According to the Daily Telegraph, a new study has revealed that eating almonds can help the body to fight off viral infections such as the common cold and flu.
The scientists, who are based at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich and the Policlinico Universitario (University Hospital)in Messina, Italy, said they found almond skins improved the ability of the white blood cells to detect viruses while also increasing the body"s ability to prevent viruses from replicating and so spreading inside the body.
They also said that although more research has to be carried out to determine how much almond should be eaten for an effect to be reached, it is likely that eating almonds regularly could help protect people from becoming infected with viruses in the first place, while it could also help those already infected to fight off their illness.
They tested the immune response to infection by the Herpes Simplex Virus 2, which can cause cold sores and is a notoriously difficult virus to treat due to its ability to evade the immune system by dampening down the body"s inflammatory response.
They found that almond skin extracts were effective against even this virus. The researchers say they are still to identify exactly what it is in almond skins that cause the antiviral activity, but they believe it could be due to compounds known as polyphones.