According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. With this growing concern, many researchers continue to study different nutritional interventions that might decrease the incident of CVD. As result of a recent meta-analysis, researchers have found a strong correlation between tree nut consumption and decreased risk of CVD incidence (including coronary heart disease (CHD)), CVD mortality (including death by CHD and stroke) and atrial fibrillation.
While all tree nuts are good sources of protein, fiber and unsaturated fats, each nut also has its own individual benefits. As seen on the chart below, a variety of other vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals are available through assorted nut consumption. These compounds have been shown to have protective effects on the heart including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF) has designated 1.5 oz as the recommended daily amount of nuts consumed.
Nuts are a great snack by themselves or make a great addition to other dishes and desserts. Consuming 1.5 oz of nuts daily can be difficult and redundant, so here are some ideas of how to incorporate more taste and texture from nuts into every day foods:
- Sprinkle on breakfast foods such as cereal, oatmeal or yogurt
- Incorporate into a homemade granola or snack mix
- Top your favorite salad, stir-fry or pasta dish
- Add to your favorite cookies, muffins, brownies or other baked goods
While it may not seem like a big deal, any simple and preventative measures that can be taken to protect heart health should not be ignored. At the very worst, nuts will provide vital nutrients that are important for overall health.
If you want to learn more about different tree nuts and their health benefits or find some tasty recipe ideas, check out INC NREF’s website: www.nuthealth.org.