Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Eat your Broccoli, or a hand full of Raw Almonds, your choice...

Antioxidant-rich almonds on a par with fruits and vegetables.

According to recent research, antioxidant-rich almonds could be the smart choice for people trying to be health-conscious, in a very busy world.

In a new study published last month, almonds, in common with fruit and vegetables, have been found to contain high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants deactivate free radicals – cell-destroying compounds in the body that can cause heart disease, cancer and strokes.

While almonds have long been recognized as an excellent source of magnesium and vitamin E, comprehensive work had yet to be done on the quantity and quality of their antioxidant content.
Jeffrey Blumberg, director of the Antioxidant Research Laboratory at Tufts University, said:
“ These new findings, coupled with past results, lay the groundwork for future clinical trials that examine a link between whole almond consumption and the reduced risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.”

By testing the eight most common varieties of California almonds, researchers at Tufts University in California, discovered that the nuts contained 3 very important antioxidants, which are particularly important in fighting the cell damage that can lead to serious illnesses.
The study also claims that one serving of the nut contains the same amount of the antioxidant flavenoid as an equivalent portion of broccoli.

The next stage of the research will focus on determining how the human body extracts and absorbs the beneficial compounds.
In addition to their high antioxidant content, almonds as an effective means of lowering cholesterol.
Previous research has found that the antioxidants and vitamin E in almonds work in tandem – and are more effective when taken in conjunction with each other – to prevent the oxidization of LDL, ‘bad’ cholesterol.
According to the Almond Board of California, around a handful of the nut reduces LDL cholesterol by 4.4% from baseline.

A single ounce of almonds contains 160 calories, calcium, potassium and iron as well as being a good source of protein and fiber.
Today’s research was partly funded by the Almond Board of California and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Christopher Wiechert, C.N.C.

Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. If you decide to use this information on your own, it's your constitutional right, but I assume no responsibility.

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