The study found that walnuts have the highest level of antioxidants compared to other nuts.
Raw walnuts fight free radicals more than other nuts
Walnuts are the most protective nuts of all and should be part of a regular diet, said a University of Scranton professor.
Results from a study of 54 samples of nuts, both raw and roasted, were released at the American Chemical Society meeting.
The study found that walnuts have the highest level of antioxidants compared to other nuts, said Dr. Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton.
And the antioxidants help fight free radicals in your body which destroy genes and cause disease.
They also help lower bad cholesterol and protect the brain from possible memory loss and loss of motor co-ordination, Vinson told the Star in a phone interview.
Vinson tested the chemical reactions of the antioxidants, or polyphenols, in nuts by not just measuring the free antioxidants in the nut but also the antioxidants that are bound to the fibre of nuts.
In another test he measured the impact of walnuts as well as other nuts on lower density lipoprotein.
“Walnuts are superior to other nuts … They are Number 1 in both quantity and quality.” They’re also far superior to Vitamin E supplements which many people take to fight off the effects of free radicals, Vinson added.
And he advised people to be leery of suggestions that eating nuts makes you pile on the pounds. One or two handfuls a day will not make you gain weight, he said. That’s an old wives tale. And that’s the amount most people need to protect themselves.
“You don’t have to feel guilty about eating nuts,” said Vinson. “We think nuts are good for you. Eat more. I’m not being paid by the walnut people to tell you this: I’m recommending nuts. If you could choose and be picky I would say from the evidence so far walnuts seem to be the best nuts.”
And if you’re going to eat walnuts – raw walnuts are better than roasted, he said. They offer the most protection.
Other studies have shown that daily consumption of nuts can decrease risk of heart disease, some cancer, diabetes and other health issues.