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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Longevity in a nutshell

WATERTOWN — Business is brisk at Fastachi nut shop on Mt. Auburn Street. Almonds and cashews are flying off shelves and nut mixes (often with something sweet like chocolate or dried cranberries, or something hot like wasabi peas) are being scooped by the pound.

According to a recent study, nuts may help us live longer, healthier lives. New research shows that people who eat a daily handful of nuts have improved longevity, lower risk for chronic illnesses like heart disease, and are generally leaner than those who do not eat nuts. The results correlate with an abundance of previous studies. But do the nuts themselves help us live longer, or are they consumed mainly by diligent health enthusiasts dedicated to exercise and eating right in the first place?

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