Almonds have the potential to be a great prebiotic. Researchers recently discovered that finely ground almonds stimulate the growth of friendly gut bacteria. The almonds appear to be even a better prebiotic than some of the commercially used prebiotics. This study is the first which looked into the potential prebiotic effects of almonds on gut health.
In our gut live a large amount of bacteria. Some of them can make you sick, however there are also bacteria that are actually beneficial. These “friendly” bacteria help to keep your gut healthy and support your natural defenses.
The scientists subjected the almonds to the same conditions as they would have experienced in the stomach and small intestine. They found that the almonds stimulated the growth and activity of the friendly bacteria.
The prebiotic effect of the almonds was not seen when the fat content was removed from the almonds. This suggest that the friendly bacteria use the lipids in almonds for growth, and that these lipids are therefore the basis of the prebiotic effect.
Mandalari, Neuno-Palop, Bisigano et All. Potential prebiotic properties of almond seeds. Applied and environmental microbiology 2008, 74 (14): 4264.