Almonds Walnuts and Macadamia Nuts for Long Life
Numerous studies suggest longevity benefits from eating nuts including a lower risk of heart disease, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and lower cholesterol. New research including information from over 118,000 people found that people who ate a daily ounce of nuts were 29 percent less likely to die of heart disease, 24 percent less likely to die from respiratory disease and 11 percent less likely to die from cancer. The study was performed by the Gastrointestinal Cancer Centre at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and was published in the Nov. 21, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Tip: Eat an ounce of nuts before dinner which is a great way to get a little healthy fat and it will slow the rate at which your stomach empties and make you feel full faster. One ounce (28 grams) of nuts is about 24 almonds, about 7 shelled walnuts or about 11 raw macadamia nuts.
In his book, “Thrive”, Brendan Brazier explains the specific benefits of eating what are arguably the healthiest nuts: almonds, walnuts and macadamia. High in vitamin B2, fiber and antioxidants, almonds have one of the highest nutrient levels of all nuts. He recommends soaking them in purified water for a few hours before eating them. Soaking makes almonds more nutritious because it puts them in a pre-sprouting state which increases their vitamin levels and removes their enzyme inhibitors which makes them even more efficiently digested. To save time, these three nut types can be soaked separately, rinsed and stored in the refrigerator in weekly batches.
Walnuts are rich in B vitamins and possess a unique amino acid profile. Be sure to include the skin because approximately 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin including phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids. The skin is the whitish, sometimes waxy, sometimes flaky, outermost part of shelled walnuts. There can be slight bitterness to this skin. Also rich in potassium and magnesium, walnuts can help maintain adequate electrolyte levels in the body which can prolong hydration and reduce the chance of muscle cramping during sports activities. Macadamia nuts contain omega-7 and omega-9 fatty acids. Walnuts and macadamia nuts can also be soaked before eating.