About the book
Mediterranean diet is referred to as an ideal diet for the prevention of human chronic diseases and maintaining good health. Nuts constitute an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Nuts include a wide range of products such as tree nuts that include almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, hazel nuts and many others, as well as legume-based seeds such as peanuts. Although each nut has its own unique chemical and nutrient composition, in general they represent nutrient dense products having beneficial phytonutrient composition as well as fatty acid profiles. As a result, consumption of nuts has always been associated with the prevention of many chronic diseases and maintaining good health.
Although nuts have been consumed over the past several hundreds of years, it was not until 2003 when their health claims were officially approved. Several epidemiological studies showed a good relationship between consumption of nuts and reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, as well as a limited evidence for other diseases such as cancer, hypertension, and diseases associated with inflammation. These observations initiated several animal-based and human clinical studies to better understand the types of beneficial compounds present in nuts and their mechanisms of action. Well designed studies have also been undertaken to identify specific nuts with specific human health disorders and the levels of intake necessary for their health benefits. Over the past several years, several review articles have been published on this topic. There is now a need for a book that will include chapters directed towards current information on specific aspects of nuts and their beneficial as well as allergic role in human nutrition and health authored by international experts in their specific area of expertise.