Walnuts and Heart Health
Walnuts and heart health go hand-in-hand. At least five large epidemiological studies have demonstrated that frequent consumption of nuts decreases the risk of coronary artery disease. One study found an inverse association between nut consumption and sudden cardiac death or heart attack. Overall, people who ate nuts five or more times a week had a 15 to 51 percent reduction in coronary heart disease. And amazingly, even people who ate nuts just once a month had some reduction.
Why walnuts? They’re one of the few rich sources of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids, plus they’re rich in arginine, vitamin E, fiber, and they’re the nut with the highest overall antioxidant activity.
Omega-3s help blood flow freely and prevent clots from forming and adhering to the vessel walls. They also act as an anti-inflammatory, preventing the blood vessels from becoming inflamed—a condition that reduces blood flow. And omega-3s can help lower blood pressure and help with heart rhythm.
Arginine is an essential amino acid that helps keep the inside of the blood vessels smooth and promotes the flexibility of the vessels, thus increasing blood flow, reducing blood pressure, and alleviating hypertension.
Vitamin E, which many people don’t get enough of, is a powerful antioxidant that contributes to heart health.
Fiber is key to heart health because it acts like a mop and cleans cholesterol from our bodies.
We recommend eating one ounce of nuts five to seven times a week. Enjoy walnuts and good heart health!