If there was a simple addition you could make to your diet in menopause that would boost your brain, help your heart and watch your waistline, would you do it?
It’s eating nuts!
Nuts & Bad PR
Nuts get a bad press because of nut allergies and because they are associated with being high fat. I wrote about almonds being a good source of vitamin E, an important menopause nutrient and one which is not easy to get in foods generally. It can help dry skin and hair and hot flushes, amongst other benefits.
However there are other very compelling reasons why nuts should be a part of your diet (provided you’re not allergic to them of course!). To do with improving the health of your heart
4 Amazing Benefits of Nuts in your Diet
- Nuts may slow the rate at which you age. They do this by keeping your telomeres in good shape. Telomeres are protective caps at the end of your chromosomes and they shrink naturally with age. Keeping your telomeres longer will keep your DNA younger
- In another study which took place over 5 years on 7,000 older adults, the group who were asked to eat nuts more than 3 times per week were over 40% less likely to die of cancer and 55% less likely to die from heart disease, compared to a control group. And that was adjusting for factors such as drinking alcohol.
- The fat in nuts is of the beneficial kind. It’s good for your heart. Heart disease is a big issue for women of menopausal age. As oestrogen declines, the heart protective effects of this hormone diminish
- Your brain is around 60% fat and it needs fat to work well. New research suggests that eating nuts boosts cognitive skills. A study on 18000 older adults in the USA found that those who ate 15-30g nuts per day performed much better in short term memory, speed at which information is processed and attention
Nuts & Weight Loss
The general consensus of research is that eating nuts doesn’t make you put on weight. In fact the opposite seems to be true. People who eat more nuts tend to weigh less! In a huge study on 300,000 people, those who ate nuts were less likely to put on weight over a 5 year period.
The reasons for this are thought to be:
- Nuts require a lot of chewing to release their fats and it’s estimated that around 20% of the fat isn’t absorbed by your body
- Nuts make you feel quite full and more likely to eat less at the next meal!
The bottom line – nuts are very beneficial but don’t go nuts and eat too many: ) Keep to 15-30g per day.