NUTS! Foods that Reduce Stroke Risk

Several medical studies now show that regularly eating a variety of nuts will help reduce your risk of a stroke. There are several other dietary changes you can also make to help reduce your risks, but there is evidence that eating nuts may have the biggest effect.

Bowl of nuts

What are the Best Nuts to Prevent a Stroke

One study from the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that eating nuts can reduce your chances of having a stroke by up to 50%. The breakdown of this study can be found in an article from Nutrition Facts.

So, what are the best nuts to eat?

Can I go to the grocery story and get any kind of great tasting nuts I want, without caring about how much salt the nuts are covered in?

Let’s start with one thing that will clear up how much salt should be on the nuts. The American Heart Association recommends that you have no more than 1,500 mg of salt per day. That means you should only select nuts which don’t have salt and other spices added for flavor. Here is a list of healthy nuts I have found that may help with reducing your stroke risk:Bowl of Almonds

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts

Nuts are Good for Me so Let’s Grab a BIG Bag

How many nuts should you have per day? I would love to hear your experience with how much to eat and if you saw benefits or negative side effects. Please leave a comment below and share with the rest of us.

You probably don’t need a doctor or dietitian to tell you that eating too many nuts can cause weight gain, which in turn has its own heath issues so you need to eat in moderation. Isn’t that true of most everything in life? Chose moderation and you will most likely be fine.

1 ounce per day of nuts should be what you should shoot for. One ounce isn’t much; it’s about one small handful.

Small cup of Almonds
My wife and I are going to a Natural Food store tomorrow to buy “raw” nuts. That means not processed and with no salt added. We’re going to combine all the nuts listed above into a bag so I can just get a scoop of nuts out (what I can fit into my hand). This will make it easy to get a good sampling of nuts instead of selecting one type of nut each day.

Question?

I do have one question for all of you. I’m not a big fan of walnuts so I am planning on leaving them off my list. Should I leave them out or do walnuts have a big enough health benefit to include them even though I don’t love them?

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.

I have recently written an article about how to eat healthy, which goes list other foods that you should also consider adding to your diet. You can check it out in the link below.

How To Eat Healthy

 

20 Comments on “NUTS! Foods that Reduce Stroke Risk”

  1. Interesting article Rick. I’m a big fan of nuts, mainly walnuts, almonds and brazils and have them each morning for breakfast. It is interesting to know what extra benefits and nutritional value raw nuts would be. All the ones I buy are all pre-packed and until now I’ve never really looked at the salt content.
    I’ll definitely be taking a closer look next time I buy some.
    Thanks again,
    Mark

    1. Hey Mark, It’s sad that I’ll always pick up the roasted and salted nuts and of course have way too much. That takes away a lot of the health benefits. I also have realized that my parents have been eating nuts every day, after my mom’s stroke, and I never stopped to ask them why. I always assumed it was because they just liked nuts. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Hi Rick,
    I agree with you, nuts are hugely beneficial in helping us manage our health. I think you need to stick with what you enjoy, so if you don’t like walnuts don’t get them, but they are a healthy addition to your diet. They contain good amount of omega 3 which helps reduce inflammation in the body so definitely good for your health. And a rich source of beneficial plant compounds. If you added them to a nut mix, or create a cocoa flavoured granola mix and maybe you wouldn’t notice them, and still get the benefits.

    1. That’s a great idea about mixing them in. I need to learn more about nuts because I didn’t realize that they contained a significant amount of Omega 3. I will definitely keep them in as Omega 3 is high on the list of things that heart and stroke patients need more of. Thank you.

  3. This is very interesting. I knew that eating too many nuts could cause weight gain which is why I have stayed away from them mostly.

    What I did not know was that they could reduce the risk of stroke. I am going to have to dive into that study you suggested.

    I would like to do a little more research on the types you mentioned here and how much should be consumed. You have definitely peaked my interest with this very informative article. Thanks for sharing.

    1. What I have learned so far is that a small amount every day and raw ones, is what we need. Several articles have mentioned 1 oz. per day which is approximately on hand full, and probably not a “heaping” hand full. It would be best to weigh it out to know for sure.

