(NaturalHealth365) Can we really prevent heart disease by eating tree nuts? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, at an Experimental Biology meeting in Boston, it was reported that tree nuts help to lower excess body weight, reduce metabolic syndrome and decrease cardiovascular risk factors.
The nuts we’re talking about include: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. Naturally, when possible, try to purchase the organic (unpasteurized/raw) varieties only.
Does your cardiologist understand the importance of healthy fats in the diet?
Researchers at Loma Linda University revealed that just a handful of nuts per day were significantly associated with a lower incidence of metabolic syndrome. This study showed the effects were independent of demographic, lifestyle and other dietary factors. Can you believe it?
Another study of 14,386 adults participating in the 2005-2010 National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys showed that consumption of tree nuts improved the quality of the diet and led to lower systolic blood pressure, higher HDL cholesterol, lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference measurements. This particular study revealed that just one ounce per day achieved all these great health benefits.
Finally, a third study looked at several markers for cardiovascular disease. In 2011, researchers from the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto Canada published one of the largest studies on tree nuts and diabetes. The results are truly remarkable.
They found tree nut consumption is associated with an increase of the HDL good cholesterol, a decrease in total cholesterol along with LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure and better blood sugar readings – while lowering the individual’s 10-year coronary heart disease risk. Ask your cardiologist to look at these reports.
Cyril Kendall, Ph.D., from Toronto University said: “nut consumption was also found to increase LDL particle size, which is less damaging when it comes to heart disease risk.” Interesting to note that small LDL particles are the ones responsible for arterial damage and plaque buildup.
Why should you care about almonds?
Researchers who studies data from the Nurses Health Study found that substituting nuts for an equivalent amount of carbohydrates will result in a 30 percent reduction in heart disease, and substituting it for (unhealthy) factory farmed, saturated fats reduced the risk by 45 percent. Pretty impressive – isn’t it?
In addition, almonds have the ability to reduce heart disease risk due to their vitamin E content as well as their monounsaturated fats. Also, almonds contains 99 mg of magnesium and lots of potassium.
Diabetics should pay close attention – since diabetes increases your risk for heart disease. Almonds appear to not only decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar, but also provide antioxidants to mop up the smaller amounts of free radicals that still result. And this is all reported in mainstream journals like, Journal of Nutrition.
Why should I eat Brazil nuts?
Brazil nuts are a wonderful source of selenium – which is essential for a healthy heart. In fact, you just need to eat (3) Brazil nuts, to get the proper amount of selenium. Keep in mind, more is not better, since too much selenium can be toxic to the human body – when over-consumed.
Besides selenium, magnesium and thiamine content, they contain calcium, manganese, phosphorous, copper, potassium, zinc and iron. They also contain some essential omega 6 fatty acid – which is needed for proper heart function.
Did you know that gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an omega 6 fat, neutralizes damaging inflammatory markers? Atherosclerosis is the result of inflammation; GLA reduces the age-related effects of inflammation and reduces the risk of coronary artery disease.
It also dramatically lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke by preventing the formation of clots in the small blood vessels; this was published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical sciences and is the result of numerous studies on GLA and heart function.
Don’t forget to try some creamy cashews
Cashews have fat in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsatrurated fat found in olive oil. Oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health by reducing triglyceride levels. Plus, the magnesium in cashews helps lower blood pressure.
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that 30 grams of hazelnuts can help raise your HDL cholesterol, lower the LDL cholesterol and the total cholesterol.
Hazelnuts shields against LDL oxidation, which is what damages the arteries and contributes to plaque build-up. Also, the ratio of large LDL particles to small improved substantially and this was on just (2) ounces of hazelnuts per day.
Walnuts are considered the number one nut for heart health because they have the best and highest amounts of antioxidants of any nut. Joe Vinson PhD, a researcher at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, has said: “twenty-eight grams of walnuts (an ounce) have more antioxidants then the sum of what the average person gets from fruits and vegetables.”
Raw fresh out of the shell tree nuts provide the most benefits. Simply put, there are too many drawbacks to the roasted, oily and flavored varieties.
Don’t be misled into believing fat causes heart disease. For a happy (healthy) heart, be sure to consume healthy fats like, tree nuts and coconut oil on a regular basis. And, say “goodbye” to heart dis-ease.
About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.
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