Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey conducted a study that suggests eating almonds could help prevent diabetes and heart disease.
Scientists discovered that including the nuts into our diets could help treat type 2 diabetes. As well as combating the condition, linked to obesity and physical inactivity, it could tackle cardiovascular disease, they said.
Diabetics have a shortage of insulin or a decreased ability to use the hormone that allows glucose to enter cells and be converted to energy.
When diabetes is not controlled, glucose and fats remain in the blood and over time, damage vital organs.
The latest study showed that a diet rich in almonds may help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease LDL-cholesterol levels in those with pre-diabetes, a condition in which people have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
The study looked at the effects of consuming an almond-enriched diet on 65 adults with pre-diabetes.
The group on the almond-enriched diet showed greater improvements in insulin sensitivity and significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol compared with the nut-free group.
"It is promising for those with risk factors for chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease that dietary changes may help to improve factors that play a potential role in the disease development," the Daily Mail quoted lead researcher Dr Michelle Wien as saying.
The report has been published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.