Benefits of nuts for health
Nuts contain a rich source of energy and great health properties such as minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimal health.
Walnuts are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (around 72%) such as oleic acid and an excellent source of all important omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids. Regular consumption of nuts in the diet can help in the total reduction of LDL cholesterol or "bad cholesterol" and increases HDL or "good" cholesterol levels in the blood. Research studies claim that the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids help prevent coronary artery disease and stroke, favoring an optimal percentage of lipids in the blood.
Eating about 25 g of nuts per day provides about 90% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) of omega-3 fatty acids. Research studies have recommended the consumption of nuts since omega-3 fatty acids, by their anti-inflammatory action properties, help reduce coronary heart disease and stroke risk in addition to offering protection against breast cancers, colon and prostate.
In addition, they are a rich source of many phytochemicals that can contribute to the anti-oxidant action, such as melatonin, ellagic acid, vitamin E, carotenoids and poly-phenolic compounds. These compounds are known to have potential beneficial effects on health by helping against aging, inflammation and neurological diseases.
Scientists at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania had recently discovered that walnuts have higher levels of popyphenolic antioxidants than any other nut. 100 g of these nuts can carry 13541 mol TE (Trolex equivalents) of oxidants with radical absorption capacity (ORAC). Eating only six to seven nuts a day could help fight almost all the diseases that cause free radicals in the human body.
In addition, nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant, required to maintain the integrity of the cellular membrane of the mucous membranes and skin by protecting harmful free radicals.
They are also full of many important B-complex vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
They are also very rich source of minerals such as manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a cofactor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Selenium is an important micronutrient, which functions as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidases.
All these benefits are offered by the natural nuts of Spain. A nut that is cultivated in a traditional way and that we usually know as ground nuts.