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Article

Snacking on Whole Almonds for Six Weeks Increases Heart Rate Variability during Mental Stress in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1
Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Life Course Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, UK
2
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, St Thomas’ Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors are co-senior authors.
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1828; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061828
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 15 June 2020 / Accepted: 17 June 2020 / Published: 19 June 2020
Cardiac autonomic regulation can be indirectly measured by heart rate variability (HRV). Low HRV, which can be induced by mental stress, is a predictor of risk of sudden cardiac death. Few studies have investigated cause-and-effect relationships between diet and HRV. Nut consumption is associated with CVD risk reduction, but the impact on HRV, particularly in response to stress, is unclear. Men and women (30–70 y) with above average risk of developing CVD were randomly assigned in a 6-week randomized, controlled, parallel arm trial to consume either whole almond or isocaloric control snacks (20% of daily estimated energy requirement). Control snacks contained the average nutrient profile of UK snacks. Five-minute periods of supine heart rate (HR) and HRV were measured at resting and during mental stress (Stroop color-word test) at baseline and six weeks. High frequency (HF) power, which reflects parasympathetic regulation of HR, was increased following almonds during the mental stress task relative to control (mean difference between groups 124 ms2; 95% CI 11, 237; p = 0.031, n = 105), but other indices were unaffected. Snacking on whole almonds instead of typical snacks may reduce risk of CVD partly by ameliorating the suppression of HRV during periods of mental stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: almonds; randomized controlled trial; heart rate variability; cardiovascular disease; snacking; stress almonds; randomized controlled trial; heart rate variability; cardiovascular disease; snacking; stress
MDPI and ACS Style

Dikariyanto, V.; Smith, L.; Chowienczyk, P.J.; Berry, S.E.; Hall, W.L. Snacking on Whole Almonds for Six Weeks Increases Heart Rate Variability during Mental Stress in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1828. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061828

AMA Style

Dikariyanto V, Smith L, Chowienczyk PJ, Berry SE, Hall WL. Snacking on Whole Almonds for Six Weeks Increases Heart Rate Variability during Mental Stress in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2020; 12(6):1828. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061828

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dikariyanto, Vita, Leanne Smith, Philip J. Chowienczyk, Sarah E. Berry, and Wendy L. Hall 2020. "Snacking on Whole Almonds for Six Weeks Increases Heart Rate Variability during Mental Stress in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial" Nutrients 12, no. 6: 1828. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061828

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