This is due to a number of valuable nutrients that they contain, researchers say.
“More and more scientific evidence suggests that tree nuts, such as walnuts, may act protectively against cardiovascular diseases”, explained the head of the dr. Michael Falk, the american Research Agency for Life Sciences (LSRO).
“Walnuts are the only fruit that provides significant amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids and it is well documented that these acids protect the heart and blood vessels from “bad” (LDL) cholesterol”.
As he said, the amount of alpha-linolenic acid-containing nuts are 2.5 grams of per of 28.5 grams of fruit (grams of this is equivalent to about one handful).
Dr. Falk and colleagues analyzed a combination of the findings of 61 studies of the last two decades, in which they had participated almost 2.600 volunteers.
As noted, those of them ate two servings of 28,5 grams of nuts a day had a 9% to 16% lower LDL cholesterol than those not eating at all.
They also had reduced protein ApoB, which is the main protein of LDL.
These benefits were even more important for sufferers of type 2 diabetes, who are at very increased risk of developing cardiovascular complications.
The study, published in the “American journal of Clinical Nutrition” (AJCN), also showed that walnuts reduce a little and the diastolic blood pressure (is the little number in the measurement, and represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart rests between two beats).
This reduction is 2-3 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) or 2 up to 0.3 degrees as it is commonly called.
Other improvements that were observed in the volunteers who ate daily a few nuts was a reduction of total cholesterol, an increase in the ÎºÎ±ÏÎ´Î¹Î¿Ï€ÏÎ¿ÏƒÏ„Î±Ï„ÎµÏ…Ï„Î¹ÎºÎ®Ï‚ “good” (HDL) cholesterol, reduce inflammation and improve arterial function.
All of the above factors are important parameters in the development of coronary heart disease and to improve them is a crucial step for healthy cardiovascular function, concluded dr Falk.