Health Tip – Almonds Can Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Greetings from Dr. T,

A recent study has found that adding almonds to your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy.  Research found that almonds significantly increase the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream, reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. 1 These findings add weight to the theory that Mediterranean diets may have big health benefits.

The study was led by Professor Helen Griffiths, Professor in Biomedical Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham, UK. Researchers 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 high blood pressure or being overweight.

A control group ate what they normally would, while another group consumed snacks of 50 grams (just under two ounces) of almonds a day for one month.

At the end of the study period, the group eating an almond-enriched diet had higher levels of antioxidants 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 fats, fiber which increases the sense of fullness, and flavonoids which may have antioxidant properties.  Almonds come in many forms, the best being organic and raw, but lightly roasted almonds are also good.  Almond milk is also beneficial, but make sure to read the label carefully to check for unhealthful additives including sugar.  Eating the whole nut provides much more fiber than the liquid milk form.

Yours in health,

Dr. T

Thorburn Chiropractic and Wellness Center
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Journal Reference:

K. Choudhury, J. Clark, H. R. Griffiths. An almond-enriched diet increases plasma α-tocopherol and improves vascular function but does not affect oxidative stress markers or lipid levels. Free Radical Research, 2014; 48 (5): 599

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