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A Small Handful Of Almonds Drastically Improved Gut Health, Study Finds

New microbiome research suggests that a handful of almonds daily can play a positive role in digestive, immune, and cardiovascular health. Scientists at Kings College London found that a few almonds per day significantly increased the production of short-chain fatty acid butyrate, which is commonly found in strong, healthy guts.

When research like this almond study drops, it’s important to remember that the gut microbiome is perhaps the most perplexing and robust system in the entire body (apart from the brain). No one specific food will make or break the biome — all of these studies just serve to highlight portions of the ecosystem, the thought being that if we can positively build the small structures of the gut, then it will largely function at a high level.

In the study, researchers recruited people who admitted to frequently snacking on unhealthy foods like fried chips and cookies. Obviously, their guts had massive room for improvement, and likely many different sorts of whole food alternatives would have had positive impacts on their health. Almonds were the substitute, so now researchers can say that almonds made a positive impact. Wonderful.

Almonds are good for you as part of a balanced diet that eliminates processed food

The increase in butyrate from swapping cookies for almonds led to better colon health almost immediately. Butyrate feeds colon cells, and when the colon thrives, the gut thrives. A thriving gut means no leakage, optimal nutrient absorption, and no inflammation.

“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 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,” says lead study author Professor Kevin Whelan, Head of Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London.

In addition to the increase of butyrate, almond eaters also reported an additional 1.5 bowel movements per week on average on their new diet. Regularity is nothing new to healthy folks with balanced diets; but if you’ve been eating processed foods and wondering why the digestive system is sluggish, this research proves that relief is as simple as picking a new daily snack.

Folks who ate the almonds also had higher labs of monosaturated fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and other important nutrients. So what’s the bottom line? Put down the cookies. It’s time to snack the right way.

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