At Christmastime, I always enjoy listening to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. It’s a beautiful piece of music that’s easy to keep in the background during the busy holidays. We also have a few decorative nutcracker dolls on display around the house.
In German-speaking countries, it was said that these traditional dolls, designed to look like toy soldiers, would bring good luck and chase away bad spirits. (Something we could all use a little help with as we close the chapter on 2020 and enter a new year!)
Of course, we also keep a functional nutcracker tool next to our bowl of nuts, so we can enjoy a handful of them every day…not just now during the holidays.
Indeed, keeping your nuts in the shell until you’re ready to eat them helps them stay fresher, longer. Which is important—as they’re filled with healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, copper, potassium, and beta-sitosterol.
Plus, studies show eating nuts helps you feel more satisfied and improves blood sugar control—something else we could probably all use a little help with these days.
In fact, in a landmark, 30-year Harvard study of 119,000 men and women, nut-eaters stayed slimmer compared to their peers who didn’t eat any nuts at all. They also gained a host of other impressive benefits as well…
Eating nuts significantly cuts heart disease risks
In the Harvard study, nut–eaters not only stayed slimmer, but they also had a 29 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease—still the No. 1 cause of death in this country. (By comparison, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, prescribed to millions of Americans, don’t lower death rates by one iota. Worse yet, some research suggests they actually cause heart disease!)
And—the benefits don’t stop there…
The nut–eaters also had an 11 percent lower risk of dying from cancer compared to those who didn’t eat nuts. And they even had 20 percent lower death rates from any cause. There was also a dose-response effect. So—the more nuts the participants ate, the lower their risk of dying.
The men and women in the study ate several different kinds of nuts—including walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and other tree nuts—seven or more times a week. (The researchers didn’t consider whether the nuts contained salt. Or if they were raw or roasted.)
The FDA makes a big admission about nuts
Back in 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged that eating a handful of walnuts a day, as part of a healthy diet, “may reduce the risk of heart disease.” They even allowed walnut growers to make this “qualified health claim” on their product labels.
You may think the claim sounds a bit weak, especially when you consider all of the strong science on nuts. But the FDA’s ruling was actually pretty monumental, as it was the first time the organization allowed any manufacturer or grower to make any health claim about a food…even though the science shows improving your diet is the single, greatest thing you can do to prevent disease and death!
Just remember—you don’t have to limit yourself to walnuts…or even tree nuts, for that matter. Science shows you get the very same health benefits from eating less costly, whole, roasted peanuts.
So, in 2021, try to make eating a handful of nuts part of your daily routine. Grab some as a snack or add them to full-fat yogurt, plain oatmeal, salads, soups, or pasta dishes. And, today, if you have some handy, perhaps you can sprinkle them onto your figgy pudding.
P.S. For more insight into nutritional approaches for protecting your heart as you get older, I encourage you to check out my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool outlines the natural, heart-healing pathway to low blood pressure, a stroke-free brain, and never having to take a dangerous heart medication again. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality.” New Engl J Med 2013;369:2001-11. doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1307352