Nuts Benefit the Heart -- Three Ways to Eat More Nuts

Updated on April 14, 2018
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Stewart is a nutritionist dedicated to whole foods and an active lifestyle. She fights against obesity and research maternal nutrition.

New Study Shows Nut Protein Reigns Supreme

A new study released by scientists in California and France showed that nut protein is significantly better for you than animal protein. Participants consuming meat protein increased their chances of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 60-percent, while folks who ate nut protein reduced their chances of CVD by 40-percent.


How Do Nuts Make Healthy Hearts?

There is a lot of evidence out there, and many of the studies are able to demonstrate that nuts are better for you than meat proteins, but few can show exactly how/why nuts are heart-healthy. Despite this, scientists and doctors agree on the following reasons:

Nuts Decrease Inflammation

Evidence links nuts to reducing systemic inflammation. People who consume nuts lower their LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol in the body that can turn into plaque in the circulatory system. It's safe to reason that if there is less LDL circulating in the body, then there will be less plaque build up, reducing one's chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

Nuts May Contribute to Stable Rhythms

Most nuts contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce cardiovascular disease by stabilizing the heart's rhythm. Irregular heart beats are directly linked to heart attacks.

Arterial Wall Flexibility

Certain nuts contain l-arginine, a compound that is thought to improve the strength and flexibility of the heart's arterial walls. Flexible heart walls improve blood flow.

Pistachios Are Heart Healthy

Fast Facts About Pistachios

Did you know a 1-ounce serving of pistachios has just 156 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein? These tasty nuts are also high in antioxidants and are prebiotics.

Roasted Squash with Pistachios

Nothing goes better together than squash, fresh mint, and pistachios. This recipe is delightful in the summer as the zucchini are abundant.

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced mint
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • The juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F.
  2. In a bowl, toss the zucchini with oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place zucchini cut side down on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until tender.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the pistachios, mint, and garlic.
  6. Drizzle lemon juice over the zucchini, and top with pistachio mixture.

More About Pistachios

Toasted Pine Nuts Add a Woodsy Appeal to Dishes

Creamy Pine Nut Dip

Creamy Pine Nut Dip is a delightful, refreshing dip that is perfect for a picnic, game day, or first plate.

Ingredients:

  • :1 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup ricotta
  • 1 sourdough baguette, sliced into rounds

Directions:

  1. Blend chives with oil and salt with a high-powered blender until it is a puree. Chill for one hour.
  2. While you wait, you can toast the sourdough rounds in the oven until just crisp.
  3. Chop the pine nuts.
  4. Press the chilled chive-oil mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Add the pine nuts.Fold the nuts into the ricotta cheese.
  5. Serve with bread rounds.

Nuts, Nuts, Nuts

What's Your Favorite Nut?

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Cashews Taste Luxurious

Major Benefits of Cashews

Cashews are packed with vitamin E, copper, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and vitamin K.

Green Curry with Cashews

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced in rounds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 cup baby corn
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of a lemon

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger until onion begins to soften.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and curry paste. Add to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and add in the baby corn and lemon juice.
  3. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Serve, garnished with cashews and cilantro.

Nuts Have Even More to Offer

What Nuts Helps
How Nuts Help
Heart
Provides plant sterols to reduce cholesterol
Brain
Provides whopping dose of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Bones
Almonds provide bone-strengthening calcium
Skin
Nuts have vitamin E to help skin stay healthy
Metabolism
Nuts have selenium, which aids the thyroid.
 
 

Reference

  1. Marion Tharrey, François Mariotti, Andrew Mashchak, Pierre Barbillon, Maud Delattre, Gary E Fraser. Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: the Adventist Health Study-2 cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyy030

© 2018 SR Stewart

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