(NaturalNews) Nuts have long been a popular snack food. Inexpensive, readily plentiful and easy to pack for traveling, the large variety of nuts available virtually ensures that almost everyone will find a favorite. As if that were not enough, there are a number of health benefits that can result from eating a handful of nuts on a daily basis.
Recent study affirms the benefits of eating nuts
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study recently that highlighted just how well nuts protect a person's health. People who ate just one serving of nuts each day had a significantly reduced incidence of heart disease. In fact, adding a daily dose of nuts resulted in a close to 30% lower risk of heart disease. In addition, over the course of the study, those people who ate nuts on a daily basis were 20% less likely to die of any cause compared to those people who did not eat nuts.
A collaboration shows results.
Three esteemed medical institutions -- Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital -- charted the results of two studies in an effort to correlate a connection between nut consumption and increased health benefits. The Health Professionals' Follow-up Study followed 42,000 men over the course of 25 years, while the Nurses' Health Study followed 76,000 women for more than 30 years. Every few years, participants in both studies filled out surveys with questions detailing their lifestyle choices, including their diets.
Other benefits of eating nuts
Not only did researchers find that people who ate a serving of nuts daily had a 29% reduction in the amounts of deaths from heart disease, but there was also a reduction in deaths from cancer. These deaths fell about 11%. A serving size of nuts is about the same amount that is available in a bag of nuts purchased from a vending machine.
Removing other factors
Researchers found that people who often ate a serving of nuts each day also tended to be healthier than those people who did not include nuts in their regular diets. The nut-eaters were more likely to be thinner, be nonsmokers, consume healthy foods regularly and engage in exercise regularly than those people who did not eat nuts. Even though all these factors could influence the death and disease rates of the study participants, researchers used statistical methods to remove the other factors.
The researchers found that the type of nut did not influence the results. Participants benefited from eating nuts whether they consumed peanuts or one of the varieties of tree nuts. Tree nuts are considered to be cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans. Because nuts can be high in calories, the FDA recommends limiting their consumption to 1.5 ounces each day.
About the author: Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.