Almonds Found to be Important Part of Heart-Healthy Diet
Vascular dysfunction is one of the major causes of cardiovascular mortality. There are certain dietary steps you can take to possibly reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact, a recent study found that almonds may improve vascular function and increase blood levels of the alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E.
Participants in the study included healthy young and middle-aged men with two or more cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure or being overweight. They were given either 50 g daily of almonds or a control for 4 weeks. The control group continued with their normal diet.
At the conclusion of the study, the almond group had higher levels of alpha-tocopherol, improved blood flow, and lower blood pressure when compared with the control group.
There were no changes in plasma lipids or markers of oxidative stress between the two groups.
Researchers from Aston University in the UK conducted the study. It was published in the May 2014 issue of Free Radical Research.
Previous studies have found that almonds may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. They’re also a great source of magnesium, manganese, and protein.
Almonds can easily be added to your daily diet as a mid-day snack, in breakfast cereal, or even sprinkled over a small serving of ice cream for dessert. Consider substituting a less healthy snack such as potato chips or cookies for a handful of almonds.