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Antioxidants: Are Peanuts Better Than Fruit?

New research has led scientists to believe, in some cases, peanuts can more than hold their own with fruits in terms of antioxidant content. Peanuts contain high concentrations of p-coumaric acid, a polyphenol compound whose overall antioxidant content can be increased by more than 20 percent simply by roasting them, according to researchers.

In fact, one scientist pointed out roasted peanuts are about as rich in antioxidants as blackberries or strawberries, and are far richer in the chemicals than fruits such as apples, carrots or beets.

Comparing them, in general, to other foods people think of as rich in antioxidants (mostly fruits and berries) scientists believe peanuts come out somewhere in the middle. Although peanuts are no match for the foods at the top of the scale, such as pomegranates, they do rival other foods people eat just for their antioxidant content, according to the study.

Before you run to the market, however, eating peanuts can be problematic for several important reasons:

  • Loaded with pesticides
  • Top-heavy in omega-6 fats that distort the healthy omega 3:6 ratio
  • Often contaminated with a carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin (although a new and safer biopesticide shows promise)

Science Blog December 27, 2004

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