You should be aware by now that adding some nuts to your diet is a good thing. Nuts are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and good fats—and they can help lower your cholesterol, control your appetite, and improve your heart health. They can even strengthen a guy’s sperm counts.
We have some good news for all you almond-eaters out there: Consistently gobbling down a handful of nuts every day is even more strongly linked to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease, says a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The big study, which analyzed 200,000 people involved with three long-term studies over a 30-year period, looked at how many nuts people ate every day, and then compared that number with the people who ended up with major and minor cardiovascular diseases—fatal and nonfatal strokes, and heart attacks. No surprises here: People who ate five or more servings of nuts per week had a 14% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 20% reduced risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who never ate nuts.
“Our findings support recommendations of increasing the intake of a variety of nuts, as part of healthy dietary patterns, to reduce the risk of chronic disease in the general populations,” said lead author Marta Guasch-Ferre, Ph.D., a research fellow at the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Raw nuts, if possible unpeeled and otherwise unprocessed, may be considered as natural health capsules that can be easily incorporated into any heart-protective diet to further cardiovascular well-being and promote healthy aging.”
Here’s a primer on the unique health benefits of eight different nuts and seeds.