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Go Nuts And Get Happy.

Go Nuts and Get Happy

I've been practising as a Dietitian for long enough to know that nuts were the worst food you could eat if you were trying to lose weight, had diabetes or heart disease. As time has progressed, we've changed our mind and we have frustrated many of you with a new message, telling you to eat nuts.

Nuts have been shown in a number of studies to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, amongst other disease states. A recent study from Barcelona is indicating not only can nuts reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease, they are the feel good food of the new millennium. 

Our brain is filled with nerves that use a substance called Serotonin which makes us feel happier, reduces the feeling of hunger and improve the health of our heart. The other great news is that it only took about 30g of nuts to increase the level of serotonin. This is a significant finding when obesity is out of control, we have an epidemic of diabetes and depression affects almost one in four people.  

The researchers looked at a number of blood markers during the 12 weeks study to compare the effect of eating nuts. The  big surprise was the increased levels of serotonin. Whilst the increase in other markers that indicate a healthier heart, the increase in serotonin couldn't come at a better time, when we all would like to be a little happier. 

This new study ties in well with not only the importance of eating well to reduce your risk of chronic disease like diabetes and heart disease, but also the potential role nutrition has in our mental health. Research is showing that chronic stress can lead to changes in brain function, including reducing the size of the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex which are crucial in our capacity to make good decisions.

So why not think twice about your snack at morning tea, instead of going for a packet of chips, can of coke or a chocolate bar, go for a few nuts instead. You'll feel so much better for, Go nuts and get happy. 
29 Feb 2012

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