Nuts are one of nature’s most perfect foods; they’re packed with protein, minerals, fiber, vitamins, and healthy fats. But king among them all is the walnut. Walnuts contain more antioxidants of higher quality than any other nut, says a new report by University of Scranton scientists, released at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.
“Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and other nuts,” said Joe Vinson, Ph.D., who did the analysis. “A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut.”
Despite this, most people tend to ignore the walnut in favor of other nuts, usually roasted. But roasting reduces the quality of the antioxidants in nuts. Unlike peanuts and almonds, walnuts are usually eaten raw, making them even more nutritionally superior.
Nuts may not be more popular because people aren’t aware of how healthy they are, said scientists. Or they worry about the fat and calorie content. But nuts contain healthful polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats rather than heart-stopping saturated fat. As for the calories, eating nuts does not appear to cause weight gain and even makes people feel full and less likely to overeat.
A second study released at the ACS meeting found that walnuts can also reduce the size and growth rate of prostate cancer in test animals.