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In a rather interesting study, researchers from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands have claimed that a daily dose of nuts can offer immunity against a number of diseases. The study was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, this Thursday.

The study was conducted over a ten-year period, starting from 1986, on a Netherlands Cohort, wherein over 120,000 Dutch people formed the sample. They were aged between 55 and 69 years. The researchers observed their lifestyle and collected generic data on the same.

For the purpose of the study, researchers zeroed in on peanuts, which are groundnuts or legumes as the nuts that were to be ingested by the subjects. Peanuts contain beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

The results of the study were astounding. It was found that a mere handful of nuts could wade off a number of diseases. Nut consumption of at least 10 grams per day was linked with a 23 percent decrease in the risk of premature deaths over 10 years, across a host of diseases.

In particular, the researchers noticed a significant decrease in deaths from respiratory diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes. The reduced rate of risk in the case of respiratory diseases was as much as 45 percent.

However, the researchers specifically pointed out that the same effects were not certain on consumption of peanut butter, in place of peanuts. They also maintained that since the scope of the present study was limited to Netherlands, further research was needed to generalize the current findings.