advertisement
29 June 2006

Almonds on par with fruit/veggies

In a new study published today, almonds have been found to contain high levels of antioxidants, similar to that found in fruit and vegetables.

0
In a new study published today, almonds have been found to contain high levels of antioxidants, similar to that found in fruit and vegetables.

Antioxidants deactivate free radicals – cell-destroying compounds in the body that can cause heart disease, cancer and strokes.

While almonds have long been recognised 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.

One of the authors of the study and director of the Antioxidant Research Laboratory at Tufts University, Jeffrey Blumberg, 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.”

How the research was done
The Tufts researchers tested the skins and kernels of the eight most common varieties of California almond - Butte, Carmel, Fritz, Mission, Monterey, Nonpareil, Padre and Price - using HPLC/ECD and UV detection. They aimed to indentify the main flavonoids and phenolic acids contained in the nuts.

Total phenol content was found to range from 127mg GAE/100g in the case of Fritz, to 241 in Padre.

"The principal flavonoids in almonds - catechin, epicatechin and Kaempferol - provide a higher degree of protection against oxidant-induced cell dealth than any other flavonoids," wrote the researchers. On a weight basis, the total flavonol content of almonds was found to be similar to red onions. The kaempferol and quercetin content was on par with broccoli, and the catechin content between that of brewed black tea and brewed green tea.

The next stage of the research will focus on determining how the human body extracts and absorbs the beneficial compounds.

Effective in lowering cholesterol
In addition to their high antioxidant content, many health experts extol the virtues of 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 oxidisation 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.

Thirty grams of almonds contain 160 calories, calcium, potassium and iron as well as being a good source of protein and fibre.

Today’s research was partly funded by the Almond Board of California and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Source: Decision News Media

- June 2006

Read more:
A-Z of Almonds
All about antioxidants

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Strenghten your immunity »

Keep your immunity strong Immune system boosters Boost your family's immunity

5 immune boosters in your kitchen

You don’t need a handful of vitamins and supplements to keep your body healthy, check out these five immune boosting foods you probably already have in your kitchen.

Laugh a little »

Eat yourself happy Laugh more and live longer Laughing yoga the best medicine

The healing power of laughter

A good chuckle doesn't only make you feel happy for a moment, it's beneficial to your health too.