The Snack That Protects Your Heart

For a healthier heart, indulge in the snack food that contains a collection of natural chemicals that provide your heart with jaw-dropping (and blood pressure-dropping) benefits.

“We already know that eating walnuts in a heart-healthy diet can lower blood cholesterol levels,” says researcher Penny Kris-Etherton at Penn State. “But, until now, we did not know what component of the walnut was providing this benefit. Now we understand additional ways in which whole walnuts and their oil components can improve heart health.”

Kris-Etherton’s study shows that the oil in walnuts improves the performance of blood vessel walls and helps HDL (good) cholesterol keep your arteries functioning more efficiently.

“Our study showed that the oil found in walnuts can maintain blood vessel function after a meal, which is very important given that blood vessel integrity is often compromised in individuals with cardiovascular disease,” says researcher Claire Berryman. “The walnut oil was particularly good at preserving the function of endothelial cells, which play an important role in cardiovascular health.”

“Our study indicates that simple dietary changes, such as incorporating walnuts and/or their oil in a heart healthy diet, may reduce the risk of heart disease,” adds Kris-Etherton.

 

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.