London: Consuming 20 grams or a handful of hazelnuts and walnuts and peanuts a day can cut risk of heart disease, cancer and premature death.
Nuts are rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, which lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol; plus, they are a good source of phytosterols, compounds that help lower blood cholesterol, reports CNN.
A 2016 analysis of 29 studies and up to 8,19,000 people revealed that 20 grams of nuts a day -- equivalent to a handful -- can cut people's risk of heart disease by nearly 30 percent, their risk of cancer by 15 percent and their risk of premature death by 22 percent.
In fact, the research suggests that nuts may help with appetite control, which can prevent weight gain or even help with weight loss.
The study included all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazelnuts and walnuts, and peanuts (which are technically legumes).
They are packed with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium. Walnuts are a winner among nuts, because unlike their siblings, they have a significant amount of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for skin health.
They also contain the most antioxidants compared with other nuts, according to a study from the American Chemical Society. But the fat, along with protein, is satiating and helps slow rises in blood sugar.
That can prevent cravings for sweets and other carbohydrate-rich foods. Research has also shown that eating nuts daily may help us live healthier lives.
Try making your own trail mix with nuts and dried fruit, or sprinkle some nuts in your salad, cereal or yogurt. You can also use crushed nuts as a tasty topping for fish. And if you want nothing other than nuts, stick to quarter-cup portions, or a small handful....