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Go nutty to live longer

Go nutty to live longer
29th November 2013

Regularly eating nuts can extend a person's lifespan, help fend of cancer and even improve their memory, it has been claimed.

Researchers at Harvard University in the US investigated the lifestyles of more than 119,000 people over a 20-year period and found that those which regularly snacked on peanuts, Brazils and pistachios tended to live longer.

People who ate nuts seven time each week had 20 per cent lower fatality rates during the study period and even those who only went nutty once a week lower their risk of dying by seven per cent.

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, said that the antioxidants found in nuts have cancer-fighting qualities and also contain essential minerals such as copper, zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese.

All of these minerals help organs to function, but magnesium is particularly good for the brain and can help with memory retention.

Nuts are considered to be fatty foods, but in the most part they contain 'good fats' which can lower the chances of person suffering a stroke or heart attack if consumed in moderation.

Sioned Quirke, of the British Dietetic Association, told the Daily Mail that a regular portion of nuts has numerous health benefits. She also suggests that people should eat the skins of almonds because they are packed full of nutrients.

"A portion is around one ounce or 30g, which looks like a golf ball," she said.

"Good things come in small packages. We would always say go for unprocessed nuts — not the salty or dry roasted ones."

Speaking to the BBC, Victoria Taylor, a senior dietician for the British Heart Foundation, said that while the study indicated nuts are beneficial to the heart, more research needs to be carried out before anything conclusive can be stated.