Nuts are natures’ power packs when it comes to nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. From pistachios and peanuts, to almonds and walnuts – nuts contain a wide range of essential food substances and chemicals that have countless beneficial effects on the body. In addition to aiding weight loss and providing protein, nuts have been proven to be incredibly successful at reducing the risk of people developing heart disease. This article will cover a basic overview of the science behind how nuts aid to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and will also list the best nut sources which are most beneficial to your health and wellbeing.
How do nuts reduce the risk of developing heart disease?
Heart disease arises from the deposition and accumulation of LDL (low density lipoproteins) cholesterol and saturated fat against the walls of the arteries. This plaque can develop further and is known as atheroma. Arterial plaque can cause the hardening of the arteries and restrict blood flow, this can therefore increase the blood pressure and cause a heart attack (cardiac arrest). Nuts such as pistachios have been shown to decrease the accumulation of cholesterol (LDL) within the arteries, keeping the blood vessels clear and free from blockages. This aids the maintenance of a healthy blood pressure and reduces the risk of the person developing heart disease. Studies carried out with pistachios have physically recorded a lower level of cholesterol and healthier heart pressure and rate in people who had been given pistachios to eat, as opposed to those who did not.
Studies carried out with diets that included almonds also showed similar results in regards to a reduction of cholesterol. Almonds have also been proven to aid weight loss and this furthers their beneficiary status as reducers of heart disease because being overweight or obese is a major contributing factor in the development of CHD (coronary heart disease). Nuts such as walnuts also display similar properties and also reduce any inflammation of the body which may result in a higher blood pressure. Walnuts have also been linked to reduce the amounts of lipoprotein B, which in the body translates as a genetic predisposition for heart disease, specifically in the arteries of this vital organ. Another popular nut and snack food are peanut; these also have the properties which reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Eating peanuts in small quantities has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and aiding weight control. As with all food groups however, moderation is vital!
Which other nuts are helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease?
Cashew and macadamia nuts have also shown many positive effects in lowering people’s risk of developing heart disease. As with many foods, the raw and natural food options are best. Many nuts and snack foods may be roasted, salted or covered in preservatives, these can have adverse effects on your health and too much salt in the diet actually increases your risk of developing heart disease. For the best effects, choose plain and raw nut options.