The gut has to be one of the most complex organ systems in the human body. Some scientists have even called it the second brain.
Innumerable microorganisms reside in the gut and bacteria there play a huge role in overall health, not just the digestive.
A recent study by scientists at Kings College London has shown that a handful of almonds could make the gut healthier.
Almonds boost the production of short-chain fatty acid butyrate that improves gut health. The experts analysed the effects of the compound on the composition of good bacteria in the gut.
Scientists and medical professionals are still trying to figure out the mechanisms and processes with which the microbiome works in the gut and affects health.
The KCL team recruited 87 adults who were already taking less-than-required amounts of dietary fibre and also habitually snacked on junk food items like chips.
The participants were divided into groups of three. One group started taking 56g of whole almonds a day. Another took 56g of ground almonds and the third was the control group that started taking energy-matched muffins.
The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that butyrate was found to be produced in significantly larger amounts in people who took either ground or whole almonds.
The fatty acid is like a fuel for the cells in the colon. The compound creates favourable conditions for the bacteria and microbes to grow and thrive.
This results in a stronger gut wall, less leakage and inflammation as well as optimal nutrient absorption.