Bioactive components of two species of locally grown nuts: Their potential health benefits and implications for healthy living
Background: Bioactive compounds are naturally occurring compounds in plants and animal products. They are known to have a variety of physiological functions in the body system such as: promoting general body development and prevention of the occurrence of some deadly diseases. The high burden of treatment of some deadly diseases like cancer, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases has raised the need for scientists to generate empirical evidence on preventing these diseases using a dietary approach. Nuts have been identified as plants with potential to improve human health and prevent diseases when consumed adequately because of their rich constituents. This research work was conducted to evaluate and elucidate the bioactive components of locally grown nuts and their potential health benefits.
Methods: The Phenolic compounds, phytosterols, tocopherols, and tocotrienols contents of the nuts were analyzed using standard methods.
Results: Fourteen phenolic compounds were detected in the two nuts with cinnamic and gallic acids detected in appreciable amounts in groundnuts and caffeic acid in cashew nut. The total amount of tocopherols in cashew nut was 14.08 mg/100g and 37.95 mg/100g in groundnut and the total tocotrienol was 0.85 and 4.00 × 10-3 mg/100g for cashew nut and groundnut respectively. Both samples have high quantity of sistosterol (251.36mg/100g and 238.95 mg/ 100g for cashew nut and groundnut respectively) with cashew nut having significantly higher amount.
Conclusion: The results showed that the nuts are rich in bioactive compounds and could be considered as natural sources of bioactive compounds that can be obtained from diets rich in these nuts to prevent the occurrence of certain deadly human diseases that are of high burden worldwide.
Keywords: Phenolic Compounds, Tocopherols, Groundnuts, Cashew nuts
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