Nuts and Dried Fruits May Help Improve Intestinal Health

A study recently published in The Journal of Nutrition looked at the impact of walnut consumption on intestinal health (human gastrointestinal microbiota). Results showed that walnut intake (42g/day) has an effect on human gastrointestinal microbiota by increasing beneficial bacteria, which contributes to better digestive health[1].

Almond consumption has been also associated with better gut health (42g/day). Due to their unsaturated fatty acid content, eating almonds may cause changes in the microbes present within the human gastrointestinal tract. It has been observed that “good” fats (unsaturated fatty acids) have antimicrobial properties which may help reduce microbial adhesion to the gut mucus[2].

It has also been shown that prune consumption may help to increase Bifidobacteria. This is possibly due to the dietary fiber content of prunes, along with other nutrients (sorbitol or phenolic compounds[3]).

The human gastrointestinal tract is one of the most densely populated microbial communities, with approximately 1,014 microorganisms, mainly bacteria. Microbial communities contribute to host health through various functions, including probiotic properties which may regulate the composition of the human gastrointestinal microbiota[4].

  1. Holscher, H. D., Guetterman, H. M., Swanson, K. S., An, R., Matthan, N. R., Lichtenstein, A. H., … & Baer, D. J. (2018). Walnut consumption alters the gastrointestinal microbiota, microbially derived secondary bile acids, and health markers in healthy adults: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of nutrition, 148(6), 861-867.
  2. Holscher, H. D., Taylor, A. M., Swanson, K. S., Novotny, J. A., & Baer, D. J. (2018). Almond consumption and processing affects the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiota of healthy adult men and women: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients, 10(2), 126.
  3. Lever, E., Scott, S. M., Louis, P., Emery, P. W., & Whelan, K. (2018). The effect of prunes on stool output, gut transit time and gastrointestinal microbiota: a randomised controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition.
  4. Bamberger, C., Rossmeier, A., Lechner, K., Wu, L., Waldmann, E., Fischer, S., … & Parhofer, K. G. (2018). A Walnut-Enriched Diet Affects Gut Microbiome in Healthy Caucasian Subjects: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 10(2), 244.

SOURCE INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council

 

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