London - Eating just seven walnuts a day could protect your health, research suggests.

The Christmas favourites contain almost twice as much antioxidants as any other popular nut, as well as fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Study leader Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, in the US, said: “This study suggests that consumers should eat more walnuts as part of a healthy diet.”

Dr Vinson said eating around seven walnuts a day was best to get the maximum health benefit.

Including nuts in your regular diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and type-2 diabetes, studies have suggested.

Scientists analysed the antioxidant content of nine different types of popular nut, including walnuts, almonds and peanuts.

Dr Vinson’s team found that walnuts not only had more antioxidants than other nuts, but that they contained more powerful kinds, helping fight the effects of harmful molecules.

The findings were presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California. - Daily Mail