15 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Almonds and How to Use

Almonds are a superfood that belongs to the same family as cherries and peaches. They are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, monounsaturated fatty acids, and fibers, making them a great source of nutrition. Almonds offer several health benefits, including reducing wrinkles and promoting a healthy heart.

Here are 15 Proven Health Benefits of Almonds

1 Almonds are highly nutritious.

Almonds are edible seeds from the almond tree native to the Middle East. The United States is now the world’s largest producer of almonds. Almonds are sold raw or roasted to produce products like almond milk, oil, butter, flour, paste, or marzipan. They are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein, and essential nutrients. A 1-ounce serving of almonds contains fiber, protein, fat, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2, and phosphorus. It is important to note that your body does not absorb about 6% of the fats in almonds. Almonds are also high in phytic acid, a substance that binds certain minerals and prevents them from being absorbed by the body. (1)

2 Almonds are High in Vitamin E

Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, a family of fat-soluble antioxidants. Vitamin E protects the cells from oxidative damage and is linked to numerous health benefits, including lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. A single serving of almonds contains about 37% of the recommended daily vitamin E intake.

3 Almonds contain high levels of antioxidants.

Almonds are rich in antioxidants that protect the body’s cells from free radicals, which can cause chronic diseases like heart disease, cataracts, and diabetes. The skin of the almonds contains the highest concentration of antioxidants. Consuming up to 60 g of almonds per day can reduce inflammation markers in the body and help reduce the impact of lung damage caused by smoking. (3)

4 Eating almonds can help control blood sugar levels.

Almonds are an excellent choice for people with diabetes due to their low carb and high fiber, healthy fats, and protein. They are rich in magnesium, a mineral involved in numerous bodily processes, including blood sugar management. Magnesium intake has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and improved blood sugar management in people with diabetes. Almonds can also help prevent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, almonds have been shown to reduce spikes in blood glucose and insulin levels.

5 Almonds Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Almonds effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels and maintain HDL cholesterol levels, which is crucial for reducing the risk of heart disease. A regular intake of 42 grams of almonds per day for 12 weeks effectively decreases LDL cholesterol levels while maintaining HDL cholesterol levels. Including almonds to make up for 20% of the daily calorie intake effectively lowers unhealthy cholesterol levels. Eating one to two handfuls of low-carb almonds per day can prevent an increase in poor cholesterol and help maintain good cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease in healthy individuals.

6 Almonds can help with weight loss.

Nuts, especially almonds, can aid in weight loss due to their satiating properties. These essential fatty acids boost metabolism, and our bodies don’t absorb all the calories in nuts. Almonds have been shown to reduce body weight and fat mass, but moderation is vital as they are high in calories.

7 Eating almonds may lower the risk of developing cancer.

Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and peanuts are known to protect against breast and colon cancer. Consuming these nuts regularly can reduce the risk of developing these diseases by 2-3 times. Moreover, research has suggested that consuming tree nuts like almonds can lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. However, it should be noted that more research is required to corroborate these findings.

8 Eating almonds can prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

Almonds contain polyphenol antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. This reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of arteries due to fatty plaque buildup on the artery wall lining. Snacking on almonds regularly may significantly reduce the levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, leading to a reduced risk of heart disease over time.

9 Almonds Reduce Hunger

Almonds are known for their high protein and fiber content, making them an excellent choice for promoting satiety and reducing hunger and calorie intake. Recent studies have proven that consuming almonds as a snack can lead to a reduction in calorie intake during meals, as well as a decrease in overall daily energy intake over time. In conclusion, almonds can be an advantageous snack option for individuals seeking to feel full and decrease calorie consumption.

10 Almond Boosts Bone Health

Maintaining bone density is essential for overall health, and the bone starts losing its density after reaching its peak in the late 20s. Women are prone to osteoporosis after menopause. Almonds are packed with micronutrients like calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K that support bone development and prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis. Low copper level in the body is associated with low bone density, and magnesium intake significantly increases bone mineral density.

