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If you have a family history of heart disease, you’re no doubt aware of the factors that can lower your risk of a heart attack and stroke.
However, even where there is no history of any heart troubles, there is another factor that can greatly increase your risk…
That’s a condition related to high levels of uric acid in the body resulting from the natural breakdown of cells and as a byproduct of the foods you eat.
Hyperuricemia may be a condition that you’ve never come across before. But I bet you may know this one sign that you could be suffering from it…
And that’s gout — a type of recurrent arthritis commonly associated with high levels of uric acid.
In addition to causing a painful gouty joint (most often in your foot), uric acid is also an important biomarker of your vascular function.
On a more sinister level, high levels of uric acid can be a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD). And in fact, studies show that each 1 mg/dL increase in blood uric acid levels increases the risk of heart-associated death by 12 percent!
In recent years, the Western diet — full of sugar and refined carbohydrates — has been responsible for increasing levels of uric acid in many people.
But as luck would have it, there is a very simple way to reduce uric acid in your body…
Eat almonds every day
When researchers gave 150 CAD patients 10 grams of almonds each morning on an empty stomach for 12 weeks, they discovered their uric acid levels were 14 to 18 percent lower than those consuming no nuts.
So what is it about almonds that douse uric acid and protect you from a heart attack, stroke and gout?
Almonds provide a wide range of highly bioavailable nutrients that not only have a positive impact on uric acid levels but provide plenty of other health benefits, too.
A small handful of almonds provides:
- Magnesium (96 mg) — for optimal heart and muscle function
- Calcium (96 mg) — for maintaining strong bones
- Potassium (262 mg) — for regulating blood pressure
- Phosphorus (172 mg) — for energy production and bone mineralization
- Vitamin E (9 mg) — a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation
- Soluble fiber (4.5 g) — for optimal digestion, blood sugar and cholesterol regulation
- Protein (6 g) — to support effective cell building and to stabilize blood sugar
- Monounsaturated fat (7 g) — to correct cholesterol irregularities with proven ability to increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol
- L-arginine (1 g) — a precursor to nitric oxide, a compound that promotes healthy circulation and blood pressure
Snacking on almonds directly is obviously one way to consume them. And all it takes to reduce uric acid levels is a measly 7 to 8 nuts per day.
But if you want to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by 28 percent, munch on a small handful each day, the equivalent of one ounce or around 23 nuts.
Of course, you don’t have to eat almonds plain because there are other interesting ways to include them in your menu:
- Opt for almond flour when baking
- Make your own trail mix using almonds
- Use almond meal as a stuffing base instead of breadcrumbs
- Add crushed almonds to your cereal or smoothie
- Spread almond butter on toast, apple slices or celery
- Add slivered almonds to salads
- Make a jar of spiced toasted almonds
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- Berryman C, et al. Inclusion of Almonds in a Cholesterol-Lowering Diet Improves Plasma HDL Subspecies and Cholesterol Efflux to Serum in Normal-Weight Individuals with Elevated LDL Cholesterol. — The Journal of Nutrition. 2017.
- Chen C, et al. Effect of almond consumption on vascular function in patients with coronary artery disease: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. — Nutrition Journal. 2015;14(61).
- Jamshed H, et al. Almond supplementation reduces serum uric acid in coronary artery disease patients: a randomized controlled trial. — Nutrition Journal. 2016;5(77).