July 11, 2006
The almond's healthy halo will likely shine even brighter with the release of a new study by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, Boston. Published in the June 2006 issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the study, titled "Determination of Flavonoids and Phenolics and Their Distribution in Almonds," examined the amount of antioxidant compounds in almonds. Specifically, the total phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids in the skins and kernels of the eight principal almond varieties were determined. Results indicated that a 1-oz. serving of almonds contains a comparable amount of antioxidants--or flavonoids--as a serving of broccoli or a cup of black or green tea. According to the HNRCA abstract, "These data can lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of action underlying the relationship between almond consumption and health-related outcomes and provide values for whole and blanched almonds suitable for inclusion in nutrient databases."
In addition to having a high antioxidant content, previous studies have shown almonds to be an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, and a good source of protein and fiber. Further, the tree nut's high vitamin E content, together with flavonoids found in almond skin, help prevent LDL cholesterol from being oxidized.
The HNRCA study was funded by the Almond Board of California and USDA Agricultural Research Service.
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