Do you need to grab A handful of peanuts to ward off diseases? Yes why not! Researchers observe that women who eat nuts daily tend to smoke less, be more physically fit and are at less risk of diabetes.

Peanuts Benefits

Researchers from the Maastricht University in Netherlands have found that consuming a daily intake of nuts can be beneficial in reducing the mortality risk from various diseases as compared to people who do not eat nuts. The diseases included respiratory, neurodegenerative, diabetes as well as cardiovascular and cancer in both men and women.

The research was conducted within the Netherlands Cohort Study, which has been running since 1986. Over 120,000 Dutch men and women between the ages of 55-69 provided information about dietary and lifestyle habits. The research team from Maastricht University analyzed consumption of peanut butter, peanuts and tree nuts with overall and cause-specific mortality.

The nut-eating habits of the participants were determined by inquiring about frequency of consumption as well as portion sizes of tree nuts, peanuts and peanut butter. Peanuts are actually legumes rather than true nuts.

However no beneficial effect was found from eating peanut butter. This might be due to the high concentration of vegetable oils, trans fats and salt content in peanut butter. Therefore it was found to not provide the same benefits as fresh wholesome nuts.

Peanuts Benefits: Grab A Handful Of Peanuts To Ward Off Diabetes

Researchers noted that people who consumed half a handful or 10-15 grams of nuts a day had a tendency to be more highly educated, less hypertensive, eat more fruits and vegetables, younger looking and more likely to take supplements.

It was also observed that women who ate nuts as part of their daily diet tended to smoke less, be more physically fit and were at less risk of diabetes.

Researchers found that tree nuts and peanuts contain compounds such as monounsaturated as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids (known as the “good” fats), vitamins (particularly vitamin E), Omega-3, fiber and antioxidants, which could lead to lower death rate.

The Study

Professor Piet van der Brandt, lead author and epidemiologist, said that the study findings about lower mortality being observed at average consumption levels of 15 grams per day (half a handful) were “remarkable”.

He also stated that a higher dietary intake of nuts was not associated with a further reduction of mortality risk. Eating more than 15 grams would therefore not affect the mortality risk anymore.

“This was also supported by a meta-analysis of previously published studies together with Netherlands Cohort study, in which respiratory and cancer mortality showed the same dose response pattern.”

Earlier, evidence from American and Asian studies focused on cardiovascular diseases, associating nut intake and lower risk of cardiovascular death. These previous studies confirmed the findings regarding cardiovascular disease.

The study peanuts benefits: grab a handful of peanuts to ward off diseases was published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology on June 11, 2015.