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Almond Skins May Defend Against Infection

A new study has found that naturally-occurring chemicals found in the skin of almonds may help boost the immune system’s response to infection.

Researchers with the Institute of Food Research have found that the nut skins improved the ability of white blood cells to detect viruses, including those that cause flu and the common cold, while also increasing the body’s ability to prevent the viruses from replicating and spreading. In the lab, the scientists found that even after digestion, almond skin extracts were still effective in boosting the immune system although boiling the nuts seemed to decrease activity.

Although nutritional guidelines suggest three ounces a day for other health benefits, research still needs to be done to find out how much to eat for the antiviral effect.