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Walnuts may ‘act as a bridge’ for healthier aging, study suggests

People who ate walnuts in young to middle adulthood were more likely to be physically active, eat a higher quality diet and develop a better heart disease risk profile as they got older, a study says. Photo by Ivar Leidus/Wikimedia Commons

Individuals who ate walnuts in young to middle adulthood were more prone to be physically active, eat an increased quality diet and create a better cardiovascular disease risk profile because they got older, a report says. Photo by Ivar Leidus/Wikimedia Commons

Sept. 15 (UPI) — Walnuts do a lot more than add crunch to banana bread or brownies, in accordance with new research that suggests eating walnuts regularly starting early in life can lead to better health as people age.

Researchers discovered that participants who ate walnuts in young to middle adulthood were apt to be more physically active, eat an increased quality diet and create a better cardiovascular disease risk profile because they got older.

They said this aligns with the 2020-2025 US. Dietary Guidelines for Americans‘ recommendation to consume nuts, such as for example walnuts, within a healthy diet plan.

The brand new findings appeared Thursday in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases.

For the analysis, researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health reviewed 20 years of diet history and 30 years of physical and clinical measurements.

The brand new study, while partly funded by the California Walnut Commission, circumstances agency established in 1987, is section of broader long-term research: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in ADULTS Study, referred to as CARDIA.

CARDIA, that is exploring the development of cardiovascular disease risk factors as time passes, is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health. It began tracking just over 3,000 adults ages 18 to 30 in Birmingham, Ala., Chicago, Minneapolis and Oakland, Calif., in the mid-1980s.

A self-reported diet history was taken 3 x through the entire study: at baseline, in year seven and year 20. Physical and clinical measurements were extracted from multiple exams spanning 30 years.

“Walnut eaters appear to have a distinctive body phenotype that carries with it other positive impacts on health like better diet quality, particularly when they start eating walnuts from young into middle adulthood — as threat of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes elevates,” Lyn M. Steffen, CARDIA’s lead researcher said in a news release.

Walnuts “may become a bridge or ‘carrier food’ for helping people form healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits throughout life,” said Steffen, who’s a professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Researchers pointed to the walnut’s singular characteristics because the only tree nut that’s loaded with the plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (2.5 grams per ounce) that previous research suggests may are likely involved in heart health, brain health insurance and healthy aging. Flaxseed is a good way to obtain this kind of omega-3 fatty acid.

The investigators noted a 1-ounce serving of walnuts, or around a few, has other healthy nutrients, including 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 45 milligrams of magnesium. And, they said, walnuts contain various antioxidants, including polyphenols.

The researchers said they looked for relationships among cardiovascular disease risk factors, including dietary intake, smoking, body composition, blood circulation pressure, plasma lipids, fasting blood sugar and insulin concentrations in 352 walnut consumers, 2,494 “other nut” consumers and 177 individuals who didn’t eat nuts.

Through the study, the walnut eaters had about three-quarters of an ounce daily, while other nut consumers ate about 1.5 oz. each day.

After 30 years, the walnut consumers had higher self-reported exercise scores than people in the “other nut” and “no nut” categories. In addition they had an improved cardiovascular disease risk profile, with lower torso mass index, waist circumference, blood circulation pressure and blood triglyceride levels.

The walnut eaters also gained less weight on the study period, and fewer of these were classified as obese, in comparison with people in another categories, the analysis said.

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