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Eating nuts can lower your risk of death from heart attack or stroke

Eating nuts twice a week can lower your risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke, new research shows.

Nuts contain many beneficial vitamins and nutrients, including fiber, vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats, and eating nuts can help keep your heart healthy. 

A new study presented at the ESC Congress 2019 shows that nuts can lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 17 percent.  

The study was conducted by researchers from Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute in Iran. 

“Nuts are a good source of unsaturated fat and contain little saturated fat,” said Dr. Noushin Mohammadifard, an author of the study. “They also have protein, minerals, vitamins, fibre, phytosterols, and polyphenols which benefit heart health. European and US studies have related nuts with cardiovascular protection but there is limited evidence from the Eastern Mediterranean Region.”

The researchers randomly selected 5,342 adults aged 35 years or older from both urban and rural areas across three counties in Iran.  

None of the participants had a history of cardiovascular disease, and the researchers recorded how many nuts such as almonds and walnuts the participants consumed in 2001 and followed up every two years until 2013.  

During the 12-year follow up, there 751 reported cardiovascular events among the participants, and 179 died due to cardiovascular disease. 

However, the researchers found that participants who consumed nuts at least twice a week had a 17 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack or stroke. 

This correlation was consistent even after the researchers adjusted for influencing factors like age, lifestyle habits, and sex. 

“Raw fresh nuts are the healthiest,” said Dr. Mohammadifard. “Nuts should be fresh because unsaturated fats can become oxidised in stale nuts, making them harmful. You can tell if nuts are rancid by their paint-like smell and bitter or sour taste.”

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer 

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Gapeeva Anastasiia

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