A few nuts a day could keep the doctor away. In a new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, men and women who ate a minimum of 10 grams of peanuts and/or tree nuts daily were found to be at lower risk for dying from major causes of death including cancer, diabetes and diseases that effect the brain, heart and the lungs.
Researchers from Maastricht University looked at the Netherlands Cohort Study, a study that’s been running for nearly 30 years, to reach their conclusions. They tracked the nut-eating habits of more than 120,000 Dutch people between the ages of 55 and 69, analyzing portion size and how often nuts were ingested. The participants self-reported their daily consumption of nuts, peanuts and peanut butter.
The study found that eating this small serving of nuts every day reduced mortality by as much as 23 percent.
Before you go overboard on the peanut butter and jellies, know that the study did not find the nutty spread to have the same effect as the nuts in their whole form (though peanut butter does offer some other health benefits, like adding nutritious fats, fiber and protein into your diet).
Previous studies have highlighted nuts’ heart-healthy powers, but this is the first to link the food to lowering mortality related to other conditions. Ten grams seems to be the ideal portion size for reaping these newly unearthed benefits: The researchers did not find that eating more than 10 grams a day increased any of the health benefits.
For reference, this photo depicts the equivalent of about 10 grams of almonds, which amounts to around 7 pieces.