In case you’re opting for nut-free snacks, you might want to change your mind - in case you want to part with your wrinkles. A recent pilot study conducted by the University of Calfiornia shows how almonds may help you deal with your wrinkles better and effectively, as part of a healthy anti-aging diet of postmenopausal women. The Almond Board of California funded study is one-of-a kind and it dives deep into the effects almonds bear on skincare and wrinkle width and severity reduction in postmenopausal women in specific.
The study was conducted on a sample of 28 healthy post-menopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2 who were randomly assigned to either an intervention or a control group. While the intervention group consumed almonds as a snack, as part of 20% of daily calorie intake, the control group was allowed a calorie-matched nut free snack sans almonds daily, which too made for 20% of their daily calorie intake. Mention-worthy is the participants were asked to abstain from nuts or any nut-containing products over the study period. The dietary washout period was followed by participants being randomised to either of the study group. And results show that those who had consumed almonds had wrinkle width and severity reduced by 10% and 9% respectively.
DC got in touch with dermatologist and Ayurvedic practitioner Dr Sivamani. In an e-mail interview to DC, talking about the daily consumption level, Sivamani says, “ We wanted to be sure we had a reasonable amount of almond supplementation and we also wanted to account for variations in body weight. For that reason, we elected to go with percent based supplementation (20% of the daily calorie intake) rather than an absolute number.”
Asserting there are no side-effects of almond consumption, Sivamani gives an insight into some little known facts about almonds. “Many clinical studies amongst Indian populations specifically suggest that almonds can be beneficial to help manage heart disease risk factors. This is a lesser known health benefit of almonds, which is especially relevant to Indians as our Southeast Asian genetic makeup makes us prone to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. As per a recent systematic review that examined a variety of studies on almonds and blood lipid levels - eating almonds regularly resulted in significant reductions in total cholesterol and harmful LDL-cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins) or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while helping to maintain beneficial HDL-cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins) or ‘good’ cholesterol levels.”
About how almonds particularly work towards anti-aging, Sivamani says, “The exact process is still not clear from a biochemical perspective. Almonds contain healthy fats and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and these may contribute to the anti-aging properties. “
Sivamani bursts a myth often associated with almond consumption. “This study, as other studies in the past, has clearly shown the safety and the efficacy of including almonds in ones diet at a 15-20% energy intake. So, the myth that one should have only 5-7 almonds certainly needs to be broken.”
However, as the doctor points out, further studies are needed to take forward the claims of this study and strengthen such claims.