A new study has revealed that eating nuts seven or more times a week is inversely associated with total mortality in both men and women, independent of other predictors for death.
Researchers looked at the association of nut consumption, including tree nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts, with total and cause-specific mortality among 76,464 women in the Nurses' Health Study and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
It was also found that there were significant inverse associations for deaths due to cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease. "Compared with those who did not eat nuts, individuals who consumed nuts (serving size of one ounce) seven or more times per week had a 20 percent lower death rate and this association was dose-dependent," lead author, Ying Bao, MD, ScD, from the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, said.
Bao said that those who consumed more nuts were also leaner, and tended to have a healthy lifestyle, such as smoking less and exercising more. Nuts contain important nutrients such as unsaturated fats, high quality protein, vitamins (i.e., vitamin E, folate and niacin) minerals (i.e., magnesium, calcium and potassium) and phytochemicals, all of which may offer cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.