Herbs and Helpers ®

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

   Jan 09

Want to get rid of your muffin top have shapelier legs? Eat a daily handful of almonds

A handful of almonds a day could be the key to a longer and shapelier life.

The nutrient-rich snack can get rid of your muffin top, give you slimmer legs and stave off heart disease by reducing cholesterol, scientists say.

And eating 42g (1.5 oz) of the superfood every day could reduce the likelihood of an early death.

Experts from Pennsylvania State University compared the diets of 52 overweight, middle-aged adults with high-cholesterol over 12 weeks.

Eating 42g (1.5 oz) of almonds a day was found to significantly reduce belly fat, waist circumference and leg fat mass.

Almonds were also found to lower cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease

Previous studies have shown that an almond diet is linked to improved heart health – but scientists say this is the largest controlled study to date.

As part of the experiment, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, half of the group were fed a banana muffin for six weeks that provided the same number of calories as whole natural almonds.

Despite no differences in weight between the two groups, the almond diet was found to significantly reduce belly fat, waist circumference and leg fat.

Almonds were also found to lower cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide, and it is estimated that at least 80 per cent of premature deaths from heart disease can be avoided if people changed their lifestyle, including diet.

This was the first and largest study to investigate and isolate the heart-protecting properties of the nuts, as it involved feeding people an identical diets, save for the almond or calorie-matched snack.

It was the first to show that almonds can reduce belly and leg fat.

Dr Claire Berryman, lead researcher of the study, said: ‘Our research found that substituting almonds for a high-carbohydrate snack improved numerous heart health risk factors, including the new finding that eating almonds reduced belly fat.

Reducing belly fat is particularly beneficial as it is linked to metabolic syndrome, a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, as well as heart disease

‘Choosing almonds as a snack may be a simple way to help fight the onset of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.’

There are 160 calories in an ounce of almonds as well as protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Earlier research found the high-protein nuts help suppress the appetite as well as beating flab and keeping the heart healthy.

For people at risk of diabetes, eating the nuts moderates blood sugar levels, one study found.

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.

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 in April last year.

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.

This study was funded by the Almond Board of California.


Eating seven nuts a day could improve a man’s sperm count and quality, say Italian doctors.

They are testing the theory in a trial of 100 men being treated for infertility at a hospital in Turin.

One group will add seven nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts) to their normal diet; another group will reduce their intake of saturated fat by cutting down on processed meat and dairy products, and increase the amount of polyunsaturated fats, from foods such as oily fish and seeds.

The team at Azienda Ospedaliera Citta della Salute e della Scienza di Torino believe both strategies may improve fertility, as polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to have a number of effects that help, including reducing inflammation.

Source: Daily Mail

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.