Walnuts crush other nuts for health benefits

3 Apr

Brain food that looks like a brain - walnuts are literally a top nut

Surely no-one missed the global groundbreaking news on Monday that US researchers declare raw walnuts to be the healthiest nut of them all and just seven of them a day will ward off heart disease, certain cancers and type-2 diabetes.

According to this BBC article, Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton, analysed the antioxidant levels of nine different types of nuts and discovered that: ‘a handful of walnuts contained twice as many antioxidants as a handful of any other commonly eaten nut. He found that these antioxidants were higher in quality and potency than in any other nut. Antioxidants are good because they stop the chain reactions that damage cells in the body when oxidation occurs. The antioxidants found in walnuts were also two to 15 times as powerful as vitamin E, which is known to protect the body against damaging natural chemicals involved in causing disease.’

In another study by Australian scientist T. M. Strathan (also backed up by the FDA) the advice is similar and even specific to vegetarians; ‘In vegetarian populations it appears that nuts may be exerting the strongest protective effect [for cardiovascular protection]. This was an unexpected finding since it was anticipated that the absence of meat eating would be the dominant factor. Although nuts contain approximately 80% fat the nut feeding trials have not shown any associated weight gain in those ingesting nuts suggesting the addition of nuts in the diet may have a satiating effect. It is concluded that the daily ingestion of a small quantity of nuts may be one of the most acceptable lifestyle interventions for the prevention of coronary heart disease.’

Walnuts are so rich in ALA that a daily amount of just half an ounce (15g) supplies 1.5g of the fatty acid will protect against heart disease – part of a 16-year study of more than 76,000 women reported to a meeting of the American Heart Association.

Walnuts are an excellent source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals such as Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Sodium, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin, Vitamin E, and even the little known Vitamin K.

Only one thing to watch for is that walnuts are a little bit acidic. So stick to the seven as advised…

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