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Walnuts and Antioxidants

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Nuts and seeds added to your pregnancy diet are incredibly beneficial to mother and child. Walnuts specifically, the wrinkly ones with the meaty flavor, have some of the highest health benefits of all; healthy fats, antioxidants and the ability to reduce diseases like high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease.

Walnuts contain both omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants like polyphenols which protect cells from damage from free radicals and they’re high in dietary fiber but low in saturated fats. While peanuts are mainly consumed in the USA, walnuts can and should be eaten on a daily basis.

Research, from the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, on walnuts compared to fish, Antioxidant activity comparison of walnuts and fatty fish, found that subjects whom ingested walnuts instead of fatty fish like salmon or sardines had “a significantly higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) in the walnut diet compared with the control diet and the fish diet”. Meaning the walnuts provided more antioxidants than the fish diet.

Using walnuts everyday can help to lower bad cholesterol with these antioxidants and it doesn’t take a large portion. Dr. Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton finds that “only about seven walnuts a day… (will provide) the potential health benefits (of walnuts) uncovered in previous studies”. Consider adding walnuts to your breakfast in oatmeal, yogurt or pancakes, when you bake; muffins or cakes or as an easy snack like homemade trail mix; walnuts, raisins, almonds and M&M’s. It’s never too late to start a great new healthy habit; walnuts.

J Med Assoc Thai. 2012 Jun;95 Suppl 6:S179-88. Antioxidant activity comparison of walnuts and fatty fish. Hudthagosol C1, Haddad E, Jongsuwat R.

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