Health benefits of almonds beyond cholesterol reduction.

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Kamil, A., C.-Y. O. Chen, 2012. Health benefits of almonds beyond cholesterol reduction. J. Agric. Food Chem. 60:6694−6702.

Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat, fiber, α-tocopherol, minerals such as magnesium and copper, and phytonutrients, albeit being energy-dense. The favorable fat composition and fiber contribute to the hypocholesterolemic benefit of almond consumption. By virtue of their unique nutrient composition, almonds are likely to benefit other modifiable cardiovascular and diabetes risks, such as body weight, glucose homeostasis, inflammation, and oxidative stress. This paper briefly reviews the nutrient composition and hypocholesterolemic benefits; the effects of almond consumption on body weight, glucose regulation, oxidative stress, and inflammation, based on the data of clinical trials, will then be discussed. Although more studies are definitely warranted, the emerging evidence supports that almond consumption beneficially influences chronic degenerative disease risk beyond cholesterol reduction, particularly in populations with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus.