Go Nuts Over Nuts: The Best Nuts & Seeds For A Healthy Heart

Written by GHBY Team on Fri, 01 December 2023 — Fact checked by Rama Manikumar

Key Highlights

  • Antioxidants and polyphenols in nuts and seeds fight oxidative stress that stimulates the immune response to allergic reactions.
  • Healthy servings of good fats are beneficial for heart problems.
  • Almonds reduce the risk of insulin resistance and lowers bad cholesterol.
  • Peanuts lower the risk of CVD and CHD by 16% and 19% respectively
  • Flaxseed oil is more beneficial to your heart as fish oil.
  • Be aware of your medical conditions and nut allergies.

Healthy eating doesn’t characterize any particular diet form. Rather, it defines maintaining your health as a priority by fueling your body with nutrient-rich foods. Consuming vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, etc. for good health is known, but do we pay enough attention to consuming nuts and seeds?

Heroes of a healthy diet

Nuts and seeds are like little champs with bigger surprises! Yes! They are small, easy to carry, tremendously delicious and rich in nutrition.

If you are confused between nuts and seeds, let us clarify.

Nuts are the hard-shelled ‘fruit’ of certain plants and seeds are small edible plants enclosed in a seed coat.

We are aware of fruits and seeds, however, are you aware of what category peanuts come under? Think about it. Did you guess it right? Here comes the answer.

Technically, peanuts are legumes, but they are classified as nuts due to their similar characteristics to other tree nuts. Wasn’t that interesting? Read on to know more.

Various nuts and seeds

All nuts and seeds are good sources of proteins, healthy fats, fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Regularly eating nuts and seeds is linked to reduced risk of heart attack.

1. The goodness of nuts

Nuts and seed for healthy heart

  • Walnuts are antioxidant powerhouses. Antioxidants and polyphenols help to fight oxidative stress that stimulates the immune response to allergic reactions.
  • Hazelnuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds which reduce heart diseases risk factors such as elevated LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.
  • Almonds reduce the risk of insulin resistance and lowers bad cholesterol. It also boosts serotonin levels which is important for better sleep.
  • Pistachios are packed with protein, and also low in calories and fats. This makes them a great option for reducing the chances of developing obesity.

2. The power of seeds

  • Flaxseeds are an excellent source of flavonoids, fibers, omega-3- acids, and other nutrients that may reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and risk of cancer. Flaxseed oil is more beneficial to your heart than fish oil.
  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and their high magnesium content helps lower and regulate blood pressure.
  • Sesame seeds are rich in lignans. Gut bacteria convert them into another type of lignans called enterolactone which prevents heart diseases and breast cancer.
  • Hemp Seeds are a great source of magnesium which helps in regulating the heartbeat.

Role of nuts and seeds for a healthy heart

Most nuts and seeds contain these heart-healthy substances:

  • Unsaturated fats: The ‘good fat’ to ‘bad fat’ ratio in nuts is high. They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It helps to lower the risk of coronary heart disease and intermediate biomarkers like blood cholesterol.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Most nuts and seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Fiber: All nuts and seeds contain fiber which keeps you full and reduces hunger.
  • Phytosterol: Some nuts contain phytosterols, which help reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol levels.
  • L-arginine: Nuts are also a source of L-arginine. Some evidence shows that L-arginine may help improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart.
  • Antioxidants: The antioxidants and polyphenols in nuts and seeds help to maintain healthy blood vessels and blood pressure, as well as to reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Flavonoids: Seeds are rich in flavonoids. They reduce the incidence of ischemic strokes by reducing lipid oxidation, and improving endothelial function.

Healthy servings

Different types of nuts have slight differences in their vitamin and mineral content. Let’s see how to portion them for healthy serving.

