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   Apr 29

Almonds, perfect snack for health: Handful a day can keep heart healthy and beat the flab, results of six new studies conclude

The nuts have been found to help with a number of medical conditions

Six separate studies found that almonds have multiple health benefits

They are particularly useful for those at risk from diabetes

A handful of almonds may well be the perfect daily snack for staving off disease.

The high-protein, nutrient-rich nuts help suppress the appetite, beat flab and also keep your heart healthy.

Almonds are high in beneficial monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, which protects against UV light damage and Alzheimer’s, according to six studies presented to the American Society of Nutrition Scientific Sessions in San Diego.

Six separate scientific studies have found that almonds are a snack with multiple health benefits
And for people at risk of diabetes, eating the nuts daily moderates blood glucose concentrations.

They are also packed with minerals, among them manganese, which helps the body form strong bones and regulates blood sugar, and magnesium which is essential for organ, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and regulating blood pressure.

The skin has a collection of flavonoids that act as antioxidants and enhance the effect of vitamin E that could be beneficial as we age.

Dr Karen Lapsley, Chief Science Officer for the Almond Board of California said: ‘Presenting new research to this audience of scientists and health professionals is critical to turning the findings into practical application and recommendations.

‘These results help to advance the evolution of our understanding of almonds’ beneficial effects as part of a healthy diet.’

Almonds have also been found to help those who are at risk of diabetes, as they help moderate blood glucose levels

One of the studies, by Dr Carol O’Neil of Louisiana State University, analysed 24,808 adults aged over 19 and showed that those who ate almonds had increased nutrient intake, improved overall dietary quality and better physiological status compared with non-almond consumers.

In another, Dr Richard Mattes from Purdue University examined the effects of snacking on nutrient-rich almonds in 137 adult participants at risk of Type II diabetes.

Consuming 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds daily helped curb participants’ appetites and moderate blood glucose concentrations, while significantly improving vitamin E and monounsaturated fat intake.

After a month of snacking on 250 calories of almonds daily, participants did not gain weight.

Dr Mattes said although the study spanned just four weeks, almonds could be a vital part for a fat busting diet.

Dr Penny-Kris Etherton, from Pennsylvania State University, studied the effects of consuming 1.5 ounces of almonds against a calorie-matched, high carbohydrate snack on body weight in 52 adults with elevated ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.

How to make perfect roasted almonds by Crumbs Food
Although total body weight did not differ between the two groups, the almond diet after six weeks reduced overall abdominal mass, abdominal fat mass, and waist circumference compared to the high-carbohydrate snack.

Preliminary results suggest that snacking on almonds may help decrease abdominal fat, an important risk factor for metabolic syndrome – the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Having this puts you at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other conditions affecting blood vessels.

Other additional research examined the relationship between almond consumption and cardiovascular and diabetes risk for people with type II diabetes and overweight or obese pregnant women.

Preliminary results suggest that almonds may help improve satiety, reduce appetite, and may help promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Source: Daily Mail

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