Tucking into a small serve of nuts every day could lower your risk of heart attack and stroke, researchers from Harvard University have found.
Walnuts, peanuts and almonds in particular were shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, while pistachios and cashews were also found to be of benefit.
The results were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
While the findings are good news for people who love nuts, it doesn’t mean you can gorge yourself on a salty bag of peanuts every day.
The research team from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health say you should only eat about 28g of nuts each day and they should be raw and unsalted.
As nuts are high in calories they should be eaten in place of one of your daily snacks, not in addition to your morning or afternoon tea.
Previous studies have linked nuts to a lower risk of heart disease, but this is the first study to look at particular types of nuts.
Researchers found that people who ate walnuts at least once a week had a 19 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease.
At least two weekly serves of peanuts was associated with a 13 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 15 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Researchers also found people who ate peanuts and walnuts regularly also had a reduced risk of stroke.
Diet is a key factor in reducing the overall risk heart disease, with experts hailing the benefits of a diet high in good fats, such as those found in fish, avocado and olive oil, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and wholegrains.
The Australian Heart Foundation recommends eating less processed foods, which are high in salt and eating one to three servings of lean protein everyday.
If you’re not too keen on eating a serve of plain nuts every day, try adding them to your morning cereal or mix them with a few pieces of dried fruit.