4 – Cashews for heart health
Epidemiologic research has linked nut intake with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease. Interventional studies have consistently shown that nut consumption reduces cholesterol, and there’s growing evidence of the benefits on inflammation, oxidative stress, as well as vascular reactivity, a vital component of blood vessel function. Stomach fat, the metabolic syndrome and blood pressure also seem to be positively influenced by the consumption of nuts. It is thus clear that nuts have a beneficial impact on a number of cardiovascular risk factors.
Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and although they have a total fat content of 46%, the fatty acid composition is beneficial because the saturated fatty acid content is low (4-16%) and nearly 66% of the unsaturated fat is oleic acid, a heart healthy MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acid).