(ORDO NEWS) — A new study shows that eating a handful of almonds a day significantly increases the production of a specific acid that promotes gut health.
Do you like almonds? Tell us about your favorite nut and a dish where you can add it!
A team of scientists from King’s College London, UK, studied the effect of whole and ground almonds on the composition of human gut microbes.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that almonds promote the release of butyrates – salts and esters of butyric acid.
The benefits of nuts
The gut microbiome is made up of thousands of microorganisms. They play a vital role in the digestion of nutrients and can have positive or negative effects on health, including the digestive and immune systems.
The mechanisms of how gut microbiomes affect humans are still being explored, but evidence already suggests that eating certain types of food can positively influence some gut bacteria and their activity.
Researchers at King’s College London recruited 87 healthy adults who consumed less than the recommended amount of dietary fiber and snacked on typical unhealthy snacks (such as chocolate and chips).
Participants were divided into three groups: one group changed their snacks to 56 grams of whole almonds per day, the other to 56 grams of ground almonds per day, and the control group ate muffins with the corresponding calorie content.
They found that butyrate levels were significantly higher in those who ate almonds. Butyrate, in turn, is a fatty acid that is the main source of fuel for colon cells.
When they function effectively, the intestinal walls become stronger, less leaky, and less inflamed, properly absorbing essential nutrients.
Almonds improve digestion
A new study also suggests that eating almonds may benefit people suffering from constipation.
Testing showed that eating whole and ground almonds improved people’s diets as they consumed more monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and other important nutrients compared to the control group.
Lead author Prof Kevin Whelan, Chair of Nutrition Science at King’s College London, said , “Part of how the gut microbiota affects human health is the production of short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate.
These molecules act as a fuel source for colon cells, regulate the absorption of other nutrients in the gut, and help balance the immune system.
We believe that the consumption of almonds can promote the metabolism of bacteria, thus having a good effect on the overall health of a person.”
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