What if we told you that the most delicious thing in the universe, aka nuts, could actually save your life? Well, that would just be sweet cinnamon on the roasted walnut, because as we know, the nut is already the best thing nature ever gave us. Not that we need to elaborate but: Pecan pie? Well, happy Thursday, because now it's been proven that nuts will also literally make you live longer. We wouldn't joke about this: the biggest study ever conducted on nuts and mortality says so.
A group of determined Harvard scientists monitored over 118,000 people and their nut consumption for over 30 years. And we are so glad they did: we now definitively know that eating nuts regularly will help protect from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other nasty conditions. According to the study, those who ate a one-ounce daily serving their choice of nuts had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from any cause.
The miraculous nut was found to even improve life expectancy for people who otherwise might not have healthy habits going for them — that is, mortality was reduced also for nut-eaters who did not exercise, eat fruits and vegetables, and who were overweight. Even less regular nut consumption was shown to be beneficial.
How can something so good be true?
Well, researchers aren't exactly sure, but it could be that nuts' minerals, vitamins, unsaturated fat, and protein lower inflammation and cholesterol.
See? Practically health food.
If you read the full study by the New England Journal of Medicine, you might pick up that "nuts" refers to "tree nuts." AKA, the findings don't include the delicious peanut, which is actually a legume. (Fear not though: peanuts also want to improve your life, and may protect against Alzheimer's disease.)
Mmmm ... peanut butter and pickles.
Other than that peanut exception, all nuts — like walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and cashews — are beneficial.
And if your nut habit has ever caused you guilt, now that's really silly.
"There's a general perception that if you eat more nuts you're going to get fat. Our results show the opposite," said Dr. Ying Bao of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who led the study.