Monday, March 28, 2011

Walnuts are the healthiest nut, say scientists

Eating raw walnuts gives the full benefits of antioxidants
Credit to: BBC News

Walnuts are the healthiest of all the nuts and should be eaten more as part of a healthy diet, US scientists say.
Scientists from Pennsylvania told the American Chemical Society that walnuts contain the highest level of antioxidants compared to other nuts.
Antioxidants are known to help protect the body against disease.
The scientists said that all nuts have good nutritional qualities but walnuts are healthier than peanuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios.
Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton, analysed the antioxidant levels of nine different types of nuts and discovered that a handful of walnuts contained twice as many antioxidants as a handful of any other commonly eaten nut.
He found that these antioxidants were higher in quality and potency than in any other nut.
Antioxidants are good because they stop the chain reactions that damage cells in the body when oxidation occurs.
The antioxidants found in walnuts were also two to 15 times as powerful as vitamin E, which is known to protect the body against damaging natural chemicals involved in causing disease, the study says.
Nuts are known to be healthy and nutritious, containing high-quality protein, lots of vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fibre. They are also dairy and gluten-free.
Previous research has shown that regular consumption of small amounts of nuts can reduce the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, type two diabetes and other health problems.
Dr Vinson said there was another advantage in choosing walnuts as a source of antioxidants: "The heat from roasting nuts generally reduces the quality of the antioxidants.
"People usually eat walnuts raw or unroasted, and get the full effectiveness of those antioxidants."
Source: BBC News

antioxidants: substances that slow down or eliminate the disease causing properties in your body by boosting the immune system and allowing your body to fight off disease
potencychemical strength or effectiveness
dietary fibreis a part of plant food that our bodies cannot digest
dairy: raised for milk, butter or cheese
glutena protein found in wheat. It helps provide structure to yeast raised and baked food products. It contains the allergen which causes diarrhea (gluten enteropathy)
consumption: eating

Pre-reading Questions:
Do you like eating nuts?
What are the popular nuts in Japan?

Comprehension questions:
1. Why is walnut the healthiest nut?
2. What are the health benefits of nuts?
3. Is it better to eat raw nuts? Why?

Viewpoint discussion (AGREE or DISAGREE):
1. Vegetables are the healthiest food.
2. Eating healthy foods is enough to make us healthy.

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