A new study published by Aston University in Britain has determined that almonds can reduce the risk of heart disease by maintaining the health of blood vessels. They significantly assist in lowering blood pressure and improve blood flow.
Almonds contain a number of beneficial substances such as vitamin E and healthy fats, fiber which increases the sense of fullness, and flavonoids which may have antioxidant properties.
In this study researchers tested the effects of a short term memory almond enriched diet on healthy young and middle aged men, including on a group of men with cardiovascular risk factors who were overweight and had high blood pressure. The control group maintained their normal diet while the other group consumed sacks of 50 g of almonds for a day for a month.
The study findings conclusively demonstrated that the group eating an almond-enriched diet had higher levels of antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol) in their blood stream, improved blood flow and lower blood pressure, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease.
“Our study confirms that almonds are a superfood. Previous studies have shown that they keep your heart healthy, but our research proves that it isn’t too late to introduce them into your diet — adding even a handful (around 50g) every day for a short period can help. You could replace a daytime snack with a bag of almonds or add them to your regular meals like porridge or muesli to help reduce your risk of heart problems”, said Professor Griffiths, the lead researcher of the study.
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 DOI: 10.3109/10715762.2014.896458