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Peanuts, Cashews, Pistachios: Eat Up! You May Live a Longer Life

peanuts, nutsIf you’ve been slathering peanut butter on your sandwiches to get the protein from nuts, nothing beats the real thing. A new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that eating approximately 10 grams of peanuts every day can lower your chance of death over 10 years by 23 percent. Tree nuts seemingly provided the same benefits within the study.

“Total nut intake was related to lower overall and cause-specific mortality (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory, neurodegenerative diseases, other causes) in men and women,” wrote the researchers.

The study looked at more than 100,000 men and women between the ages of 55 and 69. The authors of the report said that nuts indeed reduced the risk of death. However, peanut butter did not statistically show a significant drop in mortality.

“Little is known about differences between tree nuts and peanuts, and whether peanut butter shows similar associations with mortality as peanuts,” the researchers concluded. “In addition, dose-response relationships remain unclear.”

But what do you do when you can’t eat nuts?

Nuts and Allergies

I am one of many people who can’t eat tree nuts (with the exception of a few random ones). I have been allergy tested repeatedly, and as it turns out, a little hazelnut, pistachio or peanut could end my life — never mind extend it!

Of course, I carry around one of those convenient injection drugs that could save my life in the event of an allergic reaction. I am also in the midst of receiving allergy shots to reduce the impact of nuts (among other allergens) on my body. However, I still need to make sure I get my protein, even if it’s not from nuts that could statistically reduce my mortality rate.

One of my favorite “substitutes” is Sunbutter. If you haven’t heard of this stuff yet, it’s a buttery spread that looks and feels like peanut butter. However, it’s made of sunflower seeds, packed full of valuable protein.

Another way to get similar nutrients is through soy products. This means indulging in goodies, such as tofu, black beans and pinto beans. Luckily, these items are easy to sneak into a wide variety of meals, meaning you don’t need to miss out on protein that you would otherwise get from nuts.

To say it’s tough to live with nut allergies is an understatement. However, there are several alternatives out there worth checking out to maintain your overall well-being.


Sources

  • Berenson, Tessa. “Eating Nuts Could Save You From Early Death, Study Says.” TIME. June 11, 2015.
  • Brandt, van den Piet. Schouten, Leo. “Relationship of tree nut, peanut and peanut butter intake with total and cause-specific mortality.” Oxford Journals. March 9, 2015.
  • “Food Substitutes for Peanut or Nut Allergy.” WebMD. Retrieved June 16, 2015.