Live longer: The food that could lower risk of dying by 20%

Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer

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Scary yet largely preventable, chronic diseases could be staved off by leading a healthy lifestyle. And a healthy diet plays a key role in this process, with research singling out foods that are especially potent for your health. Furthermore, a study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, points to the protective potential of nuts.

Brimming with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, nuts might be a small food but they definitely don’t lack in health benefits.

When it comes to conditions that threaten long life, diseases such as cancer and heart disease rank high.

In fact, these culprits are considered to be the leading causes of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Luckily, the research shares that the little snack could make you “less likely” to die of cancer, heart disease as well as respiratory diseases.

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Looking at more than 118,000 participants from different studies, the researchers made sure that patients with cancer, heart disease or stroke were excluded.

The study subjects had to answer dietary questions at the beginning as well as every two to four years.

Based on how much nuts they ate, the participants were then divided into six groups and followed for a period of 30 years.

The study found that those who enjoyed the snack daily had a 20 percent lower risk of dying.

These daily nut-eaters were also found to be less likely to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.

The research added that the more nuts people ate, the lower their risk of death was.

However, the benefits of nut consumption don’t end here as the little snacks can also lower cholesterol.

Keeping cholesterol levels at bay is crucial if you want to avoid serious health consequences in the form of heart disease and stroke.

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Although nuts are packed with fat, they contain the type known as unsaturated, which can help keep your cholesterol in check, according to Heart UK.

Another reason why nuts could be potent at lowering high cholesterol is their fibre content.

This goodie can help block some cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream from your gut, according to the charity.

However, there’s also research that highlights the benefits of this small food.

Published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, the study found that walnuts were effective at lowering “bad” cholesterol.

The levels of the fatty substance fell “significantly” in those who enjoyed walnuts on a daily basis.

Heart UK recommends aiming for a handful of nuts daily, which is the equivalent of around 28 to 30 grams.

From almonds to walnuts and from hazelnuts to pecans, snacking on a variety represents a “good option”.

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