Those who are concerned about their heart condition can eat a handful of almonds every day to reduce the risk of heart disease as it is proved that the almonds keep blood vessels healthy, a new study has claimed, vindicating the age-old Indian Ayurvedic system.
British researchers from Aston University found that almonds increase the antioxidants in the blood stream, thus reducing blood pressure and significantly improving blood flow.
In fact, even the theory that Mediterranean diets with lots of nuts have big impact on heart diseases get vindicated by the new study.
The team led by Prof. Helen Griffiths conducted research on 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 diseases.
Divided into two groups, one group followed normal course of eating one or two almonds occasionally while the other group consumed handful of almonds at 50g a day for one month.
The results were encouraging. The second group eating 50g a day almonds or almond-enriched diet had higher levels of antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol) in their blood stream, improved blood flow and lower blood pressure, which potentially reduces the risk of heart disease.
From ancient Egypt, Indian and Chinese civilizations to modern times, almonds have always been a popular ingredient in food items, lotions and potions. Almonds are known for substances such as vitamin E and healthy fats, fibre, and flavonoids which have anti-oxidant properties.
“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,” said Griffiths. “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 Griffiths.
Earlier studies by the Loma Linda School of Public Health said those who consume nuts five times a week have about a 50 percent reduction in risk of heart attack.
Essentially, almonds reduce bad cholesterol, according to a clinical study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center.
They protect artery walls from damage, according to a finding at Tufts University, which said the flavonoids found in almonds skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Moreover the phosphorus in almonds help build strong bones and teeth. Above all, nut-eaters are often thinner on average than those who never consume nuts, attests data from the Nurses’ Health Study. It said, those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom ate them, said a study on 8,865 adults.
In addition, almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Ayurveda vouches for almonds as they increase high intellectual level and longevity.
Almonds are also found to be the only nuts with proteins that are alkaline forming. When human body is not alkaline enough, the risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.