Eating peanuts (or any nut) = longer life according to this study

This is great news! Peanut butter is the glue that holds my life together.  A recent study has shown that if you eat nuts or peanuts regularly,  your risk of dying is lower than if you don’t. Researchers published by  the Harvard Medical School in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that  a diet that is high in nuts and peanuts extends your life expectancy by offering protection against almost all kinds of fatal disease.

How much did it decrease the subjects’ mortality risk? Oh,  by about twenty percent. Wow!

The protective effect of nuts had already been shown in other studies, but this one produced even more intriguing results. Nuts and peanuts reduced not only the chance of dying from cardiovascular problems, but also the chance of dying from:

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • infectious disease
  • lung disease
  • kidney disease

What was also interesting about the results of the study is that consuming nuts and peanuts protected pretty much everyone in the group: young and old, men and women, light and heavy, drinkers and non-drinkers, supplements users and non-users, athletes and non-athletes.

Yes, I know that peanuts are technically not nuts (I know that there’s someone out there yelling at their computer about that), but when the researchers split the results up between ‘tree nuts’ and ‘peanuts’, there was no noticeable difference. So for the sake of this article, we’re just going to go ahead and lump them all together like they  are in the can of mixed nuts that I keep on my desk.

Those who are up on their nutrition facts have long thought that nuts contain fatty acids that help improve  cholesterol balance in the body. This possibly explains why nuts and peanuts protect the heart and blood vessels. But if you read the study and take a good look at how broad the protective effect of nuts is, it’s pretty clear that they must contain other important bioactive substances.

So, I’m going to continue with keeping my 4pm snack of mixed nuts and a protein shake as part of my plan. And peanut butter … well, let’s be honest … it always has and always will be in my life.

N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 21;369(21):2001-11.

Leave a Reply