Endothelial dysfunction is considered a precursor for atherosclerosis and an independent predictor of CVD. The endothelium, a monolayer of cells in arterial vessels, contributes to maintaining normal vascular tone and blood fluidity.
Some cardiovascular risk factors including smoking, hypertension, and high LDL-cholesterol levels, can directly induce endothelial dysfunction. In one study, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts improved endothelial markers involved in blood pressure control in hypertensive women (European Journal of Nutrition, 56(1), 89-97).
A recent study evaluated the effects of peanut consumption on postprandial endothelial function and observed that the intake of 85 grams/day of peanuts may improve postprandial triglyceride levels and preserve endothelial function (The Journal of Nutrition, 147(5), 835-840). Moreover, walnuts (30 grams/day) contribute to the improvement of the elasticity of blood vessels, according to the health claim approved by the European Commission in 2012. In addition, it has been reported that daily pistachio consumption may have a positive impact on improving some cardiometabolic risk factors related with alteration in endothelial function (Metabolism, 64(11), 1521-1529; Nutrition 2015 May;31(5):678-85). Collectively, these findings suggest that nut consumption may favorably affect endothelial function.