Eating nuts at least twice a week can slash the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by almost 17 per cent, a new study suggests.
"Nuts are a good source of unsaturated fat and contain little saturated fat," said study author Noushin Mohammadifard from Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, Iran.
"They also have protein, minerals, vitamins, fibre, phytosterol, and polyphenols which benefit heart health. European and US studies have related nuts with cardiovascular protection but there is limited evidence from the Eastern Mediterranean Region," Mohammadifard said.
The study presented at the ESC Congress 2019, examined the association between nut consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease and death in the Iranian population.
A total of 5,432 adults aged 35 and older with no history of cardiovascular disease were randomly selected from urban and rural areas.
The intake of nuts including walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and seeds was assessed in 2001 with a validated food frequency questionnaire.
Participants were interviewed every two years until 2013 for the occurrence of cardiovascular events and death.
During a median 12-year follow-up, there were 751 cardiovascular events (594 coronary heart disease and 157 stroke), 179 cardiovascular deaths and 458 all-cause deaths.
According to the findings, eating nuts two or more times per week was associated with a 17 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular mortality compared to consuming nuts once every two weeks.
The connection was robust even after adjusting for factors that could influence the relationship such as age, sex, education, smoking and physical activity, said the study.