Not every food that’s good for you tastes good, but nuts may be the exception. Many delicious nuts have long been touted as a nutritious way to maintain heart health, lower your cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and get a ton of essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Now, a new Harvard study has found that consuming one particular nut five times a week can ultimately extend your life by more than a year. To see which nut you should be having a handful of at least a few times a week, read on.
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Eating five servings of walnuts a week can extend your life by more than year.
A study published on Aug. 4 in the journal Nutrients found that a few handfuls of walnuts a week can help you live longer. The research, out of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that eating five or more servings of walnuts per week (with one serving being one ounce) helped people extend their life 1.3 years longer than people who didn’t eat walnuts.
The five servings of walnuts per week was also associated with a 14 percent decreased risk of death, from any cause, and a 25 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease specifically.
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Even eating fewer walnuts can still be beneficial for your health.
If you don’t love walnuts enough to make it through five servings a week, don’t fret. The Harvard researchers found that consuming walnuts just two to four times per week could still have meaningful benefits.
According to the study, eating walnuts two to four times a week could lead to a 13 percent reduced risk of death, a 14 percent decreased risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases, and an increase of about one year to your life compared to people who don’t eat walnuts.
Walnuts are particularly beneficial for people who don’t eat well otherwise.
If your diet isn’t in great shape, walnuts are the perfect way to move toward a healthier lifestyle. According to the Harvard study, when people with a suboptimal diet added just half of a serving of walnuts to their daily diet, the benefits were clear: They had a 12 percent reduced risk of death and a 26 percent decreased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
“What we’ve learned from this study is that even a few handfuls of walnuts per week may help promote longevity, especially among those whose diet quality isn’t great to begin with,” lead investigator Yanping Li, PhD, said in a statement. “It’s a practical tip that can be feasible for a number of people who are looking to improve their health.”
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Walnuts are full of nutrients and antioxidants that have other health benefits, too.
The Harvard researchers say just one serving of walnuts “is a powerhouse of important nutrients for optimum health, including protein (4g), fiber (2g), a good source of magnesium (45mg) and an excellent source of the essential omega-3 ALA (2.5g).”
Walnuts are also rich in antioxidants, good for your gut, support weight loss, and may even reduce your risk of some cancers, according to Healthline.
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