Saving the Heart and Blood Vessels: Which Nuts are the Most Useful and Who They Harm

The benefits of nuts are undoubted: their presence in the diet helps reduce stress and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and they fight inflammation in the body (including protease inhibitors, which are part of their composition, slow down the development of cancer). Nuts are also eaten to prevent anemia and blood pressure problems. However, nuts also have their contraindications.

“Nuts are rich in fats, and depending on the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in them, we can assess the benefits and harms of a particular nut. This ratio is very important because omega-3 is a healthy fatty acid and protects us from many diseases – but excess and predominance of omega-6 in the diet, on the contrary, will cause inflammation in the body,” the expert explained.

She clarified that in terms of the ratio of these fatty acids, walnuts will be the most useful, followed by macadamia and pecans. But the most harmful is almonds because they contain a lot of omega-6, and the same goes for peanuts (although it is not a nut at all, a bean – many people mistakenly consider it a nut).

Can I eat walnuts every day?

The wellness nutritionist explained why you should eat walnuts almost every day. She noted that the norm of nuts per day is about three pieces.

“Walnuts can and should be consumed daily because of their benefits for the brain, gastrointestinal tract (even with gastritis, it is recommended), cardiovascular system, and immunity boosting. The only question is the quantity: 3-4 pieces will be quite enough,” Kikhteva said.

At the same time, the doctor emphasized that it is very important to eat nuts that have been stored in the shell. During prolonged exposure to the sun and air, fats in nuts are quickly oxidized.

Who is harmful to eat nuts and how to reduce the harm of nuts

People with allergic reactions should not eat nuts, the nutritionist emphasized. “Nuts are quite allergenic. Not all types of nuts are suitable for irritable bowel syndrome,” explained Kikhteva. She also gave advice on how to reduce the harm of nuts. This simple recipe does not require much effort.

“If you feel uncomfortable after eating nuts, soak them overnight in plain water, and in the morning (after they are dry) you can eat them. Soaking reduces the level of lectins, which are substances that can cause an inflammatory reaction in the gastrointestinal tract,” says Tatiana Kikhteva, who shared her secret to improving the health benefits of nuts.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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