People who regularly eat nuts appear to live longer, according to the largest study of its kind.
The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggested the greatest benefit was in those munching on a daily portion. The US team said nut eaters were likely to also have healthy lifestyles, but the nuts themselves were also contributing to their longer lifespan. The British Heart Foundation said more research was needed to prove the link
The study followed nearly 120,000 people for 30 years. The more regularly people consumed nuts, the less likely they were to die during the study. People eating nuts once a week were 11% less likely to have died during the study than those who never ate nuts. Up to four portions was linked to a 13% reduction in deaths and a daily handful of nuts cut the death rate during the study by 20%.
Lead researcher Dr Charles Fuchs, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital, said: "The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29% in deaths from heart disease, but we also saw a significant reduction - 11% - in the risk of dying from cancer."