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Digestion : Almonds May Have Prebiotic Potential

They’re rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, high in vitamin E and magnesium, and a good source of fiber, and a new study gives us one more reason to love almonds—these nutrient-rich nuts and their skins have prebiotic potential, boosting the populations of healthy bacteria in the gut.

In addition to boosting levels of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, research shows that six weeks of eating almonds with their skins helps to repress levels of Clostridium perfringens, a pathogen that’s one of the most common causes of foodborne sicknesses in the U.S.

“Our observations suggest that almond and almond skin ingestion may lead to an improvement in the intestinal microbiota profile and a modification of the intestinal bacterial activities, which would induce the promotion of health beneficial factors and the inhibition of harmful factors,” report researchers. “Thus we believe that almonds and almond skins possess potential prebiotic properties.”

Study authors suggest that the abundance of fiber and polyphenols in almonds may be associated with their prebiotic effects.

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