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Ditch chips, grab Almonds to Reduce RIsk of Heart Disease

Jun 5, 2020 by Kamran Ahmed

If you like munching something while watching a movie or television that satisfies your taste buds and has health benefits too, almonds have got you covered. This is what Dr. Wendy Hall, a Reader in Nutritional Sciences at the King's College London, concluded in her research, which also involved a clinical trial. 


A handful of almonds a day can improve your vascular system, reducing your chances of developing any heart disease in the future, said Dr. Wendy. Her research work was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 

Almonds are good for your heart
Credit: CC0 Public Domain


"Consumption of whole tree nuts like almonds is an important part of a healthy diet," the doctor wrote. 


She concluded that if you replace snacks with almonds as 20% of your total calorie intake, the latter can slash your cardiovascular disease risk by up to 32%.


During the six-week randomized control, parallel-arm clinical trial, the participants with cardiovascular problems (divided into two groups) were given almonds or snacks for six weeks. The investigators then compared health markers between the two groups.


The study found that the group that consumed almonds experienced an improvement in endothelial function and LDL-cholesterol levels, indicating that replacing snacks with almonds substantially reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems.


The benefits of the edible seeds are not limited to keeping the blood vessels healthy. They also come packed with healthy nutrients, such as fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E.


Almonds should not, however, be consumed in excessive amounts because that could increase toxicity in the consumer's body and also cause respiration problems for some people.

The health benefits of eating almonds have been researched in the past, and this new study corroborates those findings. 


Professor Helen Griffiths and her team studied the benefits of consuming almonds in 2014. She is the Executive Dean of the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham. They conducted a short-term clinical trial to test the effects of an almond-rich diet on two groups. 


The trial involved two groups of people. The first group comprised of young and middle-aged men having no cardiovascular risk factors. They were given a normal diet, while the other group included young men who were either overweight or had blood pressure issues. They were given roughly 50g of almonds for a month. 


The research team found out that the men eating almonds experienced improved blood flow and lower blood pressure compared to those who ate a typical diet. 


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