Mahatma Gandhi, Nuts and Me

- Mar• 13•19

More than a decade ago the snacks at our home, my office and my locker were all replaced with a variety of nuts and dates. People around me, including friends and relatives, still chuckle at my preference for nuts and poke fun at me whenever they get a chance, calling me “nuts”. This change was based on my simple observation of the animal habitat. A lion would not eat grass to survive, nor would a cow start hunting if there is no grass. A vulture would be attracted to dead and putrefying carcass and man cannot digest grass. Based on this type of analysis, I came to the conclusion that fruits and nuts are the most natural food in a natural state for human beings.

Then I came upon the book my son was reading, “My Experiments with Truth” an autobiography by Mahatma Gandhi. I read this book many years ago but remembered very little. In this book, he casually states that he lived only on fruits and nuts for nine long years. When I came upon this statement, I literally jumped out of the bed and kept pacing all night long, wondering how he came to this conclusion decades earlier. By the time I read this book the second time, I was already largely following this practice and the majority of my food intake, if not exclusively, had been fruits and nuts.

Fast forward a few years. Now there is growing strong evidence as to the benefit of consuming nuts. A study published in December 2016 in BMC Medicine reports the findings of twenty prospective studies about the benefits of consuming nuts.
Health benefits from consuming just a handful of nuts a day reported in this study are as follows.

Risk reduction:
Coronary artery disease …. 29%
Respiratory diseases ………. 52%
Diabetes …………………………. 39%
Infectious disease ……………75%

Among the more recent studies, the report published in the February 19, 2019 edition of Circulation also reports the benefits of eating nuts. In people with type 2 diabetes who consumed nuts, the death rate from cardiovascular disease is down by a whopping 34%.
So in a nutshell (pun intended), you should all join me and go nuts unless there are specific allergy issues. And if you are reading this, you know not to add salt to these naturally delicious nuts.
Coming up: Three reasons why you should be eating nuts.

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