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Eating almonds may reduce their risk of heart disease, a new study suggests.
According to UK scientists, the nuts appear to play an important role in keeping blood vessels healthy.
They assessed the effects of consuming an almond-rich diet among healthy young and middle-aged men, as well as young men with heart risk factors, such as excess weight and high blood pressure.
The participants were divided into two groups - one group consumed their normal diet, while the other group also included 50g of almonds a day for one month.
The scientists found that at the end of the month, the group that had been consuming almonds had higher levels of antioxidants in their blood, better blood flow and lower blood pressure - all of which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
They believe that a combination of nutrients found in almonds - such as vitamin E and fibre - lead to this health benefit, rather than just one nutrient alone.
The scientists from Aston University in Birmingham said that their findings show that almonds really are a ‘superfood'.
"Previous studies have shown that they keep your heart healthy, but our research proves that it isn't too late to introduce them into your diet - adding even a handful (around 50g) every day for a short period can help.
"You could replace a daytime snack with a bag of almonds or add them to your regular meals like porridge or muesli to help reduce your risk of heart problems," they noted.