This chapter provides insight into the potential of using almond seeds to thwart certain chronic diseases. Almonds have historically and culturally been associated with good health, in India with good brain health, and in China with female beauty. Years of research have come to validate some of the age-old beliefs about these seeds. The various bioactive components and the unique macronutrient profile of nuts have been linked to lowering oxidative stress and inflammation, improving lipid profiles, endothelial function, and blood pressure. The metabolic benefits of almonds stem from their low saturated fat and high monounsaturated fatty acid content, as well as their vegetable protein, fiber, phytosterols, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. It has been proposed that the almond bioactive compounds may help lower the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Almonds have also been linked to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Through reduction of postprandial glycemia, almonds have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and therefore to decrease the risks of CHD and cancer. Its consumption has been indicated for weight loss and as a part of a weight-maintaining diet. With increasing rates of chronic diseases known to cause greater levels of oxidative stress, the antioxidant effects of almonds are, now more than ever, of particular interest. © 2011 Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved..
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