New research shows that eating a handful of nuts per day provides immediate protection against heart disease. Regular intake would provide permanent protection. Researchers also found a significant improvement in cholesterol and flexibility of blood vessels, which helps good blood flow, just 4 hours after people ate nuts or nut oil.

Research shows that a regular consumption would protect against cardiovascular disease for a long time.

“And only a handful of walnuts or walnut oil for four days a week can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease,” said Dr. Penny Kris Eterton, professor of nutrition at Penn State University in Pennsylvania.

First, this research has identified which part of walnuts provides the greatest health benefit. And only one consumption of three tablespoons (51 g) walnut oil improves the condition of blood vessels after 4 hours.

Walnut oil proved to be especially good for the integrity of endothelial cells. These are the cells that line the blood vessels and play an important role in their flexibility. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols and vitamin E, and all of the above lowers cholesterol and protects the blood vessels.