Eat nuts to avoid heart prob­lems

Health: Reg­u­lar con­sump­tion lowers risk by 20%

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY SALLY WAR­DLE

Eat­ing nuts reg­u­larly could pre­vent the de­vel­op­ment of heart fail­ure and an ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat, re­search has found.

Those who con­sumed nuts one to two times a week had a 20% lower risk of suf­fer­ing heart fail­ure, ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in journal Heart.

High nut con­sump­tion, more than three serv­ings a week, was linked with a re­duced risk of de­vel­op­ing atrial fib­ril­la­tion, which causes an ir­reg­u­lar and of­ten ab­nor­mally fast heart­beat.

Even a small in­crease in the amount of nuts in­cluded in the diet may re­duce the risk of the car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, the re­searchers said.

The study, by scientists from Swe­den, mon­i­tored the car­dio­vas­cu­lar health of 61,000 Swedish peo­ple aged 45 to 83 years old for 17 years.

Eat­ing nuts one to three times a month was as­so­ci­ated with a 3% lower risk of de­vel­op­ing atrial fib­ril­la­tion, while those who con­sumed nuts three or more times a week had an 18% re­duced risk, the re­search found.

Atrial fib­ril­la­tion can lead to dizzi­ness and short­ness of breath and af­fects around one mil­lion peo­ple in the UK, ac­cord­ing to the NHS.

Mod­er­ate, but not high, weekly con­sump­tion of nuts was as­so­ci­ated with a lower chance of suf­fer­ing heart fail­ure, the re­searchers said, sug­gest­ing a less con­sis­tent link.

The au­thors said: “Results from this large prospec­tive study suggest that nut con­sump­tion or fac­tors as­so­ci­ated with this nu­tri­tional be­hav­iour may play a role in re­duc­ing the risk of atrial fib­ril­la­tion and pos­si­bly heart fail­ure.

“Since only a small pro­por­tion of this pop­u­la­tion had mod­er­ate (about 5%) or high (less than 2%) nut con­sump­tion, even a small in­crease in nut con­sump­tion may have large po­ten­tial to lead to a re­duc­tion in in­ci­dence of atrial fib­ril­la­tion and heart fail­ure in this pop­u­la­tion.”

Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have found eat­ing nuts reg­u­larly can lower the risk of heart dis­ease, stroke and as­so­ci­ated death.

Nuts are a rich source of healthy fats, min­er­als and an­tiox­i­dants, all of which could boost car­dio­vas­cu­lar health, the re­searchers said.

Tracy Parker, se­nior di­eti­tian at the Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion, said: “Al­though this study did find that eat­ing nuts was as­so­ci­ated with a re­duced risk of atrial fib­ril­la­tion and possible heart fail­ure, the re­searchers also found that peo­ple who ate nuts reg­u­larly were health­ier in other ways.

“These par­tic­i­pants were less likely to smoke and were more ac­tive.”

“Even a small in­crease can re­duce the risk of heart fail­ure”

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