A handful of almonds a day will improve your gut health - New study

We know that almonds offer incredible benefits for human health, but now researchers have found more evidence that almonds are particularly great for our gut health. 

A healthy gut promotes immunity

According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating a handful of almonds every day increases butyrate production. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that improves gut health.

In the gut, there are thousands of microorganisms that play an essential role in digesting nutrients. They can positively or negatively influence our health, including our digestive and immune systems. It all depends on the food we consume. Results of previous studies suggest that eating healthy foods can be great for the good bacteria in our gut. 

Almonds promote gut health & boost immunity

A team of scientists from King's College London researched the influence of whole and ground almonds on the structure of gut microbes. 

The researchers recruited 87 healthy adults with some unhealthy habits to take part in the study. These were people eating unhealthy snacks like crisps, chocolate and sweets and already consuming less than the recommended amount of dietary fibre. 

Almonds as a healthy snack

The researchers divided the participants into three groups and recommended snack change for a trial of four weeks. 

Group one - the participants replaced their unhealthy snacks with 56 g of whole almonds a day. Group two - the participants changed their snacks to 56 g of ground almonds daily. Group three - the control group where participants just ate energy-matched muffins once a day. 

Almonds increase the production of butyrate

The study results show that butyrate was significantly higher among participants who ate almonds when compared to those who consumed the muffins. 

Butyrate is the primary source of fuel for the cells lining the large intestine (colon). When these cells are healthy and effective, the gut microbes flourish, creating a strong gut wall and all the essential nutrients to be absorbed. When the gut wall is weak, it quickly leads to inflammation, and the body cannot absorb all the nutrients it needs. 

Almonds can help improve constipation problems

The researchers observed that eating more almonds can benefit those with constipation problems. Although no difference was observed in gut transit time (the time food moves through the gut), the whole-almond eaters experienced an extra 1.5 bowel movements per week compared to other participants. 

Commenting on the study results, Professor Kevin Whelan, Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King's College London, said: "Part of the way in which the gut microbiota impact human health is through the production of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate. These molecules act as a fuel source for cells in the colon, they regulate the absorption of other nutrients in the gut, and help balance the immune system. We think these findings suggest almond consumption may benefit bacterial metabolism in a way that has the potential to influence human health." 

Almonds are a great source of fibre

The study results also show that consuming more almonds can improve people's diet, providing them with fibre, healthy monosaturated fatty acids, potassium and other important nutrients when compared to the control group who ate muffins as their daily snack. 

What can you do to increase butyrate levels? 

The best way to improve your gut microbiome and make it produce butyrate is to eat more plant-based products that are high in fibre, starch and pectin, including whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits. Replace your bad snacking habits with natural healthy snacks

Buy almonds online at Wholefood Earth and boost your immunity before the cold season. 



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