Health researchers worldwide have called for joint efforts to create awareness on the importance of including nuts and dried fruits as part of healthy diet.

At the recently-concluded meeting of the International Nut & Dried Fruit (INC) in Spain, participants highlighted the potential role of nuts and dried fruits in the prevention of diabetes.

As many as 25 researchers and professors from universities in Europe, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Iran, Turkey, UK and USA have summarized the latest evidence related to the health benefits of nuts and dried fruits, and discussed and defined gaps, new topics, needs and opportunities in research for the future.

Pratap Nair, member of INC executive committee, said effects of consuming nuts and dried fruits gained traction over the last few years. Supported by growing scientific evidences, they have been associated with a myriad of health benefits, from cardiovascular health to insulin resistance and diabetes, weight management, lipoproteins and dyslipidemia, inflammation and oxidation, aging and cognition, and some forms of cancer.

The benefits of nuts are wide-ranging and include a variety of nutrients, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and antioxidants, all of which have a beneficial effect on health, and dried fruits contain essential nutrients and health-promoting bioactive compounds such as antioxidants.