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Eating almonds is a delicious way to help keep your heart healthy

Harold Mandel's picture
A tasty snack with almonds

There has been a growing interest in how dietary factors effect the health of your heart. A heart healthy diet has evolved as consisting of a lot of fish, vegetables, and fruit with low consumption of red meat. New research shows that delicious almonds can be added to a heart healthy menu.

Mediterranean diets and high nut consumption decrease cardiovascular disease risk

An almond-enriched diet increases plasma α-tocopherol and improves vascular function reported the journal Free Radical Research. Vascular dysfunction is one of the primary causes of cardiovascular mortality and has been observed to increase with age. It has been suggested by epidemiological studies that Mediterranean diets and high nut consumption decrease cardiovascular disease risk and mortality while increasing plasma α-tocopherol. Research shows that a short-term almond-enriched diet can increase plasma α-tocopherol and improve the vascular functioning of asymptomatic healthy men between 20 and 70 years of age.

Almonds have beneficial effects on cardiovascular function

The bottom line is scientists have discovered that including almonds in your diet can decrease the risk of heart disease by helping to maintain healthy blood vessels reports Aston University. The researchers have observed that almonds have several beneficial effects on cardiovascular function including:

1: Significantly increasing the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream

2: Reducing blood pressure

3: Improving blood flow

These findings have added significant support to the theory that Mediterranean diets with many nuts have dramatic health benefits.

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Professor Helen Griffiths, Professor in Biomedical Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham, United Kingdom led this study. The researchers tested the effects of a short-term diet enriched with almonds on healthy young and middle-aged men and on a group of young men with cardiovascular risk factors. The cardiovascular risk factors included having high blood pressure or being overweight. The control group ate what they generally would eat. Another group ate snacks of 50 grams of almonds daily for one month.

The group who ate an almond-enriched diet had increased levels of antioxidants in their blood stream, improved blood flow and decreased blood pressure at the conclusion of the study. Therefore participants in this group potentially had a decreased risk of heart disease.

Almonds are a superfood

Almonds are a source of good nutrition. They contain many beneficial substances such as:

1: Vitamin E

2: Healthy fats

3: Fiber which increases the sense of fullness

4: Flavonoids which may have antioxidant properties

The research team says it is likely a combination of all these beneficial nutrients working together creates the overall health benefits instead of just one particular nutrient in isolation. Professor Griffiths has said this study shows that almonds are a superfood. Past studies have shown that almonds keep your heart healthy. This new research shows it may not be too late to improve your heart health by adding almonds to your diet now.

This new research in support of the benefits of eating almonds for the health of your heart is exciting. Knowing that eating certain delicious foods can improve your health and longevity can make life all the more enjoyable. On a daily basis it's a nice idea to look forward to adding components of the tasty Mediterranean diet to your meals and snacks, including fish, olive oil, vegetables, fruit, and some delicious almonds along with other nuts.