Raw Walnuts Have 15x More Antioxidant Potency than Vitamin E

Walnuts are perhaps best known for being the quintessential healthy brain-food. But who knew that walnuts were also winning top prizes for their heart-healthy, free-radical fighting, antioxidant properties as well?

Recent scientific evidence shows how the walnut may possibly be the number one food on the planet for heart healthy antioxidant support. And it’s not just that the walnut alone that was studied for its antioxidant quantity.

The study included many varieties of tree and ground nuts, with walnuts ranking top dog over other healthy nuts, like almonds, pecans, peanuts and pistachios. In fact, just a handful of walnuts holds two times more heart-healthy antioxidants than all other commonly-purchased nuts.

In a recent March 2011 report, given at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in California, scientists offered an in-depth analysis demonstrating how walnuts have a unique mix of more free-radical neutralizing antioxidants, as well as higher quality antioxidants than any other nut on the planet. The study analyzed both the amount and quality of antioxidants found in walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans.

The study was direct and conclusive: Walnuts hold the largest amounts, and the highest potency’s, of antioxidants, as compared to other nuts. The study also found that the nut has up to 15 times more antioxidant potency than vitamin E, an oil known for its strong antioxidant effects. This suggests that walnuts may play a role in preventing us from getting cancer, as well as other free-radical-based diseases.

What the walnut has that other foods may not:

(1) A unique combination of nutritional benefits and antioxidants

(2) A complete high-quality protein that packs almost as much protein-punch as meat

(3) Tons of vitamins and minerals

(4) A natural form of dietary fiber in a raw and easy to eat form

Because of these great health benefits, the scientists conducting the study encourage us to include more walnuts in our diet. The best way to eat them is in-the-raw and organic, as we can reap most of the antioxidant benefits this way. In fact, years of research by other scientists suggest that the regular consumption of small amounts of nuts, such as walnuts, can lower our chances of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer, gallstones, as well as other health issues.

Joe Vinson, Ph.D., who did the analysis, explains:

“A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don’t eat a lot of them. This study suggests that consumers should eat more walnuts as part of a healthy diet… There’s 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.” [1]

It’s important to eat nuts for antioxidant support, and the aforementioned study says that you only need 7 walnuts a day for great levels of antioxidants! And yet, despite these high numbers of antioxidants, most people are not eating nuts!

In fact, research from Vinson shows that nuts only make up approximately 8% of the daily antioxidants found in the average person’s diet. This may be due to a lack of awareness around their health benefits, but may also come from the myth that nuts are “high in fat,” and should be avoided. This is sad news, as the fats in nuts are some of the best fats on the planet, and are high in healthy forms of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (the kinds that do not clog your arteries).

How often do you eat Walnuts? Will this study encourage you to eat more? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Dr. Edward Group

Dr. Edward F. Group III has his Naturopathic Doctorate, Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist certifications, and is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and the American Board of Functional Medicine. He founded Global Healing Center Inc. in 1998 which has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

A dynamic author and speaker, Dr. Group focuses solely on spreading the message of health and wellness to the global community with the philosophy of full body cleansing, most importantly colon cleansing, consuming pure clean organic food, water, air, exercise and nutritional supplementation. Visit GlobalHealingCenter.com to learn more about living green and healthy!

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  1. says

    I have been eating a mix of nuts in sea salt for years. I have never found one that contains walnuts so i started adding them to the mix and try to seat a good bit of walnuts daily.
    68 soon and never a bp, heat, cholestorol, diabetes issue.
    My mind is the sharpest it has ever been.

  2. says

    Walnuts are a terrific food. But there is one item that was not mentioned. Walnuts, like all nuts, should be soaked then dried at the lowest setting of your oven or better yet a dehydrator, with a variable temperature setting. Nuts, grains and legumes have enzymes and toxins that protect the kernel and also make them harder to digest. The enzymes and toxins need to be neutralized and that is done by soaking. Soaking is done in a solution of salt and water. The amount of salt varies with the type of nut. 4 cups of walnuts need 1 teaspoon of salt in water enough to completely submerge the nuts. A lot more information is available at the Weston A. Price website.

  3. Anonymous says

    I eat a mix of walnuts, pumpkin seeds and almonds with fresh cut up fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice as a breakfast cereal in the AM hours. I, too, add a high quality ancient sea salt with an abundant mineral (55+, including trace minerals) profile to the mix. It makes me feel great in the morning, and the protein goes a long way before I’m hungry again.

  4. Mahen SHRESTHA says

    Walnut is the great product of the nature which consist of full of vitamin E . I have been taking if 4 to 5 walnuts a day which gave me different positive results in my body.

  5. Andy G. Eid says

    I eat raw walnut every day. I include them in my power drink every morning with raw Pecan, pistachios, almond, oats, raw eggs, banana, 4 berries, Cinnamon, almond milk etc.

    I am 65 years old with young person’s blood pressure, no heart problems, no diabetes.

    Walnuts are GREAT.

  6. Maureen says

    I am not a health “nut” like the ones above, but am always looking for little ways I can improve, that I can stick to. I love walnuts, and am thrilled with this news! I think I just found my new healthy snack!

  7. DR.A.S.Sehgal says

    whenever i eat walnuts , i get oral ulcers. does naturopathy suggest any remedy for it ? thanx, dr. sehgal

  8. Lori says

    Walnuts are great, though probably pretty expensive for many people to enjoy regularly. One other comment though – he states that walnuts contain healthy fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated that don’t clog arteries. This, of course, implies that saturated fats do clog the arteries. Let’s get over it, for heaven’s sake. Transfats are the real culprit. And polyunsaturated fats in the form of vegetable oils can be just as toxic as transfats.

  9. Roger says

    Walnuts are delicious but also one of the more expensive nuts to purchase. Does anyone know where online one might purchase larger quantities of walnuts (preferably unshelled) at a reasonable cost?

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