Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 397–406

Nuts and Berries for Heart Health


DOI: 10.1007/s11883-010-0132-5

Cite this article as:
Ros, E., Tapsell, L.C. & Sabaté, J. Curr Atheroscler Rep (2010) 12: 397. doi:10.1007/s11883-010-0132-5


Nuts are nutrient-dense foods with complex matrices rich in unsaturated fatty acids and other bioactive compounds, such as L-arginine, fiber, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and polyphenols. By virtue of their unique composition, nuts are likely to beneficially impact heart health. Epidemiologic studies have associated nut consumption with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease in both genders and diabetes in women. Limited evidence also suggests beneficial effects on hypertension and inflammation. Interventional studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect and there is emerging evidence of beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Blood pressure, visceral adiposity, and glycemic control also appear to be positively influenced by frequent nut consumption without evidence of undue weight gain. Berries are another plant food rich in bioactive phytochemicals, particularly flavonoids, for which there is increasing evidence of benefits on cardiometabolic risk that are linked to their potent antioxidant power.


Tree nutsPeanutsBerriesFatty acidsPhytochemicalsAntioxidantsFlavonoidsHealthy dietsEpidemiologic studiesClinical trialsCoronary heart diseaseStrokeObesityMetabolic syndromeVisceral adiposityType 2 diabetesWeight gainHypertensionBlood cholesterolTriglyceridesGlycemic controlInsulinOxidationInflammationFlow-mediated dilatation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lipid Clinic, Endocrinology and Nutrition ServiceInstitut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Hospital ClínicBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERobn)Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)Spain
  3. 3.Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and Smart Foods CentreUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Nutrition, School of Public HealthLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA