How We Grow

2020 July/Aug How We Grow

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1 FROM LEADERSHIP The Almond Board of California (ABC) had considerable foresight in establishing the Nutrition Research Subcommittee in 1996. Their decision paved the way for multiple research trials and the resulting significant amount of data demonstrating the healthful benefits of almonds in our diets. Many growers, handlers and ABC staff members have participated on this subcommittee-turned-committee over the past 25 years and, to date, we have achieved a total of 185 published research studies – and counting. This research documents almonds' strengths and contributes to almonds' reputation of being a healthful food. Do you know why almonds are so healthy? Each handful (1oz) of almonds is packed with Vitamin E (50% Daily Value (DV)) and magnesium (20% DV), and provides a good source of fiber (15% DV). All these nutrients are essential in maintaining good health. Building the foundation of nutrition research 1 Initial nutrition research funded by ABC focused on diabetes and heart health, and demonstrated positive results in assisting blood sugar control and supporting heart health. 2 Subsequent metabolic studies in cholesterol management demonstrated a positive effect on lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Today, the Nutrition Research Committee is continuing research in these areas to keep our data current. Building on positive findings from initial research, ABC's nutrition research team pursued studies on weight management and satiety to determine the possibility of almonds' ability to help address increasing obesity and overweight cases worldwide. Results from that research are trending positive. Supplementary research is delving into digestive health to learn how overall human health can be influenced by the organisms populating the digestive tract. The Nutrition Research Committee has also commenced studies in cognition to determine if almonds maintain properties that assist people's memory. We are eagerly awaiting the potential outcomes of this research as we anticipate completion of early studies in this area. Our newest area of research, though, involves the largest organ of the body: the skin. A pilot study 3 conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, looked at the impact of daily almond snacking on measures of facial wrinkle width and severity in postmenopausal women. The study is the first of its kind to examine almonds' effects on skin health and with promising results, a larger and longer-term follow-up study is already underway. We are anxiously anticipating the results. Research drives market advancement While the Nutrition Research Committee has overseen health studies from the outset of ABC's nutrition research program, our focus has since progressed to include considerations of a healthy lifestyle. In addition, since nearly 70% of California almonds are exported, we have committed to performing studies in other countries, research that may have enhanced significance and be of special interest to the populations of those countries. Currently, the committee is overseeing 22 projects in process worldwide, from the United States and the EU to India and other parts of Asia, Australia and New Zealand. There's no doubt that global expansion of the almond market over the last two decades has been assisted by ABC's commitment to nutrition research. With the upcoming production our industry is expecting in the near future, research administered by the Nutrition Research Committee is and will continue to be essential in assisting the marketing of future large incoming crops. Lastly, but very importantly, I'd like to thank Dr. Karen Lapsley for shepherding and enhancing the committee's work over the years. Dr. Lapsley will retire from the Almond Board in July 2020. She served the California almond industry for 21 years, with one of her most recent roles being ABC's Chief Scientific Officer, and was the main Nutrition Research Committee staff representative for many years before passing that responsibility onto Dr. Swati Kalgaonkar, associate director of Nutrition Research. Dr. Lapsley's expertise, inquisitiveness and good judgement have been instrumental in the committee's success and provided invaluable benefit to the almond industry. Following July 2020, Dr. Kalgaonkar will continue to drive the committee's high level of performance. Our goal is the pursuit of excellence in almond nutrition research. Nutrition Research Committee members are committed to the search for innovative ideas and new areas of study, all for the purpose of providing the Almond Board and our industry with more data and health information to assist in the promotion of California almonds. I invite you to attend our next committee meeting to learn more about our work – visit for meeting details. George Goshgarian Chair, Nutrition Research Committee Almond Board of California 2 Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat. 3 Foolad N, Vaughn AR, Rybak I, Burney WA, Chodur GM, Newman JW, Steinberg FM, Sivamani RK. Prospective randomized controlled pilot study on the effects of almond consumption on skin lipids and wrinkles. Phytotherapy Research. 2019;1–6. 1 For more on ABC's Nutrition Research Program, visit https:// almonds/health-and-nutrition.

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