Are you looking for a true elixir of youth for the skin? Then eat almonds! Almonds, in fact, are able to protect the skin from UV damage, reduce wrinkles and dark spots. This is what emerges from two recent scientific studies performed by two groups of Californian scientists from the University of California Los Angeles and University of California Davis (Li et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2021 - Rybak et al, Nutrients, 2021).
Almonds reduce the damage caused by the sun's rays
The first study was concerned with verifying a possible protective action of almonds against damage caused by UV rays on the skin. Previous studies had had the opportunity to observe that the topical application of almond oil and almond peel extracts is able to reduce photoaging caused by the action of UV rays. However, nothing was known about the action of almonds taken orally. To fill this gap, the researchers recruited 39 women between the ages of 18 and 45. The volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to take 42 grams of almonds, or 1,5 oz, every day for 3 months. The second group, on the other hand, was used as a control. At the end of the three months it was observed that almonds, taken orally, have a protective action against damage caused by the sun's rays. In particular, it was observed that in order to induce erythema in those who had taken the almonds, greater exposure to solar radiation was necessary. Therefore, almonds have been able to strengthen the skin making it less susceptible to erythema and irritation caused by UV rays and which would then have paved the way for wrinkles and uneven complexion.
Almonds help against wrinkles and dark spots
The second research studied the anti-wrinkle action of almonds. 49 postmenopausal women were recruited. Half of the volunteers were asked to take, every day for 6 months, a quantity of almonds equal to cover 20% of the daily energy requirement. This corresponds to about 2 portions of 28 grams each of almonds, or 1 oz of almonds. The second group had instead to consume a snack not based on almonds but with the same energy intake. What emerged was that already after 4 months of taking almonds, important benefits for the skin were observed. In fact, wrinkles had decreased significantly, by almost 15%, just as dark spots on the skin had also decreased by 20%.
If at mid-morning we don't know what to eat as a snack, why don't we try a handful of almonds? Almonds provide fatty acids with anti-inflammatory action, polyphenols and vitamin E with antioxidant properties and also act as real cosmetics taken by mouth, reducing the damage of photoaging and giving the skin a younger and fresher appearance.