heartnut1.jpgNuts are known to be heart friendly and studies have shown that consuming a handful od nuts approximately 5 times in a week lowers your overall risk of heart disease.

The Adventist Health study has reported that those who ate nuts five times a week were at a lower risk of heart disease in comparison to people who did not eat nuts at all.

The study conducted by the Iowa Women’s Health Study goes on to show that those women who ate nuts at least 2 to 4 times a week reduced their risk of death due to coronary heart disease by at least 43% as compared to those who did not eat nuts at all. Another study by the Harvard Nurses’ Health study revealed that women who had a helping of 5 ounces of nuts in a week had a 35% lower chance of coronary heart disease in contrast to those who did not consume nuts at all.

The study conducted by the Harvard’s School of Public Health on 4000 people reported that those who had a helping of nuts at least twice a week lowered their risk of getting a second heart attack by at least 25%.

Nuts are good for health as they have several properties that ensure a healthy life. They have a positive impact on blood cholesterol levels due to the high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats content. It raises HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the good cholesterol, while reducing the levels of bad cholesterol and also triglycerides. Triglycerides is a common type of fat found in your blood, and is used in the measurement of the cholesterol levels in your blood.

Some nuts are found to be a good source of arginine that is helpful in providing the blood vessels with the required conditions to relax. It also prevents blood clots thus in turn lowering your risk of a heart disease and stroke. Walnuts especially are high in linolenic acid which offers protection against heart diseases.

Nuts also contain important minerals like potassium, magnesium, folic acid, phytochemicals, copper, selenium and vegetable protein. Nuts are also a rich source of Vitamin E and fiber. Some studies suggest that having a helping of 1.5 ounces of nuts reduces your LDL levels and also lowers of risk of coronary heart disease.

Note that not all nuts are good for your body. Look out for healthier versions of nuts like peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts and pistachio. However, nuts like macadamias, Brazil nuts, pinyon pine nuts and cashew nuts are high in saturated fats and are thus not beneficial for your heart. Coconuts and palm nuts must be consumed in moderation because they are also very high in saturated fats.

Eating nuts in very high quantities will not do your heart good in a short period of time. They are high in calorific value and can actually cause obesity if taken in large amounts. A handful of healthy nuts each day in addition to a balanced diet will help to keep heart diseases at bay.

Some people may have an allergy to peanuts and it is important to confirm that before consuming it because the consequences can actually be life threatening.

So do remember, a handful of nuts a day is the best solution to a heart-healthy you!