A recent study shows that almonds have been found to have yet another health benefit, in addition to its known nutritional values. This is excellent news for almonds, which are rapidly growing in the nut industry, growing faster and is more readily available than any other nut in the world.
Nutritional Value of Almonds
What we have known is that almonds are a source of vitamin E, magnesium, copper, protein, and fiber. New data from a study suggests that almonds may also be a prebiotic to enhance Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus populations found in the gut.
What are Prebiotics?
By definition, prebiotics are food ingredients that help the growth of good (bacterial) microorganisms in the intestinal tract. What you may have not known is the prebiotic material is considered nondigestible dietary fibers. Two examples of prebiotics are inulin and oligosaccharide.
Prebiotics are looked at as the “younger sibling” of probiotics. They are talked about less than probiotics, but can be beneficial to the digestive health of your body.
Almond Prebiotic Study
48 volunteers between 18 and 22 were assigned to three different groups. One group was given 56 g of almonds per day. The next group was given 10 g of almond skins per day. The third group was given 8 g of fructooligosaccharides per day, and was designated as the control group.
In this almond prebiotic study, researchers found that consuming almonds and almond skins improved the microbiota in the intestines, and improved overall digestion in the intestines. By assessing the data, researchers concluded that almonds do possess prebiotic properties.
This study was published in Anaerobe journal.
More Health Studies on Almonds
Almonds are a Good Food to fight Cardiovascular Disease & Cancer
Almonds are high in fiber, and also have high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, vitamins, and antioxidants, making them ideal for people that want to have improved health.
1. Almond Cholesterol Study
A study on almonds found that people eating almonds increase vitamin E levels in the blood plasma and red blood cells, plus it lowered cholesterol. This is very important for heart health.
This study was published in the journal of the American Dietetic Association.
2. Almonds and Colon Cancer Study
A study conducted at the University of California – Davis found that “almond consumption may reduce the risk of colon cancer.” This study was conducted on six week old rats that had been given azoxymethane (a cancer causing agent).
There were two groups of rats: one group was fed a diet of almonds, versus a group of rats that were not. The rats given almonds (and almond supplements) in their diet showed favorable results in response to the cancer.
This research was published in Cancer Letters.
3. Almonds and Coronary Heart Disease
A study conducted on almonds showed favorable results against coronary heart disease. Researchers found that the monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, and fibers had positive results to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
This study was published in the journal, Circulation.