5 reasons why you should be eating a handful of nuts a day

See you later, apples! Studies have shown that nuts are the real MVP when it comes to keeping the doctor away.

We've long been told to skip the chips, cut out the chocolate and even say sayonara to those healthy muesli bars, all in favour of noshing on a handful of nuts.

Bar those who crack on about potential high levels of fat nuts contain, they have often been championed as the everyday power snack.

Enter health scientists. Once again they're supporting these nutty little beauties and have even found a plethora of benefits that nuts provide.

1. Protective powers

A huge study conducted by the Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science in December last year found that even snacking on a small amount of nuts daily can decrease the risk of developing two of the biggest Aussie killers - coronary heart disease and cancer.

Just 30g of nuts will reduce the risk of heart disease by 29 per cent and cancer by 15 per cent.

They can even help you live longer, slashing the risk of premature death by 22 per cent.

2. Weight watching

A daily dose of almonds can help you beat the bulge, especially for those with type 2 diabetes.

Published just this year, an Indian study found that almonds helped participants lose belly fat and reduce blood glucose levels when incorporated into a healthier diet.

Our [pecan dessert recipes](http://www.foodtolove.com.au/recipes/collections/pecan-pie-slice-tart-and-cake-recipes|target="_blank") are a great way to sneak in a few extra nuts.
Our pecan dessert recipes are a great way to sneak in a few extra nuts.

3. New nosh

If you're looking to overhaul your diet, nuts are the way to go.

A 2016 study by Yale University has found that adding 56g of walnuts to your daily diet can trigger a shift towards healthier tucker including seafood and greens.

4. Supporting satiety

Feeling fuller for longer helps stay your hand when it comes to reaching for those office bikkies.

As nuts are chock-full of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, your satiety hormones are activated with every bite, which tells your brain you don't really need that extra nibble on a chocolate bar.

High in fibre, they'll also stop you from absorbing all the calories they contain - win!

5. Nutty nutrition

Need a quick way to hit those daily nutritional intake numbers? Nuts have your back there too.

Almonds are high in vitamin E while Brazil nuts are your best bet for boosting metabolism with a single nut supplying a day's worth of selenium.

Cashews, walnuts and peanuts are also packed with good stuff from zinc and copper to plant-based omega-3’s and protein.

So...how much is a handful?

The magic number is 30 grams but what does that actually look like?

For almonds, it's about 20-24 while you'll need around 47 pistachios to hit the right amount. If you love Brazil nuts, snacking on 6-8 is enough and pecan fans should aim for 18-20 halves.

To help you on your nutty new goal, Nuts For Life are setting a challenge for the month of March.

Their #nuts30days30ways challenge is designed to inspire you to get your 30g a day. Good luck!

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