Eating nuts has always been linked to cardiovascular health benefits as well as increased cognitive function and reducing the threat of Alzheimer's. Now, the scientists have added more to that list: according to the new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, peanuts and tree nuts are associated with lower risk of mortality and developing chronic diseases. Just 15 grams of nuts or peanuts each day may have the ability to prolong your life by keeping away respiratory diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, heart problems and even cancer. Surprisingly, peanut butter was not found to have any protective benefits.

The researchers from Maastricht University in Holland examined data from the Netherlands Cohort Study, which has been running since 1986 and included over 120 000 Dutch men and women with ages between 55 and 69-year-old. All of them provided information on dietary and lifestyle habits. The experts had to analyze the relationship between the nuts (tree nuts, peanuts) and peanut butter intake and overall cause-specific mortality.

The results revealed that participants who consumed around 10 and 15 grams of nuts or peanuts every day were at lower risk of death from numerous diseases, especially respiratory and cardiovascular, compared with participants who didn't consume these foods. The results were equal between men and women, however, a higher intake was not associated with further reduction in mortality risk.

Also, peanut butter consumption was found to have no effect on mortality among participants. This could be because peanut butter contains additional ingredients such as salt, vegetable oil and trans-unsaturated fatty acids, which may inhibit the protective effects of peanuts. Peanuts and tree nuts both contain various compounds such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds, namely: macronutrients, such as vegetable protein; nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and tocopherols; and phytochemicals, such as phytosterols and phenolic compounds. Peanuts are also a great source of resveratrol and arginine, known to possess strong antitumoral effects. According to researchers, this benefits could contribute to the lower death rates.