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José Antonio R. Piedrabuena —— Nuts as a real fountain of youth

Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and chestnuts are concentrates of life for our body

The Mediterranean diet recommends a weeks consumption of nuts such as walnuts, pistachios and almonds at least five times, since their high levels of fatty acids, phytosterols, antioxidants such as Resveratrol, and carotenoids, give us large doses of vitamins and minerals


25 grams of nuts provide more than 90% of the daily needs for omega 3 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron or zinc. Not forgetting the B vitamins, proteins and fiber.

Walnuts also include the amino acid L-arginine, which provides multiple vascular benefits, reducing the risk of heart disease. According to a study published in the journal ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’, 30 grams of nuts a day, of which half must be walnuts, reduces the possibility of suffering from cardiovascular accidents by 30%.

The combination of tryptophan and vitamin 6 from walnuts promotes a state of relaxation and calm that helps some people fall asleep, providing proteins of high biological value.

Daily consumption is associated with lower rates of coronary artery disease and heart attack along with a better profile of plasma lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides, without affecting weight or body composition despite being very energetic foods. It is estimated that consuming nuts 5 times a week reduces the risk of suffering a myocardial infarction by 51%.


They delay aging happens thanks to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, nitric oxide precursors, and blood homocysteine ​​reducing effects. High levels of homocysteine ​​in the blood have multiple negative effects such as damaging the lining of the arteries, the endothelium, are an indicator of future heart attacks and may cause the blood to clot more easily (development of thrombi).

Taken together with fruits and vegetables, they act on hormonal mechanisms reducing the risk of cancer due to their antioxidant activity, by regulating cell differentiation (let’s not forget that cancer is made up of undifferentiated cells), by reducing the initiation of cell production , by the induction of DNA damage repair, by the regulation of immune activity and by the regulation of the inflammatory response.

Walnuts also act against hypertension, producing a general endothelial vasodilation.


According to research conducted by the New York State Department of Neurochemistry at the New York State Institute for Basic Research on Developmental Disabilities, walnuts have been found to be protective against neuronal death that occurs in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists at the University of California-Davis in the United States have shown for the first time, through experiments with animal models, that walnuts, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, gamma tocopherols, vitamin E, polyphenols and antioxidants, reduce the size and growth rate of prostate cancer.

When we buy them already split and in the air, they are so clean and lustrous because they are flooded with preservatives, antioxidants, waxes and others, which will disrupt our intestinal flora.

Nuts should be part of a balanced and healthy diet for the prostate, which also includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.


Taking into account the nutritional profile of walnuts, Dr. Joe Vinsonel, professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Scranton in the United States, who has led a study published in Food and Function, advises that: «Walnuts should be included more frequently in all diets, since they are a source of fiber, with high-quality proteins, an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, and also have a high antioxidant power «. Old age is a consequence of oxidation. Research also reveals that nuts account for about 8% of the antioxidants that an adult must include in their daily diet and this expert insists: «A serving of nuts of about 35 grams has more antioxidants than a daily serving of fruits and vegetables».

By containing antioxidants, walnuts help neutralize free radicals that damage cell membranes, contributing to the fight against aging and helping to prevent diseases. In addition, its polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that acts directly on LDL (bad cholesterol) and fights arteriosclerosis by slowing down the accumulation of plaque.


Another work carried out between the Human Nutrition Unit of the Sant Joan de Reus University Hospital, directed by Dr. Salas-Salvadó, and the Center for Biomedical Research in Network Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn) of Santiago de Compostela, evaluates the role of nuts in the reduction of inflammation and insulin resistance, two causes of why we age. This review reports on the mechanisms by which some bioactive components of walnuts as a whole, such as magnesium, fiber, alpha-linoleic acid, the amino acid L-arginine, various antioxidants, and monounsaturated fatty acids, can protect synergistic against inflammation and, consequently, decrease insulin resistance, one of the consequences of age and overweight.


Its nutrients include antioxidants and substances with anti-inflammatory properties, as well as micronutrients and dietary fiber. Nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin and riboflavin, function as antioxidants and protect against macular degeneration, reduce blood pressure and heart rate in stressful situations. This dried fruit is rich in vitamin E, B1 and B6.

Its regular consumption reduces blood pressure, due to its high content of potassium and magnesium, combats anemia and, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, this fruit could have a protective effect against the development of different types tumors, such as colon, pancreas, ovaries in the case of women and prostate in men. The researchers suggest in their report that the consumption of nuts, such as pistachios, should be considered as a tool for reducing the risk of cancer.

Eating nuts in the diet has been shown to have minimal effect on body weight, triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels, but lowers LDL cholesterol levels.

An investigation by the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and the Loma Linda University (United States) and shown that it does not produce weight gain. (35 gr daily)


The sweet almond, in addition to the general benefits of nuts, is particularly high in fat, especially unsaturated, which is the most beneficial for cardiovascular health.

They specifically incorporate 8 fatty acids, 9 vitamins, 10 minerals, 5 phytosterols, a large amount of high quality vegetable proteins.


The fiber content of the almond stands out from the rest of the nuts. As for vitamins, almonds have significant amounts of B vitamins, including folic acid (B9), in addition to being a good source of vitamin E, with an antioxidant action. Among the minerals they contain, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc and calcium stand out.

This text may be reproduced provided that PROA is mentioned as the original source


José Antonio Rodríguez Piedrabuena
Specialist in Psychiatry, and in management training, group and couples therapy




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