Several studies have shown the health benefits of eating almonds, and now there’s another study to add to the list. Almond Board Director of North America, Molly Spence tells us more about it.
A new study published in Nutrition Research found that adding a moderate amount of almonds to the family diet (1.5 ounces/day of whole almonds or almond butter for parents, 0.5 ounces/day for children) significantly improved overall diet quality and modulated intestinal microbiota composition in study participants.
The health benefits of almonds have been well-established and reflected in science-based dietary guidance to consume nuts regularly as part of a healthy dietary pattern, but this is the first study of its kind to investigate the effects of dietary change on digestive health and immune function in parent-child pairs. Knowing that almonds contain a combination of fiber, vitamin E, unsaturated fats and flavonoids, study authors wanted to explore the nuts’ impact on gut microbiota, which may in turn impact immunity, inflammation and general health.
The 14-week, randomized, controlled, crossover clinical study, led by researchers at the University of Florida, was conducted in 29 healthy parent and child pairs. The majority of the parents were mothers (n=24) who were overweight and an average of 35 years old. The children were 15 boys and 14 girls who were an average of 4 years old. Parents and children ate 1.5 and 0.5 ounces of almonds and/or almond butter, respectively, on a daily basis for three weeks, as part of their usual diet, followed by a 6-week washout period and another 3-week period of following the usual diet with no almonds. Adult participants completed daily questionnaires of compliance with nut intake and weekly dietary recalls on behalf of both themselves and their child.
For more on the study, visit the Almond Board website.