How We Grow

2021 July/Aug How We Grow

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Almonds Promote a Holistic View of Skin Health Depending on how long you've been in the almond business, you may see one-to-four different orchards in your lifetime – if all goes well, the trees may stand for nearly a quarter of a century. And during their lifetime, you will do all you can to keep your trees healthy so they may yield a bountiful crop until they are no longer productive. Now think about your skin. Unlike almond trees, there is no removing the old and planting the new. While options remain to rejuvenate and tighten the epidermal layer to provide a more youthful look, the reality is you will wear your skin for your entire life, and the decisions you make today will have repercussions long after your current orchard is out of commission. Skin health is significant among consumers worldwide, with different populations around the globe experiencing different skin health challenges. While traditionally research into almonds' health benefits has focused on that which is not seen – heart health, satiety, etc. – in 2015, the Almond Board of California's (ABC) Nutrition Research Committee (NRC) decided to dig deeper to determine if almonds could impart skin health benefits, as well, to further support awareness and consumption of almonds worldwide. "Skin health is highly desirable among all skin types across vastly different populations. With this in mind, and with resounding validation of almond skin health benefits from Ayurveda (the traditional Indian medicinal system) combined with what we already know about almonds' nutritional benefits, NRC decided to begin looking into how whole almonds could support skin health," said ABC NRC chair Dr. George Goshgarian. What inspired ABC to look at skin health? The Almond Board's nutrition research efforts started in 1995 with a focus on heart health. As years passed, ABC and NRC began to study different aspects of almonds' varied health benefits. In 2015, with interest piqued by Ayurveda, ABC began investing in skin health research. Developed over 5,000 years ago in India, Ayurveda – which in Sanskrit means "science of life" – is a well-documented and recognized ancient medicinal system that functions on the belief that the mind, spirit and body are linked, and that what you eat can impact external factors such as skin, hair and nails. The prospect of almonds providing skin health benefits was also intriguing because different populations across the globe experience vastly different skin health challenges. For instance, those who rank as type I or type II on the Fitzpatrick Scale (see Fig. 1) are susceptible to develop wrinkles and fine lines more readily. In contrast, those with skin ranking as type III through type VI (who have more sebaceous glands) tend to be more susceptible to developing acne. With this in mind, ABC and NRC sought to understand if almonds could help address different skin health challenges experienced by different skin types, from type I to type VI. RESEARCH UPDATE Figure 1 The Fitzpatrick Scale was developed by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick in 1975 as a method to measure how ultraviolet (UV) light impacts different types of skin. A serving of almonds provides key nutrients that are linked to skin health: Zinc (0.9 mg) Riboflavin (0.3 mg) Linoleic Acid (3.5 mg) and 50% of daily recommended vitamin E needs. TYPE I Light, pale white Always burns, never tans TYPE III Medium, white to olive Sometimes mild burns, gradually tans to olive TYPE V Brown, dark brown Very rarely burns, tans very easily TYPE II White, fair Usually burns, tans with difficulty TYPE IV Olive, moderate brown Rarely burns, tans with ease to moderate brown TYPE VI Black, very dark brown to black Never burns, tans very easliy, deeply pigmented The Fitzpatrick Scale Continue on page 13 Almond Board of California 12

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