We know that eating nuts is a good health move but do you know which nuts, in particular, keep your heart well, and how? Research proves that nuts have many heart-focused benefits and adding some of them to your daily diet will benefit you immensely.
Here are the top heart-friendly ones:
Walnuts: For many people, this is the top choice when it comes to the healthiest and best nut variety. Walnuts are considered a superfood because of their healthy fat content. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart.
Just 28 grams of walnuts are said to have more antioxidants than what a person would get from eating fruits and vegetables. However, don’t let this information confuse you. You still need fruits and vegetables for other nutrients that walnuts may not be able to provide as much of.
Almonds: Almonds are great sources of vitamin E, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Consuming a handful of almonds per day is said to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Macadamia: This nut was earlier set aside to have too much of a good thing – they had a lot of fat, more than any of the other popular ones. But recent research says that that might not be such a bad thing after all. Macadamia is high in oleic acid ( a monounsaturated fatty acid) which is considered a cholesterol cutter. It also decreases the chances of having high blood pressure.
Pecan nuts: Another nut that is dense in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats is the pecan nut. If these are consumed in moderation, they can help prevent against heart disease. Moreover, pecan nuts contain no cholesterol and no trans fat. That’s more good news for your heart.
Good For Your Heart But How?
We’ve been warned time and again to stay away from saturated fats and eliminate trans fats completely. Every nut that has been mentioned in the list above are known to be low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the kind that’s good for your heart. This is because they lower bad cholesterol levels. Pecan and almond nuts have the lowest amounts of saturated fat.
Omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids may decrease triglycerides and reduce blood clotting and irregular heartbeats. They are usually found in fatty fish but some nuts are rich in them too.
L-arginine: This is an amino acid usually found in dairy, poultry, fish, and red meat. Nuts are also a source of this substance. As a medicine, it is used to treat congestive heart failure, chest pains, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
Don’t Binge Though!
While nuts are a powerhouse of nutrients, don’t go overboard and binge on them. They are high-fiber foods and eating too many at once can cause bloating, gas, even diarrhea. They can also cause weight gain since they are high in fat. If you have a nut allergy, avoid foods that may have nuts in them as they can be life-threatening.