Almonds can reduce risk of heart disease

Adding more almonds to your diet could help reduce your risk of heart disease, according to research from Aston University.

The study found that almonds can keep blood vessels healthy by increasing the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream, lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke are the number one causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. The new study adds weight to the theory that diabetics can benefit from eating Mediterranean diets that include lots of nuts.

Almonds have healthy fats and flavanoids

Researchers tested how almonds influenced heart health by giving a daily 50-gram dose of almonds to either healthy young and middle-aged men or young and middle-aged men with cardiovascular risk factors. Another group of subjects was included that didn't eat almonds at all. The experiment lasted 30 days.

At the study's end, the groups that had eaten almonds showed higher levels of antioxidants, lower blood pressure and improved blood flow. All of these factors combined could potentially reduce risk for heart disease.

"Almonds are known to contain a range of beneficial substances such as vitamin E and healthy fats, fiber, which increases the sense of fullness, and flavonoids, which may have antioxidant properties," a press release on the study explained. "The team believes it is likely to be the combination of all these nutrients working together to create the overall health benefits rather than just one particular nutrient in isolation."

The study is published in the journal Free Radical Research.

Source: Aston University

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