STEP 2: Be nuts about nuts

You should be nuts about nuts, and here’s why. Several very large studies that included tens of thousands of participants from the Nurses’ Health Study, the Physicians’ Health Study, and others, found that the risk of coronary heart disease is 37 percent lower among people who eat nuts more than four times per week compared with those who never or seldom eat nuts. Experts believe the reason is that most nuts are high in monounsaturated fats, which help lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Nuts are a rich source of B vitamins, which are good for the heart and brain. They also contain healthy fats, which also benefit the heart and circulation, as well as the collagen and elastin in the skin, helping it maintain elasticity and resiliency.

Because nuts are high in calories, small portions are advised. The best way to enjoy the flavor and benefits of nuts is to eat them as a snack in place of chips or another “junk” food, or sprinkle them on cereal, salad, or in stir-fry.

Category: 10-step anti-aging diet