Really! People who ate at least 20 grams of nuts per day (about a handful) were 22 percent less likely to die prematurely, according to a 2016 review article published in BMC Medicine.
2 / 6 Reason #2: You May Help Your HeartRead more
People who ate the most nuts had nearly a one-third decreased risk of having coronary heart disease and a 21 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with people who ate little to no nuts, according to the same 2016 review. Researchers say that the high levels of fiber, polyunsaturated fats, and magnesium may all contribute to lower cholesterol and improved heart health.
Related: Is Aspirin Good For Your Heart?
3 / 6 Reason #3: You May Cut Your Cancer RiskRead more
Study participants who popped a handful of nuts or more daily had a 15 percent lower risk of developing cancer compared with those who ate the least, according to the same study. This may be because of the high levels of cell-protecting antioxidants in nuts.
Related: 10 Cancer Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore
4 / 6 Reason #4: You May Weigh LessRead more
Nuts have calories, but they also have fiber, protein, and fat, which can help curb your appetite. When researchers put overweight adults on a diet, people whose plan included almonds lost more weight and kept it off for longer compared with those who ate more carbs, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders.
Related: 6 Proven Weight Loss Tips
5 / 6 Reason #5: You May Deter DiabetesRead more
Many studies show that people who eat more nuts have less risk of diabetes. But researchers now say that nuts may even help prevent people with prediabetes from developing into the disease’s full-blown version.
When adults who had prediabetes added 2 ounces (a heaping handful) of pistachios to their daily diets their levels of insulin resistance improved, according to a 2014 study from Spain.
6 / 6 Reason #6: You May Enjoy Your Food MoreRead more
They’re the flavor, texture, and extra something many foods need. Throw some peanut butter in oatmeal or a smoothie and breakfast is no longer boring. Use almond meal with a few spices and a pinch of salt in place of breadcrumbs for the best chicken fingers ever. Toss a handful of toasted walnuts or pistachios in a salad to add crunch. Nuts are your allies, both in terms of the nutritious and the delicious.
Words by Rachel Meltzer Warren