For more than twenty years, scientists have been finding evidence that consuming nuts results in measurable health benefits. Frequent consumption of tree nuts has been linked to a reduced of major chronic diseases such as heart disorders and Type 2 Diabetes. But the most recent studies have even better news.

The Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professional’s Follow-Up Study together followed over 118,000 men and women for years, recording what participants ate, and analyzing their diets in relation to the causes of death of the approximately 27,000 people who died over that time. They found that the more often nuts were consumed, the less likely the participants were to die of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. And not because the nut eaters fell prey to another illness! Their death rate (from any cause) was overall lower than those who did not eat nuts.

But, you ask, aren’t nuts really fattening? Yes, they can contain up to 200 calories per ounce, and 80% of that is from fat. But nuts are one of the food products that contain “good fats” – like avocado and fatty fish. Additionally, because they are fatty and high in protein, they quell hunger much better than snacks high in sugar and carbs. Those who snack on nuts are likely to snack less, and eat less overall. Plus, botanically speaking, nuts are fruit – they’re just the seed part, which is capable of producing a new plant when raw. Therefore, much like yolks, nuts contain extra nutrients to help support healthy tissue.

Including a serving or two of nuts in your daily diet is not hard – for breakfast, add nuts to your oatmeal. For lunch, chop up some almonds to go on top of your salad. Nuts can also be added to stir-fries and desserts – so don’t be afraid to experiment!

To learn more about the study, read the full article at The New York Times.

Image Credit: Wen95