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Healthy Hearts and Almonds!


From Valentine’s Day, National Wear Red Day, and American Heart Month, February is all about the heart. National Wear Red Day, celebrated on the first Friday in February, is dedicated to bringing attention to heart disease as a leading cause of death for Americans. In conjunction, American Heart Month is an excellent time to encourage clients to focus on maintaining and improving their cardiovascular health. Almond Day, celebrated on February 16, is the perfect time to share with your clients about the heart-smart benefits of our favorite nut!

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, although women generally get heart disease about ten years later than men do (particularly after menopause).1 Preventing heart disease starts with knowing what your risks factors are and what you can do to lower them. As health professionals, you know that while some risk factors can’t be changed, such as a family history of heart disease, many others, like unhealthy eating and low exercise levels, can be modified gradually as important steps to improve heart health.2

This February, encourage clients to take small steps, like adopting heart-healthy eating habits, to help lower their risk of heart disease. Heart-healthy eating involves choosing certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, while limiting others, such as saturated fats and added sugars. While the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan is especially popular, you know it’s not always necessary to make complete dietary overhauls. Instead, guiding clients towards smarter eating and smarter snacking is a small change that can have big health impacts.

Thankfully, almonds have you and your clients covered! With 6 grams of plant protein to energize, 4 grams of hunger-fighting fiber, 13 grams of good monounsaturated fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, and important vitamins and minerals—it’s hard to beat such a power combo of nutrients in every healthy handful of 23 almonds. For the full rundown on the benefits of almonds, visit here

RECIPE: Almond Crusted Broccoli

Preparing delicious (and heart-healthy) appetizers doesn’t have to be difficult. Share this delightful almond-crusted broccoli recipe with your clients for a creative and tasty plant-based option.

For more tasty recipes, visit our Recipe Center.   

Almond Crusted Broccoli

Out of ideas for meatless Monday? These delicious almond-crusted broccoli “wings” make for the perfect plant-based alternative to traditional chicken wings. The best part? Not only are they easy to prepare, but they’re also made with ingredients, like almonds, which may have a positive impact on your heart health! ❤️

RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT: Study Examines Impact of Almonds on Vascular Health

Research supporting the role of almonds in heart health initially began in 1992, and since then the Almond Board of California’s nutrition research program has continued investigating the cardiovascular effects of almonds. Today, the Almond Board of California continues expanding into innovative heart health research areas, most recently looking at vascular health and the cardiac system’s resilience to mental stress.

A recent studyfrom researchers at King’s College London called ATTIS (Almonds Trial Targeting Dietary Intervention with Snacks) looked at a British population and investigated several heart health risk factors as part of a multifactorial investigation. This six-week randomized control, parallel-arm trial had 107 participants (adults between 30-70 years old with above average cardiovascular disease risk) who consumed either almonds or a calorie-matched control snack providing 20% of each participant’s estimated daily energy needs. The research team then compared cardiometabolic health markers between the two groups. 

They found that the almond group, compared to the control group, experienced a 4% unit increase in endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Endothelial function – assessed by measuring flow-mediated dilation (FMD) – is a key factor in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Improved FMD means that arteries can dilate more easily in response to increased blood flow, which is a strong indicator of cardiovascular health. 

Additionally, LDL-cholesterol levels decreased in the almond group relative to the control group.  There was no difference between the two groups in liver fat and several other measures (triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, glucose, insulin and others). 

“This study showed that in this group of UK adults with increased CVD risk, eating almonds in place of the typical snacks that many of us consume in the UK was beneficial to heart health. Those in the almond group saw reduced LDL-cholesterol levels and improved flow-mediated dilation, a measure of arterial health. Based on existing data on risk of cardiovascular disease, we predict that replacing typical snacks with almonds in the long term has the potential to reduce the adjusted relative risk of a cardiovascular event by 30%,” said Dr. Wendy Hall, PhD, co-principal investigator and Reader in Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London. Adjusted relative risk is the probability of an event happening to a person compared to another person who does not take a step in disease prevention, such as making a diet change.

Limitations of the study were the fact that there were some differences between groups in cardiometabolic disease risk factors at baseline.  The imbalance in recruitment by sex could mean that the results may not be as applicable to men since they made up only 30% of the randomized study population. Also, the participants were free-living, and although almond compliance was confirmed, it is possible there is potential for some inaccuracies in their reported food intake.  Click here to view the full study.


Almonds are rich in many vitamins for the skin, including vitamin E. We collaborated with our friends at Allure, to break down the benefits of almonds for the skin, according to experts such as a dermatologist, cosmetic chemist, and our RD friend Dawn Jackson Blatner. Read the full article here.

Dawn Jackson Blatner is an American registered dietitian, television and media personality, and published author of the books The Flexitarian Diet and The Superfood Swap. She has been hailed as Chicago's "top dietitian" and "one of the best nutritionists in the country." Keep up with Dawn here.

1   2   3 Dikariyanto  V, Smith L, Francis L et al. Snacking on whole almonds for 6 weeks improves endothelial function and lowers LDL cholesterol but does not affect liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors in healthy adults: the ATTIS study, a randomized controlled trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 111(6): 1178–1189.