I have a double dose of superfoods this week, but when you think about it, nuts and seeds are quite similar after all! Nuts and seeds have amazing health benefits on their own, of course, but when these two team up, the health impact is profound! Nuts and seeds decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, control your weight with no hunger pangs and reduce the visible signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin! Those are some pretty big reasons to “go nuts!”
Like most of my other superfoods, nuts and seeds provide some real heart health benefits. According to Dr. Perricone [as featured in Oprah] a study that was done involving more than 3,000 African-American men and women found that those who consumed nuts at least five times a week cut their risk of dying from CHD [coronary heart disease] by 44 percent, compared with those who ate nuts less than once weekly! Another study found that of the 21,000 men who were tested, those who consumed nuts and seeds at least twice a week cut their risk of sudden cardiac death by 53 percent!
Proven Cancer Fighter
The particular antioxidants and proteins found in most nuts and seeds have been proven to prevent cancer. The coating found on most nuts and seeds is very rich in the antioxidant polyphenol, which has been proven to reduce cancer. Also, according to Oprah Magazine, Beta-sistosterol and campesterol, which are two of the phytosterols in most nuts, appear to suppress breast and prostate tumors. In partnership with those phytosterols, the amino acid arginine [protein] found in most nuts also inhibits tumor growth and boosts immunity!
If you have a high risk for diabetes, start munching on nuts and seeds immediately! The healthy fats found in nuts work with our bodies to improve the efficiency of insulin. A study that took more than 86,000 women followed over 16 years, found that those who consumed an ounce of nuts at least five times a week cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 27 percent.
So grab a pack of almonds or sunflower seeds and start munching! For a full list of nuts and seeds and their individual nutrition information, visit The Vegetarian Society.