Paulie Walnuts Gualtieri, Tony Sopranos sidekick, was always worried about his health.
Clearly, he had no idea that his nickname was a fountain of youth. Turns out, eating 2 ounces of shelled walnuts a day can make your blood vessels more flexible (a sign of heart health), improve your cholesterol levels and help with high blood pressure, glucose control and insulin regulation.
One megastudy that looked at results from 25 clinical trials found that eating about 2.4 ounces of nuts daily lowers total cholesterol by 5 percent, heart-and blood-vessel-damaging low-density lipoprotein by more than 7 percent and improves the ratio of LDL to heart-friendly high-density lipoprotein by 8 percent. Triglyceride levels declined by more than 10 percent for folks who started out at 150 or higher. The studies included macadamia, pistachio, hazelnuts or peanuts (not really nuts; theyre legumes), but not Brazil or pine nuts. So heres the scoop on these tasty morsels:
2-3 ounces of pistachios a day lowers cholesterol levels by slashing LDL and raising HDL after only a month.
Eating almonds daily preserves HDL levels while lowering lousy LDL by up to 19 percent.
A handful of hazelnuts daily may slash your risk for heart disease and may help protect you from some cancers and dementia.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.