Almonds can stave off infections
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regularly can help you stave off viral infections like the common cold and flu.
A new study has revealed that naturally occurring chemicals found in the skin of
the nut boost the
system's response to such infections.
Researchers found almond skins improved the ability of the white blood cells to
detect viruses while also increasing the body's ability to prevent viruses from
replicating and spreading inside the body, according to the journal
Immunology Letters .
They discovered that even after the almonds had been digested, the immune system
was more poised to act against viruses, reports the
Researchers found that almond skin extracts were effective against even Herpes
Simplex Virus 2, which can cause cold sores. The virus is notoriously difficult
to treat due to its ability to evade the immune system.
The scientists, based at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, Britain and
the Policlinico Universitario in Messina, Italy, said their findings suggest
that the nuts can increase the immune system's ability to fight off a wide range
of viruses, including those that cause flu and the common
They said they, however, still have to carry out research on how many almonds
must be eaten to obtain a beneficial effect.
Giuseppina Mandalari from the Institute of Food Research said: "Almond skins are
able to stimulate the immune response and thus contribute to an antiviral immune
It was likely that eating almonds regularly could help protect people from
becoming infected with viruses in the first place, while it could also help
those already infected to fight off their illness.