Nuts help prevent some cancers
Walnut is a dried fruit from the tree (9%), which is common in Europe and Asia.
Like the whole group of oleaginous fruits, the nut is very caloric, having 620 kcal / 100g, losing only to Brazil nut (643 kcal / 100g ), according to the Brazilian Table of Food Composition (2011). It has an average of 60% fat, 14% protein (rich in arginine, which acts as a vasodilator, protecting the cardiovascular system) and 7% dietary fiber (which helps intestinal health). The composition of lipids is characterized by a small amount of saturated fat in relation to other oilseeds, in addition to the relative concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs, oleic acid) and a very large amount of polyunsaturated fats - 75% of the nut's fat comes from this type
In addition, it has micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, selenium, vitamins B1, B3 and B6. It is an excellent source of manganese and phosphorus, very important minerals in the body. The consumption of the recommended amount of walnut per day, which is 4 units, provides a good percentage of the recommended for these micronutrients.
Walnut also has several chemical compounds that potentiate its antioxidant action, improve inflammatory profile and act against oxidative stress (such as inhibition of LDL-cholesterol oxidation and certain mechanisms that lead to some cancers), such as:
- Tocopherols (such as alpha and gamma-tocopherol - fractions of vitamin E with high antioxidant activity)
- Beta-sitosterol (a phytosterol that has a cholesterol-like chemical structure, which can be used as a cholesterol-lowering drug).
- Polyphenols (especially non-flavonoid type, such as ellagic acid and ellagitanine)
- Melatonin (natural source of the hormone we produce, helps sleep) inhibit its intestinal absorption and reduce the fraction of LDL cholesterol in the blood).
Although the mechanism of protection of the walnut is still not well understood, several epidemiological studies have demonstrated the In a study published in Food & Function in 2012, the authors found that the nuts had a significantly higher content of polyphenols than other oleaginous fruits, whether in natura or toasted. On average, oleaginous fruits presented 3 times more antioxidant power than pure alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), ranging from 1.9 times more for cashew nuts and 15 times more for nuts, demonstrating the antioxidant power of this food .
Some studies also mention that the consumption of oilseeds can increase the basal metabolic rate and act with thermogenic effect, aiding in weight loss. In addition, recent studies indicate that nut consumption reduces the risk of neurological diseases in later life, such as Alzheimer's disease, because they have neuroprotective components such as vitamin E, melatonin, flavonoids, ellagic acid and omega-3, reducing and preventing
According to results of some studies, the daily intake of nuts and other oilseeds is associated with a lower risk of cancer (breast, prostate, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum) due to the high content of the bioactive compounds in that group. Consumption of 2 servings or more per week of oilseeds appears to decrease the risk of cancer.
Although walnut consumption is reported to improve blood pressure and insulin resistance, there is no evidence to support this claim. all the benefits already found in scientific literature, nuts are not consumed in the recommended amount. This is due to the difficulty of the daily consumption of pure walnut, by the monotony of food. One of the factors that could aid in the proper intake of walnuts, as well as other oleaginous ones, would be their inclusion in other preparations, such as vitamins, supplements of hot dishes or salads, breads and cakes.Excess consumption of walnuts can lead to weight gain due to the high fat content of this fruit, as well as unbalance the fat profile in the blood.
The best way to consume the nuts is in natura form, without addition of salt. Consumers should be aware when buying oilseeds in general, avoiding the purchase of products that are exposed due to the risk of contamination by the manipulation of other people and exposure to the environment - light, heat, humidity. It is best to buy oilseeds already found in sealed packages.
Lycopene is a carotenoid and phytochemical pigment, found mainly in tomato and its derivatives, being responsible for the intense red color of it and other fruits, such as watermelon. In humans, it stands out for the strong antioxidant action that is still being studied. Some studies point out that lycopene can help prevent prostate cancer, cardiovascular problems, and control blood pressure.
Primrose oil is extracted from the plant's seeds whose scientific name is Oenothera biennis (Onagraceae), also known as evening primrose or evening primrose . The plant is native to North America and has been used in indigenous medicine for therapeutic purposes. It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, good fats, which can provide many health benefits.