SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF PLANT COMPOUND THAT MAY PREVENT RISK OF HEART DISEASE AND CANCER.
LAS VEGAS, Sept.
8 - New research funded by The Peanut Institute and conducted by a team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) shows that peanuts are another rich dietary source of heart-healthy resveratrol. Recent studies on this plant compound
found in red wine and grapes show that resveratrol may help reduce the risks of heart disease and cancer.
results on peanuts were presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada by Dr. Tim Sanders from the
USDA Agricultural Research Service in North Carolina. Dr. Sanders, and his colleague, Dr. Robert W. McMichael, Jr., found
that peanuts have a significant amount of resveratrol in both the kernel and skin. The average amount of resveratrol in one
ounce of peanuts (without skin) is 73 mcg/g. In comparison, red wine contains approximately 160 mcg/fluid ounce.
Resveratrol's presence in red wine has been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and it has been credited as a
factor in the "French Paradox" (despite a high-fat diet, the French have a surprisingly low rate of heart disease).
More recently, research using resveratrol extracted from grapes showed a reduced risk of cancer in animals.
is not yet known exactly how resveratrol functions as a healthful factor in food. Some research has shown that resveratrol
can inhibit the build-up of platelets in blood vessels. It is also a potent antioxidant which can reduce the oxidation of
LDL (bad) cholesterol.
This new USDA research appears to support epidemiological studies that show nuts may reduce
the risk of heart disease by more than half when eaten frequently in small amounts. There may be several factors in peanuts
that contribute to this healthful effect. Peanuts are an excellent food source of vitamin E. They also provide approximately
2 grams of fiber per ounce, and have relatively high amounts of folic acid, thiamin, niacin, copper, manganese, phosphorous,
magnesium, and zinc. They are high in plant protein and the fat content is primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Jeff Johnson, president of The Peanut Institute, said, "We always felt that peanuts were a powerhouse of nutrients.
Now we are excited by having the USDA research team quantify this information on resveratrol for the first time."
The Peanut Institute is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to supporting nutrition research, education, and the
assessment of healthful eating patterns throughout the human life cycle. For further information call 1-888-8PEANUT.
Eat Peanuts to Get Folic Acid
Eating enough of the B vitamin, folic acid, in
the first weeks of pregnancy can prevent certain disabling birth defects. Additionally, studies show that folate consumption
may aid in decreasing incidence of stroke and coronary disease among the elderly.
With these findings in mind the Government recommends increased folate consumption. Women of childbearing
age, according to FDA, should consume 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. On average most only get half that.
A peanut butter sandwich or a snack of peanuts are an easy tasty way to incorporate
more folic acid into the diet. For example a one ounce serving of peanuts delivers as much as 17.5% of the Recommended Daily
Intake (RDI) of folate. When spread on enriched bread, peanut butter delivers even more.
Eating enough folic acid can cut by up to 50 percent a woman's risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect
in which the brain and spinal cord form improperly. In addition to peanuts and peanut butter other sources of folic acid are
enriched bread and grains, citrus fruits and dark leafy vegetables.
Peanuts, Good For People With Diabetes
Peanuts have a low Glycemic Index, which makes them an appropriate food for diabetic diets.
The Glycemic Index measures a food's potential for raising or lowering blood sugar
levels. White bread is used as the reference with an index of 100. To compare, peanuts have a desirable low response level
of 13. The lower the level, the better.
Blood sugar levels can
regulate appetites, energy, moods and control the way food is turned into fat or fuel. Low response foods such as peanuts
boost energy levels, burn off calories and build muscle.
to being a low response food, peanuts' good taste and portability make them a favorite snack of diabetic (and non-diabetic)
recreational athletes for maintaining their energy levels.