      I was just talking to my sister about 30 minutes ago and told here of what I discovered about nuts. She is on Weight Watchers and has lost 25 pounds since January 1st. Here first comment was how many points that would be. I just reminded here that if something will reduce your risk of a stroke by about 50%, then you need to find a way to include them in the diet. I also reminded her to get the raw nuts. She’s going to start eating them more regularly but in small amounts.

      Thank you for your comment. Feel free to leave other comments in the future if you learn more about nuts or different kinds of nuts.

  4. I am a huge fan of nuts of any kind. I add them to yogurts to make it more interesting to eat. I love the crunch.
    I think I probably eat too many especially if I have a bag to hand and a film to watch.
    I always go for raw and aim to eat at least 5 almonds a day as I read that they have huge health benefits.

    1. It looks like you have already realized the health benefits of nuts. The hard part, as you just mentioned, is finding ways to only have one ounce per day. I know that will be one of my challenges.

    1. Almonds are one of my favorites also. I love pistachios, but usually with a lot of salt. I have to really start limiting the sodium in my diet. My parents have told me that, after years of hardly using salt, they don’t even realize they are missing it and then they find that they don’t like things that are salted, especially heavily.

  5. I have always heard that nuts are very good for you especially almonds. I must admit I like the salted kind but in the name of health, If I had to choose it would be the unsalted type. As to leaving Walnuts out, I don’t think it would make a difference as you are still eating a healthy mixture.

    1. Thank you for your advice.

      My daughter and I went to Sprouts today. We bought the “raw” nuts with no salt. I bought the six that are listed in this post (including walnuts). We bought one scoop full of each and combined them into a container when we came home. I was concerned that I wouldn’t like not having salt and also having the walnuts but I was surprised and how great the combination tasted. I didn’t feel like I needed salt and I didn’t mind the walnuts.

      Now the hard part. Not over-eating the nuts when I’m staying up late working on my website.

  6. I love peanuts, almonds and pecans and it’s really nice to know that these can help prevent the risk of stroke. I usually buy the large bags of raw nuts from Costco and roast them with some olive oil. Is that okay to do? Sometimes I add cinnamon to the almonds. I can tell you this sure makes them taste fantastic. Hopefully I am not ruining the health properties by doing this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Roasted nuts are ok but raw is better.

      Roasted nuts will be slightly higher in calories, will become rancid more quickly, have a little more fat, and the roasting process may damage the polyunsaturated fats.

      The bottom line is, raw nuts are better but roasted nuts are also good for you.

      Thank you for the question.

  7. Thank you for this great post! I love nuts! And, yes, it’s impossible to eat just one (or maybe even just one ounce)! Regarding walnuts, I have heard they are good for the brain, and I find it very interesting that, when you open a walnut shell, it looks very much like a brain. I think nature leaves us clues. I did not know eating nuts can reduce the risk of stroke. Great information to have! There are so many side benefits to just eating healthy and raw nuts are certainly part of that journey. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s fascinating how much there is to learn about foods and what good and bad they can do for us. I knew nuts were good for us but not that they have a significant potential to reduce the risk of a stroke and heart disease. I am looking at more research on this as it means a lot to me and several members of my family who have had strokes. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a great comment.

  8. Hi Rick
    Very interesting article as always. I really love nuts and I eat them every day or every other day. Nowadays, I started eating raw nuts because I started changing my food to be natural. I use to eat them because I like them.. Now I will eat them because of their benefits. Regarding walnuts, they are of the most beneficial of all. They reduce cholesterol in the body, improve in metabolism, and control of diabetes .Besides, it slow down the spread of cancer.

    1. Thank you for the additional information Ranie. Raw nuts are absolutely the way to go but I didn’t realize that there is a certain amount of time you need to eat them by. It probably changes with all nuts but I bought about six different types of raw nuts about two weeks ago and then combined them all into one container. That way I just get a scoop full once a day and I get the variety I need and like. The nuts are all raw and “un-salted.” The variety of nuts is great because I never feel like I am missing salt.

      Oh, back to my note about eating them within a certain amount of time. I have had these “raw” nuts for about two weeks and at least one of them is becoming rancid. It’s not going bad necessarily, but there is a more “negative” taste, I would say. So, buy an amount you can eat within two weeks or find a way that may preserve them longer. I need to research that question.

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