A new analysis of all current studies regarding the beneficial effects of nut consumption to the body revealed that eating a handful of nut daily could reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

The analysis, published in the journal BMC Medicine, showed that consuming about 20 grams of nuts a day could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent, the risk of cancer by 15 percent and the risk of premature death by 22 percent.

"In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we're starting to see data for other diseases," said Dagfinn Aune, a researcher at Imperial College London School of public Health and co-author of the study, in a press release. "We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It's quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food."

For the study, the researchers analyzed 29 published studies from around the world involving up to 819,000 participants. The participants include more than 12,000 cases of coronary heart disease 18,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer, 9,000 cases of stroke and over 85,000 deaths.

Among all the participants, the researchers observed a clear link between eating nuts and reduction of disease risk. Aside from its beneficial effect against heart disease and cancer, eating nuts is also associated to 50 percent decrease risk respiratory disease and nearly 40 percent reduced risk of diabetes.

The researchers observed similar results whether the nut being eaten were tree nuts or legumes. However, there is only a little evidence on the improvement of the risk-reducing ability of nuts. The researchers were attributing the health benefits of eating nuts to its chemical content. Nuts are known to be a good source of fiber, magnesium and polysaturated fats, all of which are good for cardiovascular health and reducing cholesterol levels.