Sunday, February 23, 2014

Walnut Diet for Improvement of the Endothelial Function

Endothelial dysfunction, which is an early event in the development of vascular disease, is commonly associated with atherosclerosis and its risk factors. Various recent studies show that coronary endothelial dysfunction predicts CAD events in the near future. Vascular reactivity can be improved by dietary factors such as marine n-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. To test the hypothesis that walnut intake would improve endothelial function, the scinetists performed a randomized, crossover feeding trial by substituting a walnut-enriched diet for a healthy Mediterranean-type diet for effects on brachial artery vasomotor function and circulating markers of endothelial activation.

Before the study, the general recommendations of a Mediterranean-type, cholesterol-lowering diet were reinforced in all eligible subjects, and baseline data were collected after 1 month. The self-reported nutrient contents of the baseline diet showed good adherence to dietary advice.

Of all participants randomly assigned to dietary intervention, 98% completed both study phases. The rest of them withdrew for personal reasons. According to participants’ reports and recounts of empty packages, compliance with walnut ingestion was 100%. Walnut consumption every day was tolerated by all subjects. The walnut meal in a background walnut diet was associated with significant improvement in brachial artery EDV. The walnut diet also attenuated endothelial activation, as suggested by the reduction in VCAM-1 levels.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Walnuts for Stress Reduction Diets

It`s well known that the nutrients in some types of nuts can help protect your body against the damaging physical effects of being stressed out. Some studies reveal that nuts rich in alpha-linolenic acid, like walnuts, had a heart-protective benefit during times of acute stress - which is known to cause cardiovascular strain.

(Also various sources indicate that almonds, because of their vitamin E, vitamin B and magnesium content can bolster your immune system when you're stressed)

A review of other studies about eating nuts found that people who added nuts to their diets and who replaced other foods with nuts lost more weight and reduced their waist sizes by more than half an inch.

Serving Walnuts

Although walnuts have always been considered a significant source of calories and nutrients for many centuries, nuts generally fell out of favor with health-conscious Americans during the low-fat diet that were popular in the 80s. Today, walnuts are recognized as a nutrient-dense source of protein, fatty acids, antioxidants and dietary fiber. As stated by the US Food and Drug Administration, eating a handful of nuts every day protects against heart disease.
As walnuts are commonly considered a concentrated source of calories and fat, and since many people do not estimate properly how many nuts are in one serving, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States recommends amount of individual portions that you can comfortably fit in the palm of your hand. While the US Food and Drug Administration suggests eating a handful of nuts daily to help reduce your risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association suggests consuming a small handful of nuts just four times per week.