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Nutty about walnuts
All that Diwali munching on dry fruits may have been good for you. Walnuts are the best source of natural anti-oxidants among dry fruits. A National Institute of Nutrition study to look at the healthiest dry fruit consumed by Indians has found that the phenolic content in walnuts was as high as 959. 79 mg/100 grams while the least was in cashewnuts (153 mg/100 grams).
Brown raisins were second to walnuts with phenolic content of 749. 37 mg/100 grams, figs 331, ground nuts 323. 55, apricot 304. 63 and dry dates 241 mg/100 grams. The higher the phenolic content, the greater the anti-oxidant levels in it.
NIN scientists, who published this study recently, say that as compared to fresh fruits, the polyphenolic content and AOA (anti-oxidant activity) of dry fruits is higher due to their low moisture content.
Many people avoid nuts because they are high in calories and fat, but experts have reported that the unsaturated fats found in nuts are not as dangerous for the heart as the saturated fats packed in meat and dairy products.
On the contrary, nuts like pistachios contain fewer calories. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed pistachios to be one of the lowest calorie nuts with 160 calories per 30 gram serving (approximately 1 ounce).
Pistachios convey a variety of health benefits, including weight management and cardiovascular support, " says lead researcher David J Baer. Pistachio - also known as the 'skinny nut' - is said to be a 'mindful snack' as it takes longer to eat and requires the snacker to slow down and be more conscious of what's being consumed. Other experts say that eating almonds, particularly at breakfast, can help maintain healthy levels of insulin, which helps encourage healthy blood glucose levels and fights type 2 diabetes.
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