Wal­nuts top health nut

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

WAL­NUTS have been found to be top of the tree when it comes to heart-healthy nutty su­per­foods.

The Christ­mas favourites are packed with more po­tent and abun­dant an­tiox­i­dants than any other pop­u­lar nut, as well as healthy fi­bre, pro­tein, vi­ta­mins and min­er­als.

Tree and ground nuts are gen­er­ally said to be among na­ture’s most per­fect ready-made foods.

As well as hav­ing all the nu­tri­tious el­e­ments nec­es­sary for a healthy diet, they also con­tain high lev­els of pro­tec­tive an­tiox­i­dants which counter the ef­fects of harm­ful mol­e­cules.

Re­search sug­gests reg­u­lar con­sump­tion of nuts can re­duce the risk of heart disease, cer­tain can­cers, and type-2 di­a­betes.

But un­til now it has not been clear which nut is No. 1 in terms of health-giv­ing prop­er­ties.

To an­swer this ques­tion, sci­en­tists an­a­lysed the an­tiox­i­dant con­tent of wal­nuts, al­monds, peanuts, pis­ta­chios, hazel­nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans.

Study leader Dr Joe Vin­son, from the Univer­sity of Scran­ton in Penn­syl­va­nia, US, said: ‘‘ Wal­nuts rank above peanuts, al­monds , pecans, pis­ta­chios and other nuts. A hand­ful of wal­nuts con­tains al­most twice as much an­tiox­i­dants as an equiv­a­lent amount of any other com­monly con­sumed nut. But un­for­tu­nately, peo­ple don’t eat a lot of them. This study sug­gests t hat con­sumers s hould eat more wal­nuts as part of a healthy diet.’’ Vin­son’s team found that wal­nuts not only had more an­tiox­i­dants than other nuts, but more pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dants. Those in wal­nuts were be­tween two and 15 times more po­tent than vi­ta­min E, renowned for its an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties.

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