Peanuts and nuts can help you keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. Many studies investigated the effect of peanuts and nuts on cardiac health and concluded that there is a protective effect from incorporating a handful (25 grams) of peanuts and nuts in your daily diet. Several components in nuts may play a role in these protective effects: the fat composition, the mix of antioxidants and their fibre content.
Nuts contain a high amount of the ‘good’ unsaturated fats; 80 to 90% of the fats in nuts are unsaturated. Unsaturated fats from nuts are associated with improved lipid values of our blood. They reduce the risk of heart and vascular disease.
Positive effect of antioxidants and fibre
As other vegetable products, nuts and peanuts contain numerous types of antioxidants. Zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E are famous for their antioxidant effect. Antioxidants protect our body against the so-called ‘free radicals’ that can damage body cells and therefore play a role in the development of heart disease. The high level and complex mix of antioxidants in peanuts and nuts can probably explain their effect in the prevention of heart disease. Fibres can also contribute to the positive effect peanuts and nuts have on our heart. Peanuts and nuts are, after whole grain cereals, the second highest natural source of dietary fibre.
Nuts are high in antioxidants. They help you fight free radicals
Heart and blood vessel diseases are also often referred to as cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the western world. There are many factors that cause cardiovascular disease. These include risk factors that cannot be changed, such as getting older, being a male or genetic predisposition. Other risk factors such as obesity, a high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can be altered by changes in lifestyle.
A healthy diet, sufficient physical activity, moderate alcohol consumption and not smoking can positively influence the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Peanuts and nuts can help reduce the risk of heart diseases