Biology, Biomedical

Do nuts make you younger?

Nuts, as called by almost everyone are not always just nuts. Some like the peanut are legumes and others like the chufa nut which is a tuber. They contain a lot of antioxidants and have a lot of nutrients. Not only that but they pack all those nutrients in a small size that lasts a long time and can be eaten raw anytime. This makes nuts a very healthy snack.

Nutrients.

Nuts are full of nutrients and even small portions eaten as snacks throughout the day can give you lots of protein and fats. You may say fats are bad but not in a balanced diet. You need some source of energy anyways and it’s not like the fats you get from nuts are unhealthy. Of course everything should be consumed in appropriate amounts. If you are unsure and live in the UK you can introduce nuts to your diet in a form of a premade mix. One of those products is called Graze and offers many different packs to suit your taste.

Almonds contain good amounts of protein, calcium and vitamin E.

Walnuts contain alpha linoleic acid, plant omega 3 and antioxidants.

Hazelnuts contain fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin E.

Oxidative damage.

Most importantly Nut contain a lot of antioxidants. The term antioxidant can be given to any chemical compound that prevents oxidative damage in a cell. Oxidative damage occurs always because of your metabolism. In some cases though you get extra cellular damage from sources like: tobacco smoke, environmental pollutants, natural food constituents,
drugs, ethanol and radiation. If there are no antioxidants to save the situation this oxidative damage will hurt cellular components like DNA, cell membranes and organelles.

This oxidative stress is now thought to cause various inflammatory diseases, cancer and even neurodegenerative diseases. There has been a lot of research on how oxidative damage and inflammation contributes to the development of diseases, especially the ones of old age.

Antioxidants.

Some organisms are better at preventing oxidative damage from occurring, other are not, for example us, we rely on antioxidants, chemical compounds that fix oxidative damage in our cells. The major plant compounds believed to support the antioxidant defence of a cell include the glucosinolates and other sulphur-containing plant compounds. Other plants contain sulphoxides and dithiolethiones. Plants high in such enzymes include: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, carrots, onions, tomatoes, spinach and garlic.

Some other well known antioxidants that are more common include: vitamin C, vitamin
E and selenium. There are so many compounds that work as antioxidant in plants that you would have been bored way before i finished the list. Walnuts, Chestnuts and Peanuts seem to have the highest antioxidant content although there are theories that suggest that none of it matters and that you should be consuming a mix of antioxidant rich foods in your diet so that you can have antioxidant that work with each other.

Studies.

More studies show that the introduction of nuts like almonds and walnuts can improve cardiovascular function and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Other studies suggest that nuts can have phytochemical compounds that help with inflammation and thus improve both the lifespan and the healthspan of individuals. Basically making you live healthier for longer. They also can help you microbiome, the microorganisms that live in your gut. Those microorganisms if your diet is healthy they can produce serotonin and improve your mood and your brains health.

Conclusion.

There are tons of benefits in eating nuts. They are easy to add to your diet, they do not expire fast and most don’t even need refrigeration. They contain proteins in case you are one of those guys or girls addicted to the gym. Nuts most importantly contain tons of antioxidants. All those nutrients and compounds in such a convenient food makes it one of the best if not the best snack options. And it’s not just nutrients and chemicals, even the studies suggest that nuts can improve your health in many ways, even making you live longer and reduce your risk of developing diseases like cardiovascular, neurodegenerative diseases or even cancer. There are convenient packs available on Amazon or in you local Tesco if you live in the UK called Graze that i have been buying and i think are great.

Sure, nuts are not magic and those benefits while significant are not huge. They won’t treat cancer, but a balanced diet including nuts will probably prevent it. And that’s the point. Hopefully you are healthy, so take care of your body and keep reading articles and finding ways to have the best diet and health. Your future self will definitely thank you for that.

For more science and tech news, for all those great articles you like to read make sure to follow Qul Mind on Facebook and Twitter. And if you have something to say feel free to add a comment i would love to hear what you think. If you want to do some further reading into the topic i have link some articles i used as sources for this one.

Sources: Anti-aging potential of tree nuts with a focus on the phytochemical composition, molecular mechanisms and thermal stability of major bioactive compounds

Acute effects of diets rich in almonds and walnuts on endothelial function

Health benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants

Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/36973263392

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