(NaturalNews) Want your heart to sing and your body to lose inches? Grab a handful of raw, un-toasted almonds. Recent studies have proven that only a handful of these sweet little nuts go a long way in tackling obesity, diabetes, and complications of the heart.
During the Experimental Biology Conference held in 2005, researchers deducted that the fibers found in almonds in fact block the body's absorption of fats, as well as suppress appetite in the process - all of which help individuals maintain control over their body weight, cholesterol levels, and general heart-health.
While all nuts are generally laden with calorie-rich essential fats, research presenter Dr. Peter Ellis from King's College in London suggested that "the fiber structure of almonds may block some of the fat from being absorbed, thereby reducing the calories available from almonds". Because of this fibrous presence, researchers also claim that the addition of as little as two servings of almonds a day will also help prevent the additional absorption of fats from other foods consumed throughout the day - thereby reducing general calorie consumption. "It is possible", Ellis continues, "that the fiber in almonds is also affecting carbohydrate absorption, which may have implications for diabetes and heart disease."
The presence of proteins in almonds also greatly contributes to an overall feeling of satiety. A handful of almonds, 23 to be exact, contains about 160 calories. A study published in the 2006 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) found that women, who ate this small serving of almonds, had significantly higher levels of a particular hormone called cholecystokinin, released only when eating fat-containing foods. This hormone immediately triggers a feeling of fullness and satisfaction.
Not only that, but this unbelievable nut was found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, as well as C-reactive protein, a primary factor contributing to heart disease and inflammation. Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto has also discovered in his research that consumption of raw almonds has the same effect on inflammation of the heart as a commonly prescribed drug. Studies also seem to suggest that almonds have the same effect on cholesterol levels as statin drugs - without the side effects. What's more is that there is still being research made into how consumption of almonds may also reduce, or at least prevent, the sudden increase of insulin, making almonds particularly friendly for diabetics.
All studies seem to deduce that daily portions of almonds in their raw state have a very positive effect on general health. The calories in this nutrient-laden nut are a small issue in comparison to the various health benefits that have been discovered, and that are still under research.
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. In 2010, Michelle created RawFoodHealthWatch.com, to share with people her approach to the raw food diet and detoxification.