Nuts Composition and their Health Benefits
Nuts are part of a healthy diet such as Mediterranean diet. Benefits of nuts in reducing the risk of heart disease has been reasonably attributed to their composition of vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids, fiber and phytochemicals such as polyphenols, tocopherols, squalene and phytosterols. More than 75% of total fatty acids of nuts are unsaturated. α- tocopherol is the main tocopherol isomer present in most of the nuts. While walnuts, Brazil nut, cashew nut, peanut, pecan and pistachio nuts are rich in γ- tocopherol. β- sitosterol is dominant sterol in nuts. Pistachio and pine nut have the highest total phytosterol and Brazil nut and English walnut the lowest. Walnuts also contain large amount of phenolic compounds compared with other nuts. Nuts are rich in compounds with antioxidant properties and their consumption can offer preventing from incidence of many diseases including cardiovascular.
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