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Beans and Walnuts ~ [Issue 1105-5]  Wellness Weekly
 Nov 30, 2005 12:10 PST 


Colorado researchers say antioxidant-rich beans, long touted for
nutritional benefits, also may help fight cancer and diabetes. The
scientists are investigating the antioxidant properties of 15
varieties of beans that may help fight cancer and possibly protect
against diabetes. The project, funded with $187,000 from the Bean
Health Alliance, may serve as a model for food and crop research that
can be used by farmers to determine what varieties of crops to plant
and by consumers to decide what foods to eat. "Antioxidants are found
to be important to people for fighting cancer and also for battling
diabetes," said Henry Thompson, professor and director of the Cancer
Prevention Laboratory at Colorado State University. "We know that
there is an association between cell oxidation and diabetes, because
we have seen this behavior as part of the pathology of diabetes."


Scientists from Pennsylvania State University report eating walnuts
can help reduce inflammatory markers for cardiovascular disease. They
found an effect on C-reactive protein and harmful plaque adhesion
molecules, they report in the "Journal of Nutrition." Many people
look to fish, such as salmon, for healthful omega-3 fatty acids,
notes investigator Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of
nutrition. "The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts were converted to the
same omega-3 fatty acids found in marine sources and had a similar
effect on inflammation," she says. "Reducing inflammation can help
decrease the process of arteriosclerosis - the development and
build-up of plaque in the arteries." She says a walnut-rich diet may
protect against multiple heart disease risk factors, rather than just
one, thus potentially having a greater impact on coronary health.
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