(Natural News) Researchers continue to look for foods rich in natural antioxidants to be used for improving health and preventing diseases. Researchers from the University of Uyo and Rivers State University of Science and Technology in Nigeria found that the African walnut (Coula edulis Baill.), a plant abundant in Nigeria, is packed with antioxidants, which can be used in food and for medicinal purposes.
For their study, which was published in the European Journal of Medicinal Plants, the research team investigated the antioxidant properties of organic and aqueous extracts of the African walnut. In addition, the researchers looked at the total phenolics, flavonoids, and vitamin C content in the extracts. They also evaluated the metal chelating and reducing power of the extracts.
The results of the evaluations revealed that African walnut is rich in phenolics, flavonoids, and vitamin C. In addition, the extracts of the African walnut exhibited promising antioxidant activities, with great metal chelating and reducing properties. The aqueous extract of the African walnut contained the highest amounts of flavonoids and vitamin C and exhibited the best antioxidant potentials.
Based on the findings of the study, the researchers concluded that the African walnut is packed with phenolics, flavonoids, and vitamin C, and potent antioxidant activities. These suggested that the African walnut can be used as a health food.
Aside from the African walnut, there are many other common fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. These include broccoli, apricots, raspberries, cherries, watermelon, artichokes, oranges, and spinach, among others. These foods also help reduce the oxidizing damage in the body caused by free radicals.
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More reasons to eat African walnut
African walnut is an edible single-seeded stone fruit. This black-shelled nut is most commonly eaten as snacks in Nigeria, where it is referred to as Okpa. Eating this plant food can give you many health benefits. Here are some of them:
- It is rich in vitamins: The African walnut is rich in vitamins such as B6, B7, and E. Because of its vitamin E content, which is an antioxidant, it helps protect the body from free radicals that harm the body. Moreover, vitamin B6 enhances brain growth and function, while vitamin B7 helps metabolize carbohydrates and fats.
- It contains healthy fatty acids: African walnut contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are also helpful in preventing diseases, blood clotting, cell growth, and immune infection.
- It helps reduce the risk of heart disease: This nut also has the ability to prevent heart diseases, such as coronary heart disease, because it contains the amino acid l-arginine. In addition, it can lower the risk of sudden cardiac death, and help regulate cholesterol levels. Moreover, because of its many antioxidants, it helps fight against aging heart complications.
- It improves brain functioning: African walnut contains omega-3 fatty acids that help boost brain function. Moreover, it contains vitamin E and folate which are needed by the brain for memory and cognitive functions. These also increase inferential reasoning in adults.
- It has cancer-fighting properties: This plant food contains anti-cancer properties, such as phytosterols, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants that reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as prostate and breast cancers.
- It helps in weight management: African walnut is also helpful in weight management because of its protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acid content – all of which help provide satiety. In addition, it can help prevent obesity and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Read more news stories and studies on antioxidant-rich foods like African walnuts by going to SuperFoods.news.