A study published this week suggests that intake of nuts in mid life can reduce the risk of developing dementia in later life.
The study, published in the journal Age and Ageing, analysed data from 16,737 participants in Singapore. They analysed how often subjects ate nuts and then tested them regularly over the following decades looking for signs of dementia.
Subjects who consumed greater than two servings of nuts per week were 21% less likely to develop dementia compared to those who consumed nuts less than once a month.
Nuts are rich in a variety of important nutrients such as mono-unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and a number of phytochemicals. They have been shown to have both an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.
In the Defeat Diabetes Program we recommend low to moderate amounts of nuts as snacks.
Personally I will often have a handful of nuts if I get peckish in between meals, and I find them especially useful on long trips.
Which nuts are best? Here is a breakdown of the nutrient content of nuts:
Some nuts, e.g. cashews and chestnuts, are higher in carbs and sugar, so I tend to avoid them. My favourite nuts are macadamias, almonds, Brazil nuts and walnuts.