Skins of Almonds May Aid Digestion
A new study published in April 2010 issue of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), Microbiology Letters found that the skins of almonds may improve digestion and boost the immune system due to their prebiotic effect.
Prebiotics help your body produce beneficial bacteria called probiotics. Maintaining a healthy level of these "good bacteria" is essential for digestive health and immune system function.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) in Norwich England using a model gut that mimics the gastrointestinal tract.
The researchers conducted the test using two separate types of almond skins: blanched skins, which are a by-product of the almond processing industry, and natural skins.
They found that both types were effective at increasing levels of good bacteria in the gut.
A separate study conducted by Chinese researchers and published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Food Chemical Toxicology found that almond skins are safe and have no toxic effects.
Maintaining a balanced level of bacteria is especially important for people over the age of 60, who tend to have a significantly reduced number of friendly bacteria available to aid digestion.
You can increase prebiotic levels by taking a high quality supplement. There are also some foods other than almonds that contain prebiotics such as garlic, onions and whole grains.