I get it. Who wakes up thinking about their blood vessels?
No one, that’s who. But they really are incredible when you stop to think about them.
If you laid out all the blood vessels in your body in a straight line, they would stretch out for close to 100,000 miles.
That’s equal to over 20 round trips between New York and California.
But as mind blowing as that is, what’s even more incredible is what those vessels do for us. Your heart pumps one to seven gallons of blood a minute. That’s up to 2,000 gallons a day.
And all that blood is shuttled to and from the heart, and oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body, through your blood vessels… your arteries, veins and capillaries.
Which means that although we don’t give them much thought, we probably should. Because we literally rely on our blood vessels every single second of every day to keep us alive and healthy.
Which is why a new meta-analysis, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition caught my eye.1
The new analysis found that nuts… especially walnuts… could help protect our precious blood vessels. And when you consider all they do for us, I think we owe them that. Don’t you agree?
Nuts help protect your heart health
Now we already knew there was a link between eating nuts and a lower risk of heart disease.
Studies have shown that diets that include nuts can improve insulin resistance and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.2,3,4 Both are major risk factors for heart disease.
Research conducted at the Imperial College London found that a handful of nuts a day could slash your chances of heart disease by 30 percent.5
And eating nuts could help you live longer, according to Harvard researchers.6 They found a link between diets that include nuts and a reduced risk of dying from any cause, particularly heart disease.
(And if you’re on a budget, the good news is even peanuts count, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.7)
In other words, we KNOW eating nuts is good for you. And we know that they’re associated with a reduced risk for a number of diseases, especially heart disease.
But what we’ve been lacking is a good understanding of how the nuts might be accomplishing the healthy changes that scientists are seeing.
Until now, that is.
Protect your blood vessels with walnuts
Because the new meta-analysis found that omega-3 fatty acid and tocopherols rich walnuts shield the inside lining of blood vessels, protecting them from damage.
When the blood vessel lining, called the endothelial layer, stops working as well as it should, blood flow gets backed up.
And as a result, your risk for serious heart problems, such as stroke, shoots up.
The scale that docs use to measure how well your blood is flowing is called flow mediated dilation, or FMD.
And when the researchers took a deeper dive into the data from 10 trials, and nine different research papers, they found that eating walnuts significantly improved FMD.
Just a tiny dip in FMD can be dangerous. So it’s important to keep our blood vessels healthy.
And honestly, can you imagine a more pleasant prescription than “eat more walnuts”?
Oh, and if you’re watching your waistline you can relax.
While it’s true that nuts are high in fats they’re the healthy fats your body craves. And according to experts, eating a reasonable amount of nuts daily not only won’t make you fat, it’s linked to a lower risk of obesity.
Think a small handful or about one ounce every day.
Protect your heart and blood vessels by adding more nuts to your diet starting today.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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