#LivingTo100: Nuts for a healthy heart

#LivingTo100: Nuts for a healthy heart

Some nuts do a better job at helping your heart while others may help protect your memory. The list of nuts below are nutritional all-stars.

Walnuts:
The walnut is the only nut with a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts may help decrease the risk of illnesses including coronary heart disease.

Pistachios:
Pistachios are a good source of phytosterols, which help lower cholesterol levels. They are also high in protein and beta-carotene which is linked to vision health.

Brazilian Nuts:
One ounce of Brazilian nuts exceeds the dietary reference intake for selenium, a mineral shown to help protect against breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Peanuts:
The B vitamins niacin and folate found in peanuts help maintain a healthy heart and may decrease your risk for certain cancers. Folate may protect against cognitive decline.

Almonds:
Almonds are high in vitamin E which may help protect against some types of cancers. The fats found in almonds are largely monounsaturated which helps lower “bad” cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Pecans:
Pecans contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than any other nut commonly found in the United States.

For more variety, toss a handful of nuts into your meal. Cashews are great in stir-fries. Pecans, almonds, or sunflower seeds add a nutty flavor to salads, waffles, and sweet potatoes. Pine nuts or pistachios are delicious in pasta sauces and casseroles. Sesame seeds compliment green veggies, soups and stews. Try walnuts and macadamia nuts in quick breads. Add nut butters and tahini (sesame paste) as a light spread. Add any type of nut to cereal, yogurt, or trail mix.

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