Eating More Nuts Linked To Lower Inflammation
Studies have shown that higher consumption of nuts is associated with a range of health benefits, but researchers aren’t quite sure why. A recent study may have found the answer. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that eating more nuts was associated with lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation.
Participants in the study included more than 120,000 registered female nurses who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study and more than 50,000 men who took part in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Participant’s diets were assessed via questionnaires. In addition, the researchers took blood samples and measured levels of three biomarkers of inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP), interkleukin-6 (IL6), and tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2).
After adjusting for age, medical history, lifestyle, and other factors, the researchers found that the participants who ate five or more servings of nuts per week had lower levels of CRP and IL6 than those who never or almost never ate nuts. They also found that people who substituted three servings per week of red meat, processed meat, eggs, or refined grains with nuts had significantly lower levels of CRP and IL6 than those who did not.
The study was published online ahead of print on July 27, 2016, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Nuts are a rich source of magnesium, vitamin E, protein and beneficial phytochemicals. Numerous studies have associated phytochemicals with antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
In the United States, nuts are typically consumed in the form of snack food. If you want to add more nuts to your diet, you can try replacing unhealthy snacks such as chips and candy bars with raw, unsalted nuts.