Nibbling on nuts might be the fountain of youth. Researchers at Harvard Medical School compared all-cause mortality rates among 76,464 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Nut consumption was monitored at baseline and updated every two to four years. Results showed that people who ate one-ounce of nuts every day showed a 20% decrease in risk for dying from any cause during the subsequent three decades, compared to people who didn’t eat nuts. While the study did not prove cause and effect, it did find that eating nuts also was linked to lower risks for dying from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases.
In another study from the same researchers, frequent consumption of nuts was linked to a lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer in women.
A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that women who eat nuts during pregnancy (assuming they aren’t allergic to nuts) are less likely to have children with nut allergies.
Bao Y, Han J, Hu F, et al: Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;369:2001-2011.
Bao Y, Hu F, Giovannucci E, et al: Nut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in women. British Journal of Cancer 2013;109:2911-2916.
Frazier A, Camargo C, Malspeis S, et al: Prospective study of peripregnancy consumption of peanuts or tree nuts by mothers and the risk of peanut or tree nut allergy in their offspring. JAMA Pediatrics 2013;December 23rd.