Eating nut snacks regularly can, in fact, increase a person’s life span, according to researchers. A new study reveals that nuts can actually lower the risk of death from any type of disease by as much as 20 percent.
“The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29 percent in deaths from heart disease — the major killer of people in America,” said Charles S. Fuchs, MD, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center at Dana-Farber, who is the senior author of the report, according to a news release. “But we also saw a significant reduction — 11 percent — in the risk of dying from cancer.”
The magic number for nut consumption if you want to increase your longevity is 28g of nuts of any variety, preferably served without salt, eaten every day of the week.
However, many critics of the study’s findings say that their research hasn’t definitively revealed a cause and effect relationship between nut consumption and a longer life. People more likely to include nuts in their dietary choices most frequently also tended to be individuals who did not smoke, made healthier menu choices overall and tended to participate in regular exercise, all of which also leads to increased longevity.
“In all these analyses, the more nuts people ate, the less likely they were to die over the 30-year follow-up period,” explained Ying Bao, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, first author of the report.
A surprising factor uncovered was that nut eaters also tended to consume more alcohol than those who dismissed nuts as a snack option.
You can find organic nuts in most grocery stores, sold without preservatives or salt.