It almost sounds like a miracle drug — something you can take that makes you feel happier, decreases hunger and improves heart health. But these results aren't coming from a drug you get from your doctor. They're coming from the snack aisle at your grocery store!
Just one ounce of mixed nuts (raw unpeeled walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts) was linked in a recent study published in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research to higher levels of serotonin in the bodies of people with metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome usually are obese with symptoms of excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar and high blood pressure — all of which increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to ScienceDaily.
So why is boosting serotonin so great? Well, this neurotransmitter helps decrease feelings of hunger, boosts mood and improves heart health. Low serotonin levels are linked to mild to moderate depression, which can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, apathy, fear, feelings of worthlessness, insomnia and fatigue, so boosting them is essential for health.
This is the first study that showes the benefits of nuts in reducing levels of substances in the body associated with inflammation and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with metabolic syndrome. Because of the obesity epidemic, the number of people with metabolic syndrome is on the rise, so this research could help a lot of people.
Do you eat nuts? Do you eat them daily? Tell us about it! And remember, it just takes an ounce a day to get the nutty health benefits!
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.