If nuts are a super-food, then almonds are a super super- food. New research has discovered that the nuts help reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping the arteries healthy.

Almonds increase the amount of antioxidants in the blood stream, reduce blood pressure and improve the flow of blood. And these benefits can be seen within a month of snacking on 50g of almonds a day, researchers at Aston University have found. They added the nuts to the diets of one group, while the rest carried on with their normal diets, which didn’t include almonds.

Those who ate the almonds for a month had higher levels of antioxidants in their blood, improved blood flow and lower blood pressure. Almonds are full of healthy fats and vitamin E, and could be a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet.

And the take-home message – aside from eating almonds every day – is that it’s never too late to start. If beneficial effects can be seen in a month, they could help you as well, said lead researcher Prof Helen Griffiths.

Source: Free Radical Research, 2014; 48(5): 599