Eating nuts is healthy for the heart. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and other nuts are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids which keep blood vessels healthy and help improve blood cholesterol level.
Nuts For The Heart
As long as you do not have sensitivities to nuts, you can definitely include it in your healthy diet. Its capability to lower your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol level helps keep the heart-healthy. LDLs can cause plaque buildup in the blood vessels. Nuts, on the other hand, improve healthy artery lining, lowering the risk of having blood clots that are often the cause of the fatal heart attack.
Nuts are also said to lower the risk of inflammation which is associated with heart disease.
What’s In Your Nuts?
Heart-friendly substances in your nuts besides protein are:
Unsaturated fats, when eaten in moderation and used in place of saturated and trans fats, helps lower cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are more popularly known to be found in many kinds of fish, are also found in nuts. These fatty acids prevent your heart from developing dangerous heart rhythms that can be a chief reason to have a heart attack.
Vitamin E in almonds is one of the best vitamin E food. It prevents the development of plaque in your arteries which cause it to narrow. When plaque is formed in the arteries, it leads to chest pain, coronary artery disease, or heart attack.
Fibers are found in any nuts which help in lowering your cholesterol level. It quickly gives you a feeling of fullness that is why you tend to eat less. It also prevents you from having type 2 diabetes.
L-arginine is a substance that helps promote healthy artery walls, making it more flexible and less prone to blood clots that block blood flow.
Plant sterols help maintain good cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of having cancer.
Does The Type Of Nuts Matter?
No. Most nuts are generally healthy, though some have more nutrients than the others, like walnuts which have higher omega-3 fatty acids.
It would matter though once your nuts are coated with chocolate, sugar, or salt.
Are The Nut Oils Healthy, Too?
The nut oils are also healthy except for the fact that they no longer contain fiber which can usually be found in whole nuts, like the walnut mentioned earlier, which has higher omega-3 fatty acids and so is its oil.
Nut oils are excellent in making salad dressing or in cooking. But let me remind you that nut oil reacts differently when heated than vegetable oils do. Nut oil can taste bitter when overheated. Like any other oils, use the nut oil in moderation for they, too, are high in fat and calories.
Though nuts are said to be healthy, it is still important to monitor the amount you eat. The American Heart Association recommends eating nuts in moderation. A handful which is about 1.5 ounces or 42.5 g is enough for a day. It is significant to know that the nuts you are supposed to be eating are not the ones coated with sugar or salted for you to enjoy its benefits.