Eat These to Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease

   |  Updated: July 02, 2014 11:11 IST

Eat These to Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease
Most of us can relate to the concept of eating soaked almonds early morning. Whether it was hesitantly or by choice, we've been familiarized with the innumerable benefits of almonds. This is why these hearty nuts can be found in abundance. They're used in desserts, in curries and even in our shower gels and body creams.

A new research gives us another reason to eat more almonds. Researchers from Aston University, UK, have found that almonds can significantly increase the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream, reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow which can help in reducing the risk of heart diseases. These findings add weight to the theory that Mediterranean diets with lots of nuts have huge health benefits.

In this recent study, the researchers tested the effects of a short term almond-enriched diet on healthy, young and middle-aged men as well as on a group of young men with cardiovascular risk factors including high blood pressure or being overweight.

The controlled group ate what they normally would, while the group consumed 50 grams of almonds a day for one month. The final result showed that the group which ate an almond-enriched diet had higher levels of antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol) in their blood stream, improved blood flow and lower blood pressure, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease.

Almonds are packed with a range of beneficial nutrients like vitamin E, healthy fats, fiber which increases the sense of fullness and flavonoids that have antioxidant properties. The team believes that it is likely to be the combination of all these nutrients working together which makes almonds so healthy rather than just one particular nutrient in isolation.

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"Our study confirms that almonds are a super food. Previous studies have shown that they keep your heart healthy, but our research proves that it isn't too late to introduce them into your diet - adding even a handful (around 50g) every day for a short period can help," said Professor Helen Griffiths.

"You could replace a daytime snack with a bag of almonds or add them to your regular meals like porridge or muesli to help reduce your risk of heart problems," said Griffiths.

CommentsApart from being good for the heart, they are also helpful in weight management and boost metabolism. Almonds are rich in manganese, copper and riboflavin which help in maintaining energy levels. They are also good for warding off gallstones.

Inputs from PTI

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