Going nuts -- for walnuts, peanuts and almonds
If you cultivate a daily nut-snacking habit, you may see improvements in cognition, heart health -- even your love life.
For your brain: Almonds, pistachios and macadamias are brain-friendly. Almonds improve memory, according to a lab study that found that the tocopherol, folate, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and polyphenols they contain stimulate neurotransmitter function. Pistachio nut oils help prevent inflammation, and macadamias contribute to normal brain function by delivering copper, magnesium and manganese, important for healthy neurotransmitters. But, the smartest choice for brain health is the walnut. A study in Nutrients shows that it delivers a super dose of polyphenols, which help counteract inflammation and cognitive decline.
For your heart: A 32-year study found that folks who ate 1 ounce of nuts five-plus times per week had a 14% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease. Another study showed a 30% reduction in all cardiovascular events when walnuts and olive oil replaced other dietary fats; and there's the study that showed a 50% reduction in recurrent heart attacks in participants who ate 12 walnut halves a day. Walnuts are loaded with ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid that can help lower your LDL cholesterol and reduce atherosclerotic plaque and inflammation.
For your good times: Another study in Nutrients found that when men eat about 1/2 cup of a mix of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts daily for 14 weeks, they report better quality orgasms and increased sexual desire.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.
(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.