When thinking of reducing wrinkles, most middle-aged women would instinctively reach for specialized creams and facial treatments, rather than specific foods.
Yet researchers in this 2019 clinical trial took an interesting focus on almonds in efforts to find foods with anti-aging properties that may improve skin appearance in postmenopausal women. Their discoveries were published in the Phytotherapy Research journal.
This randomized pilot study was conducted by researchers from the University of California, Davis, California. It involved 28 postmenopausal women, aged 53 to 80, with a Fitzpatrick skin type 1 or 2. They were divided into two groups: the intervention and the control.
Over a period of 16 weeks, participants in the intervention group were instructed to consume 340 kcal per day of whole almonds, equating to about 2 ounces (59 grams). Those in the control group were given a nut-free, calorie-matched snack (such as a cereal bar, granola bar, or pretzels).
Women underwent assessments to analyze wrinkle depth and severity, including having high-resolution facial photographs taken before, during, and after the duration of the study.
After 16 weeks, women in the intervention group showed a 9% decrease in wrinkle severity and a 10% decrease in wrinkle width in comparison to the control group.
Researchers did not observe significant changes in sebum production (sebum is an oily substance secreted from skin glands that moisturizes the skin; its production gradually decreases after menopause).
There were no adverse reactions observed among the participants.
What Does It Mean?
The findings of this study suggest that eating almonds on a regular basis can significantly decrease wrinkles in postmenopausal women.
Researchers point to almonds' richness in protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E as the most likely cause of these anti-aging effects. They also note that these benefits were obtained even without any effects on sebum production.
Such simple and cost-effective nutritional interventions are good news for the middle-aged not only seeking to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, but also wanting to reap other benefits of regular nut consumption. Studies have shown that almonds may help manage cholesterol levels, weight loss, and oxidative stress.1,2
- Phytotherapy Research. (2019). Prospective randomized controlled pilot study on the effects of almond consumption on skin lipid and wrinkles. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ptr.6495
- Journal of the American College of Nutrition. (2010). Almond consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in adults with prediabetes. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20833991/
- Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (2008). The energetics of nut consumption. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18296372/