1. Nuts:

  • As per Australian Dietary Guidelines, a small handful/ 30 grams or 1/3rd cup of mixed nuts on most days of the week can be a part of your healthy diet. This equals to:
    • - 30 almonds
    • - 15 cashews
    • - 20 hazelnuts
    • - 15 pecans
    • - 30 pistachios
    • - 10 whole walnuts
    • - 10 Brazil nuts
    • - 15 macadamias, or
    • - 2 tablespoons pine nuts 

Nuts and seed for healthy heart

  • Many studies suggest daily consumption of 21-75 g/day of walnut keeps you away from cardiovascular risk and improves the lipid profile and endothelial function.
  • Peanuts twice a week lowers the risk of total cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease by 16% and 19% respectively.

2. Seeds

This might help you to get an idea of the nutrition per serving.

  • Around 3 tablespoons of whole flaxseed contain 150 calories, 7.6 grams of fiber, and 6.4 grams of omega-3 fats.
  • Chia seeds contain 137 calories, 10.6 grams of fiber, and 4.9 grams of omega-3 fats.
  • A similar-sized serving of pumpkin seeds is packed with 160 calories, 1.7 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of alpha-linolenic acid.

Play with it based on your requirements!

3. Nut Butters

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests 2 tablespoons of nut butter serves the same benefits as handful of nuts. Just don’t forget to compare nutrition labels and choose the appropriate one.

4. Optimistic Oils

Flaxseed oil is equally beneficial to your heart as fish oil. It is an excellent choice if you are vegan, vegetarian, or allergic to fish.

Make nuts and seeds part of your diet

If ‘going nuts’ is good for your health, then why not! Nuts can also be found in protein powders, nut butter/spreads, dry fruit jams, and juices.

Here’s how you can make nuts and seeds for healthy heart part of your everyday diet.

  • Milk it!

Almond milk is the most popular one! But cashew milk, walnut milk, and hazelnut milk are also delicious. You can add flavors to normal milk with nut powder.

  • On the breakfast table

Peanut butter, cashew butter, and Brazil nut butter can be a choice of spreads on the bread. Try tahini (sesame seed spread) if you have a nut allergy. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds onto porridge, muesli, or a smoothie bowl.

  • As snacks

Replace biscuits or pieces of cake with a handful of raw or dry roasted nuts. Snack on dates and dry fruit rolls.

  • Beyond snackable

Nuts and seed oils also work fabulously in salads and stir-fries. Mix nut powder in yogurt or in gravy to add flavor to it. Garnish desserts with crunchy nuts and colorful seeds.

  • Hydrating effect

Soak chia seeds in water or almond milk to keep yourself hydrated, especially during the summer season.

  • For vegans and vegetarians

Nuts and seeds can be a good protein substitute for meat, fish, and eggs.

Say no to flavors, and stick to the naturals

Nowadays, nuts and seeds are a popular snack option. As a result, there are many different types of fancy nuts and seeds options available such as:

  • Roasted
  • Salted
  • Caramelized
  • Spicy
  • Crunchy
  • Flavored and so on.

However, remember these add-ons for enhanced taste and flavor are not always the best option for your health.

They contain high levels of sodium, added sugars, and tropical oils which rob these foods of their natural healthy nature.

Added flavors can also lead to the overconsumption of these foods. As nuts and seeds are dense in nutrition, their overconsumption can lead to weight gain.


Nuts come packed with nutrition and hence it is crucial to include nuts and seeds for a healthy heart to your daily diet.

If you are keen on including good fats, you can also choose Omega 3 6 9 which is an Omega-3 supplement available in the form of Omega-3 capsules. Also, remember, unlike many other allergies, all tree nuts, peanuts, and seeds may trigger life-threatening allergic reactions in those with nut allergies, especially in children. So, do not introduce a child under 3 years of age as they may cause choking, if not chewed well.



GHBY Team comprises content writers and content editors who specialise in health and lifestyle writing. Always on the lookout for new trends in the health and lifestyle space, Team GHBY follows an audience-first approach. This ensures they bring the latest in the health space to your fingertips, so you can stay ahead in your wellness game. 

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Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Dec, 01 2023

Written By


Fact checked By

Rama Manikumar