Just 2 portions of raw, fresh nuts per week leads to a healthier heart, according to scientists.
New research reported that consuming nuts at least twice a week appears to help reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Conducted by the researchers at the Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, Iran, the new study investigated the possible linked between eating nuts and the risk of cardiovascular disease and death in the Iranian population.
A total of 5,432 adults whose aged ranges from 35 and older with no history of cardiovascular disease were recruited for the study.
Study participants were randomly selected from rural and urban areas of the Arak, Isfahan, and Najafabad counties and their intake of nuts (including almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and seeds) was measured using a food frequency questionnaire.
The researchers then followed the study participants to record the rates of death and cardiovascular events, including stroke, coronary heart disease, death from any cause, total cardiovascular disease, and death from cardiovascular disease.
The findings, which were presented at the ESC (European Society of Cardiology) Congress 2019 on Saturday, together with the World Congress of Cardiology, reported that eatsing nuts at least 2 or more times per week is linked with a 17% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, when compared to consuming nuts once every two weeks.
Also, the results still held true even after taking into account potentially influencing factors such as sex, age, smoking, education, and physical activity.
“Nuts contain little saturated fat and are a good source of unsaturated fat,” according tostudy author Dr. Noushin Mohammadifard. “Also, they have vitamins, minerals, protein, phytosterols, fiber, and polyphenols which benefit heart health. US and European studies have related nuts with cardiovascular protection, but, there is limited evidence from the Eastern Mediterranean Region.”
As the ESC guidelines, consuming 30 grams of unsalted nuts daily is part of a healthy diet, although the guidelines do note that the energy density (the amount of calories) of nuts is high.
According to added Dr. Mohammadifard, “Raw fresh nuts are the healthiest”. “Nuts should be fresh because unsaturated fats can become oxidized in stale nuts, thereby, making them harmful. You can tell if nuts are rancid by their bitter or sour taste and paint-likesmell.”