If you want an excuse to snack on your favourite trail mix throughout the week, you'll be happy to learn that eating more nuts could save your life.

A new study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, shows that people who eat nuts (especially walnuts) are more likely to live longer.

The biggest effect was seen in those who eat nuts more than three times a week. They have a reduced risk of dying from cancer and heart disease compared to those who rarely eat nuts, according to the study's authors.

“Quite how nuts are able prevent premature mortality is not entirely clear, nor why walnut should be better for you than other nuts," lead researcher Jordi Salas-Salvadó said in a press release. "Walnuts have particularly high content of alpha-linoleic acid and phytochemicals, especially in their ‘skin’ both of which, along with fibre and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, may contribute to their healthy effect.”

For people who wish to lose weight, nuts could help with that too.
The study's authors found that nut eaters tended to have a lower BMI and smaller waist.

How often do you eat nuts? Try these recipes to sneak in more heart-healthy walnuts:


Black-Eyed Pea and Walnut Lettuce Wraps
Warm Shiitake Walnut Salad with Quinoa
Ginger Pear Energy Bars

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor