Nuts : bite-sized food that brings big health benefits too our hearts
Nuts are an unjustly neglected foodstuff in our day-to-day diets. However, they are powerful allies in the fight for healthy hearts if we eat them in moderate quantities, due to their high fat content. In days gone by, they had pride of place at Christmas and New Year celebrations. Nowadays they’re relegated to bar tables in roasted or salted form, which is damaging to our arteries and completely cancels out any nutritional benefit they might otherwise have had. It’s therefore high time to offer a place at the head of the table to these bite-sized foodstuffs with big health benefits.
Rich in Omega 9, (also found in olive oil), Omega 3 and Omega 6, if eaten frequently (at least 7 portions a week), nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts and cashew nuts can help,cut mortality due to heart failure by 20%. High in minerals and fibre, bursting with antioxidant vitamins which maintain the nervous system and boost the human immune system, eating nuts regularly also helps regulate blood pressure, while their high calcium content could enable them to act as a replacement for dairy products. Nuts aid digestive transit, help us to feel full up, due to the dietary fibre they contain What’s more, they also help fight bad cholesterol.
Nuts are universally recommended by cardiologists and dietary experts, who advise we eat 5 to 10 nuts or 15 to 20 almonds a day. Nuts are best eaten whole, with their skin on. They also need to be thoroughly chewed as this facilitates digestion and releases more nutrients. In fact, the nutritional value of nuts is entirely offset when they are offered up in dry roasted or salted form. This just turns them into ticking time-bombs for our arteries, so high is the salt content of these products. These kind of salty foods should be avoided by patients with heart conditions or water retention issues.
There seems little doubt that nuts are back with a vengeance and will once again become a regular part of the French diet.
Eating just a handful of nuts each day can perform minor miracles with our health and bring long-term benefits to our cardiovascular system.
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