Almonds Every Day Keep Inflammation Away

I’m sure you have heard the terms “inflammation” or “inflamed” mentioned over your lifetime. As a youngster it was probably about your scraped elbow, sore throat, or “pink eye.” Sometimes we would notice some redness or swelling in the area that was inflamed. Inflammation is actually a good thing in most cases – it shows that our immune system is battling against foreign organisms. In rare cases our immune system overreacts – hay fever, arthritis and type 1 diabetes are examples you know.

A similar, unnoticeable state of general inflammation, known as “chronic” or “low grade” inflammation, is now recognized as a major contributor to type 2 diabetes, and the complications of diabetes. Chronic inflammation, for instance, seems to set the stage for the formation of artery-clogging plaques – atherosclerosis. Reducing chronic inflammation is an important strategy in managing diabetes, and diet can play an important role.

One study on inflammation in poorly controlled people with type 2 diabetes resulted in a recommendation I think you will find easy to swallow. Over a twelve week period the participants either added 1 ½ ounces of almonds to their diet each day or did not consume almonds at all. The study looked at a biomarker of inflammation called CRP (C-reactive protein), and those who consumed the almonds saw a 30% reduction CRP levels. Additional good news - the almond consuming group did not gain weight from the addition of fat and calories from the almonds.

The potential inflammation lowering effect of almonds in the diet, along with improved glycemic control seen in other studies, makes them a great addition for people with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. These nuts contain monounsaturated fats (healthy fats), fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and protein, and a 1 ½ ounce serving is easy to calculate without a food scale – thirty five almonds equals the serving size used in the study.

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