It’s well known that nuts are packed with nutrients. But eating all types of these tasty tidbits can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, suggest new findings published in the Journal of the American College Cardiology, reports The New York Times.

For the study, researchers evaluated 210,836 men and women involved in three large prospective health studies. This included 76,364 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1980 to 2012), 92,946 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991 to 2013) and 41,526 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986 to 2012). At baseline, all participants were free of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Additionally, scientists checked for everyone’s consumption of nuts with food frequency questionnaires that were updated every four years.

During a follow-up of these men and women, researchers found that there were 14,136 incidences of cardiovascular disease that included 8,390 cases of coronary heart disease and 5,910 of stroke). After scientists accounted for several factors, including smoking and family history of heart disease, findings showed that folks were at lower risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease when they ate more nuts of all kinds.

Specifically, those who ate less than one one-ounce serving of nuts each week reduced their risk for heart attack and stroke by 9 percent and their risk for coronary heart disease by 12 percent. Those numbers jumped to 14 percent and 20 percent, respectively, when folks ate a ounce-serving of nuts five times each week.

“Nuts have a unique nutritional composition, high in unsaturated fats, fiber and minerals,” said Marta Guasch-Ferré, a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of the study. “They should be included as part of a healthy diet.”

Click here to learn how almonds can boost the levels and function of good cholesterol.