Cardiologists Want You To Eat This Heart-Healthy Snack

Cardiologists Want You To Eat This Heart-Healthy Snack

The heart beats about 2.5 billion times throughout your entire lifetime. It works round the clock to pump blood throughout the body, helping to support essential bodily functions. The least you can do is eat foods that help optimize heart health, but most people do the opposite. Eating foods rich in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sugar can cause plaque build-up in the arteries, which increases your risk of heart disease. Turning your attention to healthier foods and snacks, though, can make all the difference. 

Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle is very easy to do. Follow a simple exercise plan that gets your blood flowing and start eliminating or adding certain foods to your diet. There is no single food or specific workout plan that will lower your risk of heart disease; rather, it takes a multi-faceted approach. According to cardiologists, an easy and heart-healthy snack is pistachios. Just make sure that they aren’t salted!

Pistachios Offer A Diverse Mix Of Nutrients

Many health experts note that pistachios contain an array of antioxidants that help to minimize oxidative stress and free radical damage in the body. The high vitamin B6 content supports healthy brain development, immune response, and nervous system function. Vitamin B6 also helps to regulate blood sugar and aids with the formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to red blood cells. Dietitians love pistachios because they contain most essential nutrients, except for vitamin C. Their omega-3 fatty acid content helps reduce inflammation, which benefits your brain and heart. Finally, their potassium content helps to lower sodium in the body! Did you know that one ounce of pistachios contains more potassium than half of a large banana? Read on to learn why you should start eating more pistachios

May Lower Blood Pressure

Doctors often refer to high blood pressure as a silent killer because most people don’t experience warning signs. That means that your blood pressure levels can increase to the point where you experience heart attack or stroke, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In order to help lower blood pressure levels, it is crucial to intake two to three servings of healthy fats per day. Pistachios are naturally rich in heart-healthy fats, and several studies found that they exhibit cholesterol-lowering effects. A four-week study found that people with high LDL (bad) cholesterol experienced a 9% decrease in LDL cholesterol when 10% of their daily calories came from pistachios. At the end of another study, the participants experienced a reduction in total cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides as a result of 20% of their caloric intake coming from monounsaturated fats. 

May Reduce Blood Sugar

Pistachios do have a higher carb content than most other nuts, but they also have a low glycemic index. This means that they don’t cause large blood sugar spikes, which can lead to energy dips and unhealthy eating patterns. One study found that when two ounces of pistachios were added to a carb-centric diet, healthy individuals’ blood sugar response reduced after a meal by 20-30%. Researchers from the study observed that people with type 2 diabetes experienced a 9% reduction in fasting blood sugar after eating 25 grams of pistachios. All of that means that it’s beneficial for blood sugar control

May Reduce Cholesterol 

In addition to high blood pressure, high cholesterol can increases your risk of heart-related illnesses. LDL (bad) cholesterol can raise your risk of heart disease, while higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol can decrease your risk. Most of the fat in pistachios is unsaturated, helping to lower your cholesterol, according to cardiologists. Several studies linked the consumption of pistachios to lower LDL cholesterol levels. Ideally, 20-35% of your daily calories should come from healthy fats, which are abundant in pistachios and other nuts. 

May Lower Inflammation

The high polyphenol content of pistachios may be the key to natural lowering inflammation in the body. In regards to heart disease, doctors measure levels of interleukin-6 in your blood. Research states that there is a direct connection between polyphenol intake and lower levels of interleukin-6. It stands to reason, then, that increasing your intake of polyphenols, like the ones in pistachios, can help improve overall heart health.



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