Nuts are healthy and nutritious whole foods, contain monounsaturated fats, and are great for health. Many studies confirm that nuts significantly improve lipid profile and reduce total cholesterol in relation to HDL. But other than that, arguably the greatest health benefit of nuts is their anti-inflammatory properties. Participants in the PREDIMED study saw a 35 percent decrease in C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in the body.
What is even more impressive is that studies have found that regular consumption of nuts could lower the level of interleukin 6 (IL-6), which is also responsible for inflammation in the body, by 90 percent. But that’s not all. People with metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes found that nuts helped them control blood sugar better.
But the arteries also seem to benefit from the daily handful of nuts, apparently even more so than from olive oil. It is no wonder, then, that simply prescribing a handful of nuts a day could avoid 90,000 deaths a year in the United States. We also mustn’t forget the high quality fiber content in nuts. In addition to the metabolic benefits mentioned, this fiber is converted into short-chain fatty acids in the intestine, which nourishes the all-important bacteria in the intestine. Don’t overdo it with the amount, however, and stick to the small handful as a limit and guide.