A new study from Aston University in Birmingham, UK revealed that eating almonds can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy. Eating almonds was found to significantly increase antioxidants in the blood stream, reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. These findings add weight to the theory that Mediterranean diets with plenty of nuts have strong health benefits.
The study tested the effects of a short-term almond-enriched diet on healthy young and middle-aged men as well as on a group of young men with cardiovascular risk factors including having high blood pressure or being overweight.
The control group ate what they normally would, while the test group consumed snacks of 50 grams of almonds every day for one month.
At the end of the study, the group eating the almond-enriched diet had higher levels of antioxidants (vitamin E) in their blood stream, improved blood flow and lower blood pressure, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease.
Almonds are known to contain a range of beneficial substances such as vitamin E and healthy unsaturated fats, fibre which increases the sense of fullness and flavonoids which have antioxidant properties. The research team speculates it’s likely to be the combination of these nutrients working together to create the overall health benefits rather than just one particular nutrient alone.
Source: Free Radical Research, 2014.
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