Mixed nuts in a bowl highlighting healthy snacking options for seniors.

Healthy Snacking: How Nuts Can Help Promote Senior Health

Healthy Snacking: How Nuts Can Help Promote Senior Health

We’ve heard all about superfoods. This is a marketing term used to classify foods that are extremely nutrient-dense and healthy. While there is no set list of superfoods, fish, yogurt, nuts, olive oil and eggs are typically included. What all of the foods have in common though, is that they are said to provide a variety of nutrients, such as antioxidants that improve your health.

So, can certain foods really have that big of an impact on your overall health and wellbeing? New research suggests that might just be true when it comes to nuts. A new study published by the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health online journal has shown that eating a handful of almonds, walnuts or any kind of nut on a regular basis may help prevent excessive weight gain and obesity in older adults.

Healthy Snacking for Seniors

In the study, researchers explored the eating habits of more than 280,000 adults in three long-term studies. Over the course of 20 years, participants were asked every few years about their weight, diet and how often they consumed a serving of nuts. For reference, a serving size is roughly a handful.

Ultimately, the researchers in the study found that making nuts a regular part of a person’s diet was associated with a decrease in overall weight gain and risk of obesity. According to the study, U.S. adults, on average, put on one pound of weight per year. The individuals who ate nuts consistently only gained an average of half a pound per year. And over time, that can add up!

Healthy Facts about Nuts for Seniors

In general, nuts are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Nuts also are packed full of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to overall health and wellness.

Some other health benefits of nuts include:

  • They are a fantastic source of nutrients including magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, copper, and manganese
  • They are loaded with antioxidants including polyphenols
  • They can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body
  • They are beneficial to seniors with Type 2 Diabetes
  • They contain valuable anti-inflammatory properties
  • They can contribute to lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke

The bottom line is that when it comes to improving your health and overall nutrition, eating a handful of nuts can be a great way to jumpstart healthy habits. Reach for almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, and pecans to get the most nutritional value. And be sure to avoid nuts that are covered in salt or chocolate, as they are always healthiest when in their raw form.

Make Your Nutrition a Priority at St. Joseph of the Pines

One of the best things about St. Joseph of the Pines is the freedom you have to live your retirement to the fullest. Our independent living options make it easy for you to pursue new interests, start an exercise routine, and eat nutritious, well-balanced meals. We cater our care to your specific goals. Plus, we offer a continuum of care should your needs ever change over time. We’d love to give you a tour of one of our North Carolina campuses. Contact us today.

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