FOOD

Eating Handful Of Nuts Twice A Week 'Cuts Risk Of Heart Disease'

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Eating Handful Of Nuts Twice A Week 'Cuts Risk Of Heart Disease'

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a handful of nuts twice a week can keep heart disease away.

Eating a handful of nuts biweekly can reduce the risk of heart disease by almost a quarter, recent research has shown.

A study conducted by Harvard researchers has found those who ate walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans and peanuts two or more times a week were 23 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease and 15 percent less likely cardiovascular disease.

The same amount of peanuts, on the other hand, slashed the risk of the heart conditions by 15 and 13 per cent respectively.

Nuts, lovingly known as a “superfood,” were first linked to protection against heart disease in 1993. Nuts are rich in antioxidants, proteins, nutrients, minerals, and fiber.

Lead author Dr. Marta Guasch-Ferre, a nutritionist at Harvard University, claimed their study fully supports the belief that nuts protect against the risk of heart disease.

"Our findings support recommendations of increasing the intake of a variety of nuts, as part of healthy dietary patterns, to reduce the risk of chronic disease in the general populations," she said.

The researchers have studied more than 210,000 female nurses and male health professionals in the U.S. for up to 32 years. They reviewed their medical history, lifestyle, and illnesses via self-administered questionnaires every two years.

Dr. Guasch-Ferre and her team identified 14,136 cases of major cardiovascular disease along with 8,390 of coronary heart disease and 5,910 of stroke.

Dr Emilio Ros, of the Endocrinology and Nutrition service at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, examined their findings for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, where the study was published, and endorsed their study that nuts protect against heart disease.

"Ideally further investigations should test the effects of long-term consumption of nuts supplemented into the usual diet on hard cardiometabolic events,” Ros said.

"In the meantime, raw nuts, if possible unpeeled and otherwise unprocessed, may be considered as natural health capsules that can be easily incorporated into any heart-protective diet to further cardiovascular well-being and promote healthy aging," he added.

One in every four deaths in the United States is caused by the heart disease, which is also the number one cause of death globally.

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