Researchers have been investigating a class of compounds called lipokines.
Lipokines are important for metabolism, and help turn stores of unhealthy white fat in the body (associated with obesity) to beneficial brown fat, which breaks down sugar and generates heat.
Researchers theorize that increasing levels of lipokines may help prevent obesity and metabolic syndrome.
A new study looked at the effects of 12 weeks of supplementation with almonds in otherwise healthy people starting an exercise routine. Half the participants ate approximately ½ cup of almonds daily.
The rest of the participants (control group) ate a calorie-matched cereal bar.
Results: immediately after exercise, lipokines levels were 69% higher in the almond group.
The almond group also reported less fatigue, better muscle strength, and decreased muscle damage after exercise than the control group.
The researchers concluded that in addition to the effects on lipokines levels, the beneficial polyphenols in almonds reduced inflammation and oxidative stress from exercise, allowing the body to recover faster.