Eat nuts for good health
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Nuts are among the healthiest foods you can eat. “They are high in fibre, loaded with the antioxidant vitamin E, magnesium and copper, and are a good source of protein that is very high in amino acid called arginine, which helps lower cholesterol and relaxes blood vessels,” says chief nutritionist Priya Bharma, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi. They also contain unsaturated fats, which lower the risk of heart disease.
“The real danger to heart and arteries is posed by trans fat and excess saturated fats. The fat in most nuts, in contrast, is unsaturated, which actually helps keep our bad cholesterol down,” says Reeti Kapoor, senior manager, dietetics, food and beverage department, Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka, Delhi. A 2016 study in the journal BMC Medicine found that eating 28g of nuts daily cuts the risk of coronary heart disease by 30%, cancer by 15%, respiratory disease by about a half, and diabetes by nearly 40%.
But how does one choose which nuts to eat? “It’s simple,” says Varsha Gorey, senior clinical dietitian, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai. “Have mixed nuts, or have them all by rotation.”
Experts: Chief nutritionist Priya Bharma, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi; Reeti Kapoor, senior manager, dietetics, food and beverage department, Venkateshwar Hospital, Dwarka; Varsha Gorey, senior clinical dietitian, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.