anthia says macadamias may “help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.” Her macadamia serving suggestion? Raw, roasted or grated over salads. Yum!
Nut intake reduces inflammatory biomarkers
Researchers examining the link between habitual nut consumption and inflammatory biomarkers have found that higher nut intake of five or more times per week is associated with lower levels of compounds CRP and IL6. These compounds increase when there is inflammation present in the body, and this can lead to chronic disease. The findings are summarised in this article, which also highlights previous research that shows tree nut consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
How to add more good fats to your diet
Findings from new research released in May 2016 concluded that contrary to previous dietary guidelines, our diets should actually contain more good fats. The study’s authors urged people not to fear fat, and to “eat fat to get slim.” Nuts were singled out as a great food to add good fats to your diet, full of heart-healthy fats, protein and fibre, and a great snack to satisfy hunger pangs.
Tree nut consumers are likely to be healthier
A US study examining the diets of American consumers has found the nutrient adequacy and diet quality of tree nut consumers is superior to that of people who do not consume tree nuts. The research’s lead author said, “Consumption of tree nuts should be encouraged, as part of a healthy diet, by health professionals to improve diet quality and nutrient adequacy.” Find out more here.