Eating Lots of These Nuts Might Be Key to Living Longer, Study Says

July 17, 2019 by Hristina Byrnes

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Daily consumption of pistachios can reduce oxidative damage to DNA, positively affecting cellular aging and longevity.

That was among the conclusions of a new study involving 49 people with prediabetes, conducted by researchers at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Reus in Spain’s Catalonia region. Spain is well-known for its advanced medical research. Health expenditure per capita is an important factor in determining the healthiest countries in the world.

According to an earlier study from the same university, also limited to prediabetics, “Data suggest that pistachios have a glucose- and insulin-lowering effect, promote a healthier metabolic profile, and reverse certain metabolic deleterious consequences of prediabetes.” 

The new study suggests that adding just two ounces of pistachios to one’s daily diet can help counteract the harmful effects of poor lifestyle choices (including exposure to cigarette smoke) and bad eating habits, especially for people with metabolic conditions like prediabetes. The result of pistachio consumption is not only a decrease in DNA damage but also an increase in the expression of telomere-related genes. Telomeres protect the chromosomes and determine the rate of cellular growth.

Pistachios have also been found to contain a significant amount of lutein, an antioxidant sometimes called “nature’s internal sunglasses,” because it helps protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays and other harmful radiation. More than 30 million Americans, or just over 9% of the population, have diabetes.

In 2017, 84 million had prediabetes, or higher than normal blood sugar levels, which will turn into diabetes if left untreated. Everyone should be aware of the warning signs that someone might have diabetes.