A combination of twenty studies assessed by researchers has found that eating a handful of nuts a day has some pretty significant health benefits. Just a couple dozen almonds or other nuts can do the trick for significantly reducing your likelihood to get heart disease, cancer and other serious ailments.

Researchers say that the daily nut eaters have a reduced risk of heart disease by 29%, cancer 15%, and cardiovascular disease by 21%. Those are serious numbers for what amounts to an investment of less than a dollar a day. 

In a review combining data from 20 prospective studies, researchers found that compared with people who ate the least nuts, those who ate the most reduced the risk for coronary heart disease by 29 percent, for cardiovascular disease by 21 percent and for cancer by 15 percent.

There’s more. The researcher’s study, in BMC medicine, also found that eating that mere handful of nuts every day results in a 52 percent reduced risk for respiratory disease, 39 percent for diabetes and 75 percent reduced risk for infectious disease. 

“It has been shown in randomized trials that higher nut intake can reduce triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood,” said the lead author, Dagfinn Aune, a research fellow at Imperial College London. “And nuts are high in fiber, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats.”

It’s noteworthy that the results didn’t get better for people who ate more than an ounce of nuts a day. This is big news in a little package and I know that I ready to start crunching more nuts!