How Walnuts Protect Your Heart

By Subodh / March 21, 2016

If you are looking for a nutritious snack to munch, walnuts are the perfect options. With a good dose of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based sterols, these crunchy nuts are powerful nutritional punches. According to a recent study, these nuts offer a wide array of benefits for your health, even protecting your heart from various grave chronic conditions. You just have to include 1.5 oz walnuts a day in your balanced diet to keep your heart safe and secure.

Let Us Take A Look At How Walnuts Help In Protecting Your Heart.

1. Helps In Lowering The Levels of Cholesterol

Reduce Bad Cholesterol

According to a study that appeared in the Journal of Nutrition, walnuts helps in lowering the levels of C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is well-known inflammation marker, which, according to research, has as strong connection with increased risk of various heart diseases as well as atherosclerosis.

These nuts contain vitamin E, plant sterols, and omega-3 fatty acids that help in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and improving the levels of good cholesterol. This, in turn, helps in smooth circulation of blood through the blood vessels without the formation of plaques. People who consumed shelled walnuts showed significant improvement in the levels of cholesterol and flexibility of blood vessels, thus protecting your heart.

[ Read: How To Do “Good Fats” Lower Cholesterol? ]

2. Is A Rich Source of Powerful Antioxidants

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According to various studies, walnuts are super heroes when it comes to the richness of antioxidants, with about one ounce of walnuts yielding these nutrients that more than what you get from vegetables and fruits. These antioxidants combat the free radicals, which if left uncared, could induce oxidative damages that will lead to various cardiovascular condition.

A good diet along with a proper exercise regimen is essential to shield your heart from various diseases. Along with the inclusion of 5 servings of veggies and fruits, including at least 4 servings of walnuts every week could lower the risk of heart disease.

3. Helps In Losing Excess Pounds

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You will be putting your heart at risk if you are obese. Including walnuts regularly as a part of balanced diet could help in losing weight. As these nuts are rich in protein and healthy fats, they could keep you fuller for a longer period of time and thus, prevent you from indulging in overeating. However, since they are calorie dense food groups, eat in moderation.

4. Helps In Lowering The Levels of Blood Pressure

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One ounce of walnuts contains about 1 mg sodium. An increased level of sodium, in fact, ups the risk of increased blood pressure, in turn putting your heart at risk. Inclusion of walnuts as part of a low sodium diet could help in normalizing the levels of blood pressure, thereby improving the risk of cardiovascular diseases. According to a study, regular consumption of walnuts lowers the diastolic blood pressure by about 3 mmHg, which is a significant improvement that shields your heart.

5. Rich Source of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid

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Walnuts are the sole nuts rich in the Omega-3 essential fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA. These plant-based essential fatty acids are well known for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties. According to studies, these EFAs ease the inflammation triggers that ups the risk of heart diseases, including heart attacks.

6. Helps In Lowering Stress

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Stress is everywhere. And, stress is perhaps one of the most vital triggers that puts the safety of your heart at risk. Including walnuts help in lowering the stress. It contains vitamin E, minerals, protein, and various antioxidants that help in lowering the stress. The lower the stress levels are, the lower your blood pressure will be. When your blood pressure levels are under control, your heart will be safer. According to a research, walnuts, when included as part of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nits, and olive oil, lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease significantly.

A study conducted on similar lines on people with a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, who were on Mediterranean Diet, suggested that inclusion of walnuts along with olive oil and other nuts, lowered the incidences of various cardiovascular conditions.

[ Read: How To Reduce Stress with Foods ]

How To Include Walnuts For A Safer Heart

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Now that you know about how walnuts keep your heart safe, let us take a look at some of the scrumptious ways of including these nuts in your diet!

  • Include walnuts as a part of your snacks and meals that is low in cholesterol and saturated fats
  • Include one handful of walnuts in your diet at least 4 times a week.
  • Chop your walnuts and sprinkle them on your salads or toast it with your muesli.
  • You can use walnuts to make your dips and spreads healthier.
  • Blend walnuts with low fat, unsweetened yogurt or milk and a handful of berries for a heart healthy breakfast!
  • Add it to your cereals and oats!

Store your walnuts in your freezer so that they remain fresh and crunchy. Choose a healthy diet plan and include walnuts in it so that you could lower the risk of incurring heart diseases. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, keep stress away, and protect your heart for a better tomorrow!

Do you take walnuts or any other nuts to prevent heart diseases? Share your thoughts in the comments