8 walnuts eaten daily will keep the arteries flexible, maintain a healthy heart and prevent stroke, showed a study published in the “American College of Cardiology” journal.
Experts advise to consume nuts especially after a high-fat meal to alleviate the negative effects that the latter have on the body. These fruits prevent arteries hardening and heart disease.
Walnuts, better than olive oil
The research consisted of monitoring 24 adults, half of them with normal cholesterol and half with high cholesterol levels. Study participants were given two servings of high-fat salami and cheese, eaten at intervals of one week.
In the first serving researchers added five teaspoons of olive oil and in the second they added the core of eight walnuts. Tests showed that both the olive oil and the walnuts helped to reduce inflammation in the arteries that appear suddenly after a meal high in saturated fat and which, in time, promotes arteries hardening and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
However, unlike olive oil, nuts also help maintain the elasticity and flexibility of the arteries, regardless of cholesterol level.
Walnuts treat heart rhythm disorder
The researchers also observed that alpha-linolenic acid from walnuts may be beneficial for patients with heart rhythm disorders.
“This demonstrates that the protective fat from walnuts remove the effects of saturated fat in the diet, while a neutral fat, such as olive oil, don’t have such a crucial role,” said Robert Vogel, a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Fat consumption disrupts nitric oxide production necessary to maintain blood vessels flexible. Walnuts also contain antioxidants and arginine, an amino acid used by the body to produce nitric oxide.