Eating nuts five times a week helps to reduce inflammation, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Regular consumption of nuts can lower inflammation that is associated with heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions, a recent study found.
To benefit, one has to consume a handful of nuts – the type doesn’t matter – five times a week, according to the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“There may be a concern that frequent nut consumption can result in weight gain” but that is not true, said Dr Ying Bao, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“A handful of nuts a day or substituting nuts for meat or refined grains is associated with less inflammation,” she told Reuters.
The new study involved 5,013 people who did not have heart disease and diabetes.
Researchers looked at data collected by the Nurses’ Health Study, where participants divulged eating patterns from 1986 to 1990. They also looked at the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study from 1990 to 1994.
Towards the end of both studies, participants’ blood samples were taken and tested for three markers of inflammation.
Participants who ate a handful of nuts five times per week had less inflammation on two markers, researchers found.
They had readings that were 20 per cent lower for C-reactive protein, as compared to those who rarely or didn’t consume nuts.
For interleukin-6, they posted readings that were 16 per cent lower. However, there were no significant differences in levels on the last marker, TNFR2.
The study took into consideration other causes of inflammation, such as smoking and frequency of exercise.
Inflammation may limit crucial blood flow to the heart and brain, leading to strokes and even dementia, said Dr Emilio Ros of the Lipid Clinic.
“Reducing inflammation will prevent or delay the onset of all these conditions,” added Dr Ros, who was not involved in the study.
For the full report, check out Reuters.