Who’s Going Nuts for Healthy Heart Diet?

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I’m going crackers for nuts as a part of my healthy heart diet. There is evidence to show that an ounce to an ounce and a half of certain nuts are cholesterol free, can even help lower cholesterol and prevent some forms of heart condition. Some of the cholesterol lowering ones are walnuts, pistachios, almonds and peanuts, although peanuts are actually legumes related to beans, peas and lentils. Nuts can also satisfy our food cravings better than some other foods and this could mean a loss in weight when combined with other strategies like calorie control and exercise.

Almonds for Healthy Heart

There have been a number of studies show that almonds have real health benefits. They are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, fiber minerals, and other nutrients. As well as all this, Almonds are also high in the antioxidant vitamin E too. One study has shown, albeit with a small sample of people. that a handful of almonds reduced their bad LDL cholesterol by some four percent. Two hands full by nine point four percent.

Peanuts Are Good for Heart

There is a large amount of protein in peanuts and so it is sometimes eaten by bodybuilders who want to put on some weight, not that I need to put on any weight! Coenzyme Q10 is a constituent of peanuts that can protect the heart during a prolonged period of oxygen deprivation if one is climbing high mountains. Most people know that olive oil contains monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol but how many knew that a good handful of peanuts contains the same amount as a table spoonful of olive oil? The vitamin E in these legumes helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Again, most people know that grapes contain bioflavonoids that help blood flow but far fewer are aware that peanuts contain more. Then we can go on to Calcium for bones, iron for red blood cells and Niacin that may even help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Peanuts really should be part of our healthy heart diet.

Walnuts Reduces Heart Disease

Scientific evidence gathered over more than ten years is showing that consuming walnuts as part of a healthy diet reduces the risk of heart disease as they can improve blood vessel elasticity and help preventing plaque building up. Walnuts also believed to be able to help in keeping LDL cholesterol (known as bad cholesterol) down.  Suzanne Farrell, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, said, “Walnuts are great because they have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Other nuts don’t”. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in mackerel and other oily fish like salmon and tuna.

Pistachios Assist in Lowering Cholesterol

Pistachios contain quite a lot of fiber and protein. There’s also antioxidants and phenolic compounds and are in a group that is highest for these beneficial substances. Pistachios are also quite well off for sterols and research is showing that phytosterols could assist in lowering the intake of cholesterol from other foods.

Brazil Nuts Prevents Breast Cancer

The University of Illinois in the US carried out a study that offers the idea Brazil nuts may have a part to play in preventing breast cancer. It is thought that this benefits comes from the selenium found in the nuts. Selenium is also an antioxidant that can help to neutralize nasty free radicals that may cause damage to healthy cells and increase the risk of heart disease.

 

Advice at present is to eat about forty grams of mixed nuts a day, that’s about an ounce and a half in old money. Nuts make a tasty snack that can be eaten at any time of day. I have been having mine for supper with a cup of tea. I know I shouldn’t be drinking tea that close to bedtime but sometimes I just have to live dangerously.

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