The body of evidence about nuts and health continues to grow. These local and international research papers, recently published, corroborate decades of research about the importance of a healthy handful of nuts in a healthy diet.

Does ‘activating’ nuts affect nutrient bioavailability? (2020)
Kumari. S. et al
This study assessed the effects of different soaking regimes on phytate and mineral concentrations of whole and chopped almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, and walnuts. The treatments were: 1. Raw; 2. soaked for 12 h in salt solution; 3. soaked for 4 h in salt solution; 4. soaked for 12 h in water. Although there were some statistically significant differences in phytate concentrations between treatments, no soaking treatment reduced phytate concentrations to a level that would result in clinically meaningful improvements in the bioavailability of minerals. In summary, the authors found no evidence that soaking is an effective strategy to reduce phytate concentrations and improve the nutrient bioavailability of almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and walnuts.

Nut Consumption and Risk of Cancer: A Meta-analysis of Prospective Studies. (2020)
Jieyi Long et al.
This meta-analysis evaluated the relationship between nut consumption and risk of cancer. Thirty-three studies, that included more than 50,000 cancer cases were analysed. When comparing the highest with the lowest category of nut intake, high consumption of nuts was significantly associated with decreased risk of overall cancer (RR = 0.90; 95% CI, 0.85–0.95). The protective effect of nut consumption was especially apparent against cancers from the digestive system (RR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.77–0.89). The authors also observed a linear dose–response relationship between nut consumption and cancer. In conclusion, the results offer compelling evidence about the association between nut intake and the risk of cancer; with significant protective effects found at 9g/day and the risk of cancer decreasing by 10% for every 20g/day increase.

Beneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain Health. (2020)
Chauhan. A. et al.
Researchers from the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities investigated in this field and suggested that a diet supplemented with walnuts (1-2 oz per day) may help reduce oxidative stress by decreasing the generation of free radicals and by boosting antioxidant defence. Also, evidence from animal and human studies suggests that dietary consumption of walnuts may help improve cognitive function (brain health) and may also reduce the risk of other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, depression and type 2 diabetes, which are risk factors for the development of dementia.

Changes in Nut Consumption and Subsequent Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among US Men and Women: 3 Large Prospective Cohort Studies. (2020)
Liu X. et al.
This study of 3 large prospective cohorts, evaluated the association of within-individual changes in consumption of total and specific types of nuts and the subsequent risk of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) in over 34,000 US men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, and over 158,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study I and II. Compared with participants who made no changes to their nut intake, participants who increased their total nut consumption had a lower risk of CVD, CHD, and stroke. The findings support the recommendation of including a variety of nuts as part of healthy dietary patterns, and provide theoretical evidence that replacing animal‐based protein with plant‐based protein can be helpful in the prevention of CVD.

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