Our heart’s work is never done beat by beat, second by second it never rests. Heart disease is still one of the leading causes of deaths in the world and therefore it’s extremely important to keep it as healthy as you possibly can! So, with this in mind, this Valentine’s Day were giving you a different gift guide and providing you with some nutty knowledge to help you show your heart you love it, and not just for Valentine’s Day, but all year round.
Place Nuts in Your Daily Routine
It might be obvious that we’re going to say this but, it’s true! Adding several small servings of nuts in to your diet each week may be an important factor in keeping your heart healthy (30 g is the recommended daily allowance). The reason being that, although the fat profile differs from one to another, nuts are a good source of unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). These fats are otherwise known as good fats, which, as studies have shown, when eaten as part of a healthy diet, may help you to maintain healthy cholesterol levels reducing your risk of heart disease. In fact, regular consumption of nuts has been associated to a reduction between 7 and 10% in “bad cholesterol” (LDL).
As well as their high monounsaturated fat content nuts are also full of other nutrients that can be beneficial to our heart health.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are normally associated with being found in fish, but many nuts also are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are healthy fatty acids that can help protect the heart and blood vessels from disease.
- Fiber. All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. Fiber also makes you feel full, so you eat less. In addition, fiber is thought to play a role in preventing type 2 diabetes.
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
Don’t Forget the Dried Fruits
Although not as well known for maintaining a good heart health it’s important to note here that dried fruits can help. Dried fruits contain fiber and antioxidants called phenols, even more per once than fresh fruit. Fiber as mentioned above can help fights heart disease, and it has been shown that people with diets rich in plant phenols (found in dried fruits) have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, several kinds of cancer, and possibly degenerative brain diseases.
A Perfect Addition to Any Dish
Now you’ve seen why you should add them in to your diet the next is how. Nuts and dried fruits are so versatile they can be easily introduced in our daily habits. They can be added to breakfast options, crushed on top of salads and pastas or even eaten plain as healthy snack. Plus, if you’re feeling more adventurous, nuts and dried fruits work wonders with many dishes belonging to all kinds of different culinary cultures. We’ve left you a few amazing examples below.
- Gongura Chicken with Cranberry Almond Quinoa
- Monkfish Wrapped in Dry Romesco with Picada and Sofrito Cooked Two Ways
- Sautéed Scallops, Broad Beans with Smoked Bacon, Espelette Pepper And Caramelized Hazelnuts
So, there you have it. By adding these little bundles of joy into your daily diet you may be helping to keep your heart healthy!