A study published in the journal of JAMA Medicine has determined that a diet high in nuts is linked to a substantially lower mortality rate. Nuts, including tree nuts and peanuts (defined as a legume rather than a nut) are a cheap fix to a pervasive health problem.
The research participants consisted of 71,764 people living in the southern US with mostly low incomes and and 134,265 Chinese people living in Shanghai, China. The American groups were in 12 southern US states, with more than 85,000 participants enrolled between the years 2002 and 2009, aged from 40 to 79 years and mostly from low-income communities. The Chinese cohorts were between 40 and 74 years of age in 8 communities of urban Shanghai, taking part in the study from 1996 to 2006 and totalling over 136,000 people.
Key findings of the study include:
In the US cohort of people, there was a 21% lower risk of death from any cause for individuals who ate the most peanuts
In the Chinese groups, high nut intake gave a 17% lower risk of death overall
For all the ethnic groups, there was a link to a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease (coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack and heart failure).
Prospective evaluation of the association of nut/peanut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality, Hung Luu, et al., JAMA Intern Med, OI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8347, published online 2 March 2015, abstract.