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Almonds Pack an Antioxidant Punch (press release)

Thursday, June 16, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition

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It has been said that beauty is only skin deep. But for almonds, the skin is as deep as you may need to go to get a real antioxidant punch. In a study, published in this month's Journal of Nutrition, the antioxidants in almond skins and the vitamin E in almonds were shown to work together as an antioxidant team. The study was co-authored by researchers at the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and the Almond Board of California.

Researchers tested the brown skins of almonds to determine their antioxidant content. Almond skins have been known to contain antioxidants called flavonoids, which are a large group of plant nutrients found in wine, tea, fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids can act as antioxidants in the body protecting cells from damage. They also can protect LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, from being attacked by oxygen or oxidized, which makes LDL stickier and more likely to clog arteries. Additionally, these plant nutrients are thought to protect the body from the effects of aging.

Almonds contain a unique combination of antioxidants. Some of the 20 flavonoids identified in this analysis have been detected in other foods, such the catechins found in green tea, and naringenin, found in citrus fruit. "We have identified a unique combination of flavonoids in almonds," said Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., senior scientist and director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts University. "Further blood tests demonstrated that eating almonds with their skins significantly increases both flavonoids and vitamin E in the body. This could have significant health implications, especially as people age."

Almond antioxidants really make a heart healthy difference. It is one thing for a food to contain antioxidants but do they actually do anything in the body? The team at Tufts was able to test the flavonoids alone and then in combination with vitamin E, also naturally found in almonds, in the blood. The results suggest that vitamin E and the flavonoids in almond skins work synergistically to prevent LDL cholesterol from being oxidized. In fact, together vitamin E and almond flavonoids were more than twice as effective as when they were administered separately.

"The synergy between the flavonoids and vitamin E in almonds demonstrates how the nutrients in whole foods such as almonds can impact health," says Dr. Blumberg. "Given that almonds are among the richest sources of vitamin E in the diet and also provide an array of flavonoids, more research should be done to understand the healthful interaction of these plant nutrients in the human body and the role of almonds in aging."

Almonds have long been lauded for their heart health benefit. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (February 2005) found that eating almonds as part of a diet rich in heart healthy foods such as soy, viscous fiber and plant sterols can significantly reduce cholesterol levels as much as first generation statin drugs. And a study published this month in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that almonds, as part of that same heart healthy eating plan, can significantly reduce artery- damaging inflammation similar to statin drugs. The Food and Drug Administration recognizes the heart healthy benefit of almonds as well with a qualified health claim.

Almonds are nutritionally dense -- a quality emphasized in the government's latest Dietary Guidelines. Ounce for ounce, almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut. The recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 encourage Americans to choose nutritionally dense foods -- that is, to get the most nutrition possible out of the calories you eat. In addition to its flavonoids, a one-ounce, 164-calorie serving of almonds, or about a handful, is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, and a good source of protein and fiber. It also offers heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and iron.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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