The study found that eating more walnuts, more often, was linked with improved longevity in both men and women. More specifically, they found that consuming five or more 1 ounce servings of walnuts per week was associated with a 14% lower risk of death—from any cause—and an additional 1.3 years of life life, compared to those who didn’t consume walnuts.
On top of that, researchers found that in cases where participants had a “suboptimal diet” (based on data on food, nutrients, and chronic disease risk), one half-cup serving of walnuts per day led to a 12% lower risk of death, and specifically a 26% lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
While it is important to note that the study was supported by the California Walnut Commission, it did include data from over 90,000 participants (67,014 women and 26,326 men, to be exact) and up to 20 years of follow-up.
“What we’ve learned from this study is that even a few handfuls of walnuts per week may help promote longevity, especially among those whose diet quality isn’t great to begin with,” explains lead investigator Yanping Li, Senior Research Scientist at the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “It’s a practical tip that can be feasible for a number of people who are looking to improve their health, which is top of mind for many people.”