How a handful of nuts could save your life

How a handful of nuts could save your life

A recent study by Maastricht University in Holland found that eating a handful of nuts everyday can lower mortality as it reduces cholesterol levels and improves heart health.

Here's a list of five healthy nuts to include in your daily diet:


Almonds are a great choice as they are healthy as well as tasty. To get all their full nutrition, eat them with the skin on. As with most healthy nuts almonds are  high in in monounsaturated fats, which is better for heart health. The phosphorus found in this nut also helps to build strong bones and teeth, and almonds are one of the richest sources of vitamin E, which improves your skin and can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
In fact almonds are the only nut and one of the only few proteins that are alkaline forming. An alkalized body has better immune function and energy.


Walnuts are king among the nut family. Walnuts contain more antioxidants than many other healthy nuts, and are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Just a handful of walnuts provide the daily-recommended value of Omega-3 fats, which can reduce depression and Alzheimer’s disease as well as inflammatory diseases.
A study at the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia suggests that walnuts being rich antioxidants and phytosterols can also reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. And according to a study by Harvard School of Public Health walnuts can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30 per cent, as the nuts are high in polyunsaturated fats and good for insulin sensitivity.


These small nuts are full of antioxidants that protect from 'free radicals' and is an also a good source of vitamin E that protects from UV damage on the skin. B6 is another vitamin that you can find in pistachios which is important to create hemoglobin, vitamin B6 improves the immune system as they create healthy red and white blood cells.
These nuts are high in two carotenoids, which you can’t find in many nuts. This helps to improve your eye health. Additionally, research discovered that pistachios also help remove bad cholesterol that can lead to heart attacks and stroke.


Cashew nuts have the lowest fat content among these top five nuts listed. They are high in copper, which is important for energy production, and also rich in magnesium which is good for a healthy heart. In their raw form, two handfuls of cashews count for 21 per cent of the daily-recommended value. Consuming cashews on a daily basis helps the body take up iron, develop bone tissue and produce melanin.


Pecan nuts are rich source of energy, so if you’re feeling tired this is a good source of vitamin B3. Theses nuts are also packed with plant sterols that lower cholesterol levels. Pecans are also another antioxidant-rich nut which helps prevent the plaque formation that hardens of the arteries.

  • Words by Lovisa Nilsson, the in-house nutritionist at the health and fitness app Lifesum
  • There's more health advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.