Peanuts Are Loaded With Anti-oxidants

Research now claims that peanuts rival many fruits when it comes to their antioxidant value, according to the University of Florida’s research. Peanut not only contain a wide variety of helpful antioxidants, but they contain the ‘good’ fat.

"When it comes to antioxidant content, peanuts are right up there with strawberries," said Steve Talcott, assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida. "We expected a fairly high antioxidant content in peanuts, but we were a bit shocked to find that they're as rich in antioxidants as many kinds of fruit."

The study researched a dozen different varieties of peanuts measuring their ability to block the aging effect of free radicals that occur naturally in the body and damage living cells causing heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.

Antioxidants became popular when reports started hailing them as a miracle weapon in the battle against cancer. This lead many people to add more orange and red fruit to their diet and increase vitamins A, C, and E which are recognized as antioxidants.

Peanuts are a good source of Vitamin E.

University of Florida researchers studied peanuts and found that they contain high concentrations of polyphenols. Roasting increases the levels, boosting their antioxidant content by 22 per cent, to the levels of blackberries and strawberries. In fact, the report goes on to state that roasted peanuts out-do apples, carrots and beets.

"If you compare them (peanuts) to other foods people think of as rich in antioxidants mostly fruits and berries peanuts come out somewhere in the middle," Talcott said. "They're no match for the foods at the top of the scale, such as pomegranate, but they do rival other foods that people eat just for their antioxidant content."

"We already know from previous studies that including peanuts and peanut butter in a healthful diet can lower cholesterol, help people lose weight and prevent type 2 diabetes," said Kristen Ciuba, a nutritionist for the Peanut Institute, a nonprofit organization in Albany, Ga., funded by the peanut industry.

"It's certainly worth looking into further," said Gorbet, a co-author of the study. "The big question is not whether it can be done the question is whether the demand is there. So far, people haven't been seeking out peanuts for their antioxidant content, but maybe in the future they will be."

Not everyone is willing to move peanuts to the list of life-saving, healthy foods. Dr. Mercola, author of Total Health Program has a word of warning for people who want to increase the amount of peanuts they eat.

Dr. Mercola states that peanuts are heavy in Omega-6 fats that distort the Omega 3:6 ratio, and they may contain a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin, as well as pesticides. All of these cause serious health problems and disease.

He continues to tell people to eat organic peanut butter, pour the oil off the top of the peanut butter jar to lower the Omega-6 content, and even mixing in Brewer’s yeast.

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