A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the largest of its kind, has found that people who eat a handful of nuts every day, live longer than people who do not consume nuts.
Scientists from Harvard analysed data on nearly 120 000 people that had been collected over a period of 30 years.

In addition to finding that these patients lived longer, they also found that regular eaters tended to be slimmer, which contradicts previous reports that they caused weight gain.

The study revealed that these patients had a 29% reduction in deaths related to heart disease and an 11% reduction in the risk of dying from cancer. The results were the same regardless of the type of nuts, so Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, walnuts pistachios and almonds all seemed to have the same effect.

This research builds on previous studies that have linked eating nuts with a reduced risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, colon cancer and diverticulitis. In addition we already know that nuts help lower cholesterol and reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as body fat.

The scientists are not sure whether it is these properties that causes the reduced mortality or if it is the unsaturated fats found in nuts, or if the effect was due to the fact that people who ate nuts ate less unhealthy foods in general.

The study also revealed the more nuts people ate, the less likely they were to die