We all know that snacking in general is not recommended. But if you do need to snack on something, try leaving those crisps (or chips if you prefer) on the shelf and reach for some almonds instead.
Published in the journal Nutrition Research, researchers from the University of Florida wanted to see if consuming a small amount of almonds daily could benefit the immune system, improve gastrointestinal function (stool frequency and consistency) and positively affect the composition of gut microbiota in children and adults.
They found that with the inclusion of the almonds in the diet, the participants Healthy Eating Index score improved (a US measure of how good your diet is). There was also slight changes in the gut microbiota of the children, but gastrointestinal function remained for the most part unchanged. They suggest this is because the participants tended to eat less of other fibre rich food and so therefore the overall amount of consumed fibre did not increase.
They also state that a longer intervention could produce stronger effects but that this 3 week trial did at least improve the diet and show some changes in the gut microbiota.