Consuming almonds can boost your gut health: Study

The study suggests snacking on almonds boosts gut health. A handful of almonds a day increases the production of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that promotes gut health, according to a recent study. It is the source of fuel for the cells lining the colon. When these cells function properly, it helps the gut microbes flourish to keep the gut wall strong and absorb nutrients. A team of researchers from Kings College London investigated the impact of whole and ground almonds on the composition of gut microbes. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is funded by the Almond Board of California. The gut microbiome consists of thousands of microorganisms living in the gut. These play a role in digesting nutrients in our digestive and immune systems.  Researchers at Kings College London recruited 87 healthy adults already eating less than the recommended amount of dietary fiber and snacked on typical unhealthy snacks (chocolate, crisps). Participants put into three groups: one group changed their snacks to 56 g of whole almonds a day, another to 56 g of ground almonds a day, and the control group ate energy-matched muffins as a control, and the trial lasted four weeks. Researchers found that butyrate was significantly higher among almond eaters as those who consumed the muffin.There was no significant difference seen in gut transit time. These findings suggest eating almonds could also benefit those with constipation.Testing showed that eating whole and ground almonds improved peoples` diets by consuming higher amounts of monosaturated fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and other nutrients the control group.
Lead author Professor Kevin Whelan, Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the Kings College London, said that part of how the gut microbiota impact human health through the production of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate. These molecules act as a fuel source for cells in the colon regulate the absorption of other nutrients in the gut helping to balance the immune system. They think that these findings suggest almond consumption may benefit bacterial metabolism in a way that has the potential to influence human health. 


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