Cardiovascular disease and Cancer remain the two leading causes of death in America today, killing nearly 2.5 million Americans per year. In fact, I can’t think of anyone that has not either personally been diagnosed with one of these conditions, or who have an immediate family member suffering from one of these conditions. So are we all just doomed to suffer from one of these diseases ourselves; or is there something we can do to protect ourselves?
Hopefully you realize that there are steps we can take to prevent ourselves from succumbing to either of these two diseases. In fact, in a recently published medical journal, researchers did a meta-analysis of previous research on the benefits of tree nuts and reductions in mortality related to cardiovascular disease and cancer. The findings were all positive.
According to their analysis, consuming as little as 20 grams per day (about a handful of nuts) can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 30%, the risk of CVD by 21%, and the risk of all cancers by 15%. The risk of respiratory disease was shown to decrease by 52%, the risk of diabetes by 40%, and the risk of infectious disease by 75%.
Those numbers should impress upon you the absolute need to be consuming tree nuts on a daily basis.
Why do tree nuts offer such protective health benefits? Tree nuts are loaded with quality nutrition. They are good sources of dietary fiber, magnesium, polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E, folate, proteins, and antioxidants to assist with cardiovascular health. Tree nuts also contain anacardic and ellagic acids, genistein, resveratrol, and inositol phosphates for cancer prevention. Not to mention, they just taste good. So which nuts should you be eating?
These studies looked at the health benefits of Macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and hazelnuts, as well as Brazil nuts and peanuts (which are not actually nuts but seeds and legumes). It is best to purchase raw, unsalted, unsweetened, and unroasted tree nuts for consumption so that you are not consuming the added salt or eating nuts that have been roasted in toxic vegetable oils. Additionally, you should soak your tree nuts in salt water overnight before consuming them to neutralize the enzymes and break down the phytic acid for easier digestion.
The bottom line is that you are responsible for your health and you have the ability to reverse your chronic diseases with a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, quality protein, and healthy fats; and of course… clean water. If you are struggling with any aspect of your health, give us a call at Stanly Wellness Center 980-355-7600 to see if we can help you.