Despite its high fat content, almonds are hugely healthy and very nutritious. Here we review its most important benefits.
1. They Have a Massive Dose of Nutrients:
Almond is the edible seed of the Prunus dulcis tree, commonly known as almond tree. This tree is native to the Middle East, but the United States is currently the largest producer of almonds in the world. Those that are usually bought in any business have the pod removed, and are sold both raw and roasted.
And they include a very attractive nutritional profile. A small handful of about 28 grams contains:
- Fiber: 3.5 grams.
- Proteins: 6 grams.
- Fats: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated fats).
- Vitamin E: 37% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
- Manganese: 32% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 20% of the CDR.
In addition, it contains good amounts of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus. 28 grams include just 161 calories and 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates. It is important to underline that between 10 and 15% of the calories in an almond are not absorbed by the body because fat is difficult to access and decomposes. Almonds are also high in phytic acid, a substance that binds certain minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. This means that the amount of iron, zinc and calcium that can be obtained from them is reduced.
In summary: Almonds have a high content of monounsaturated healthy fats, fiber, protein and many important nutrients.
2. They are Full of Antioxidants:
The antioxidants (substances that protect the body from oxidative damage, which contributes to aging and various diseases) are present in the brown part of the skin covering almonds. For this reason, peeled almonds that are removed from this peel are not a good choice from the point of view of health. A clinical study of 60 male smokers found that 84 grams of almonds per day reduced biomarkers of oxidative stress by 23 to 34% over a period of four weeks. These findings support, in turn, those of other research in which consuming almonds along with the main meals of the day also reduced some markers of oxidative damage.
In summary: Almonds are high in antioxidants that can protect cells from oxidative damage, a major contributor to aging and various diseases.
3. They are High in Vitamin E, Which Protects Cell Membranes From External Damage:
Vitamin E is also in the group of antioxidants, and its specific function is to protect cell membranes from oxidative damage. And almonds are among the largest sources of vitamin E in the world: as we already described, it provides 37% of the recommended daily dose.
“Several studies have linked a higher intake of vitamin E with a lower incidence of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease”.
In short: Almonds are a huge source of vitamin E, which is related to many health benefits.
4. They Can Be Helpful in Controlling Blood Sugar:
In general, all nuts are low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats , proteins and fibers. This makes them an ideal food for diabetics. But what makes almonds stand out is its high magnesium content. This mineral is involved in more than 300 organic processes, including blood sugar control. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 310 to 420 mg. And 50 grams of almonds provide almost half: about 150 mg. And between 25 and 38% of people with type 2 diabetes have poor magnesium intake. Correcting that problem significantly lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin function. This indicates that foods high in magnesium, such as almonds, could be very useful for preventing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, health problems widely spread today.
In summary: Almonds have a very high content of magnesium, a mineral that most people do not incorporate in sufficient quantity. An adequate intake of magnesium could be used to combat both metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
5. Has Benefits for Blood Pressure:
The magnesium in almonds can also help lower blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency is usually linked to pressure problems, regardless of whether you are obese or not. And some studies have shown that correcting those low levels can lead to large reductions in blood pressure. Considering that most adults do not consume the recommended amount of magnesium per day, adding almonds to the diet could have a big impact.
In summary: Poor levels of magnesium in the diet are strongly linked to high blood pressure. And adding almonds could be beneficial for blood pressure.
6. Can Lower Cholesterol:
A 16-week study on 65 pre-diabetic subjects found that a diet with 20% more calories from almonds lowered LDL cholesterol by an average of 12.4 mg / dL. Other research found that 42 grams of almonds per day lowered LDL cholesterol levels by 5.3 mg / dL, while maintaining “good” HDL cholesterol. In addition, it helped reduce abdominal fat.
In summary: Eating one or two handfuls of almonds a day can slightly reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
7. Prevent Oxidation of LDL Cholesterol:
Almonds not only lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, but also protect it from oxidation, a crucial step in the process of heart disease. Almond skin is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, which prevent oxidation of cholesterol in laboratory and animal studies. And the effect may be even stronger when combined with other antioxidants, such as vitamin E. In a study in humans, taking almonds as a snack lowered oxidized LDL cholesterol levels. This should reduce the chances of suffering long-term heart problems.
In summary: LDL cholesterol can be oxidized, a process that constitutes a crucial step towards heart disease. Eating almonds reduces the oxidation of LDL.
8. Reduce Hunger by Lowering Overall Calorie Intake:
Almonds are low in carbohydrates and high in both protein and fiber. And both increase satiety, which leads to lower calorie consumption. In a four-week study of 137 participants, 43 grams of almonds per day significantly reduced hunger and the desire to eat. And there are several more studies that support the satiating effects of nuts
In summary: Walnuts, including almonds, are low in carbohydrates but high in protein and fiber, which increases satiety and reduces calorie intake.
9.They are Very Effective for Losing Weight:
Between 10 and 15% of the calories in almonds are difficult to digest by the body and, therefore, are not absorbed. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that consuming them may slightly increase the metabolism. Combining this with the ability of almonds to fight hunger, it makes sense that they are a great ingredient in any diet to lose weight. And there are several studies that support this claim. In one of them, a low-calorie diet with 84 grams of almonds increased weight loss by 62% compared to a diet enriched with complex carbohydrates. Another study in 100 obese women found that those who consumed almonds lost more weight than those who did not. In addition, they showed improvements in waist circumference and other health markers. Thus, beyond its high fat content, almonds definitely help you lose weight. However, they can cause problems in people who have a tendency to overeat.
To Take into Account:
Almonds are not only incredibly healthy, but they are also delicious and do not require any preparation. An almost perfect combination.