11 Almonds and Healthy Skin

Almonds contain high vitamin E and antioxidant properties that help reduce aging and nourish the skin. A study by the University of California in 2019 showed that consuming almonds daily for 16 weeks reduced wrinkle severity and width in postmenopausal women. Therefore, almonds have the potential to deliver anti-aging benefits and reduce wrinkles.

12 Almonds Can Keep Your Heart Healthy 

Almonds are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Consuming them can help reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and decrease belly fat, essential for maintaining good heart health. Almonds also contain a rich amount of antioxidants that can reduce high blood pressure, lowering the risks of heart disease. Research has provided evidence that regular consumption of almonds can boost the amount of antioxidants in the blood while minimizing the risk of cardiovascular ailments by enhancing blood lipids and decreasing body weight. In general, the nutritional content of almonds makes them an excellent food choice for maintaining optimal heart health.

13 Almonds Can Help Gut Health

The human gut contains many good bacteria that protect against harmful bacteria, but imbalances can occur. Prebiotic foods, which are non-digestible and fuel good bacteria, can help maintain balance. Almonds are a prebiotic food that significantly increases good bacteria in the gut and positively changes bacterial composition. The lipid content in almonds is responsible for these effects. In summary, almonds can improve the body’s defense against harmful bacteria and have the potential as a prebiotic when present in the digestive system for an extended period.

14 Almonds Maintain a Healthy Brain Function

Eating almonds and other nuts has been shown to strengthen brain function and support cognitive abilities, learning, memory, and healing. Almonds contain vital nutrients like flavonoids, phytochemicals, vitamin E, vitamin B, protein, and healthy fatty acids that can help prevent age-related brain degeneration. Moreover, almonds can aid in producing neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, which significantly transmit messages. By improving memory retention, almonds can also help prevent age-related cognitive decline.

15 Benefits of Almonds for Hair

Almonds are a rich source of nutrients, such as magnesium and biotin, that promote hair growth. Almonds’ omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids promote healthy hair growth by improving blood flow. Massaging hair with almond oil can produce strong, shiny, and soft hair. Almond oil contains antioxidants that protect hair from environmental stress and fatty acids that reduce scalp inflammation. It can also help remove dandruff by cleaning the scalp. Overall, almond oil is beneficial for hair growth and scalp health.

How to Use

Almonds are high in calories, so limiting intake to three to four ounces a day (around 20 to 23 almonds) is recommended.

Soaking almonds can activate enzymes that make them easier to digest, but there is no hard evidence that soaked almonds are more nutritious.

Flavored almonds can add extra flavor, but reading the ingredient labels and avoiding those with high sugar or calorie content is essential.

Almonds can be added to trail mix, but it’s crucial to choose trail mix without added sugar and dark chocolate (if any) to get the health benefits.

Side Effects of Overeating Almonds

Almonds are a healthy snack, but overeating them can cause harmful impacts. The high fiber in almonds can cause digestive problems when eaten in excess amounts. Overdosing Vitamin E in almonds can lead to diarrhea, weakness, and blurred vision. High amounts of manganese in almonds may interfere with certain medications. Over-consumption of almonds can lead to toxicity due to the presence of hydrocyanic acid, causing breathing problems, choking, nervous breakdown, and, in extreme cases, death.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is The Right Time to Eat Almonds?

Almonds are a healthy snack that is low in carbs but high in protein and fiber. Consuming them in the morning promotes the feeling of fullness and reduces calorie intake throughout the day. Therefore, drinking almonds regularly in the morning is recommended to maximize their benefits.

“What are the effects of eating soaked almonds daily?”

Almonds that have been soaked in water can aid digestion due to their ability to release an enzyme called lipase. This enzyme is responsible for supporting the digestion of fats. In addition, soaked almonds have a high content of insoluble fiber, which helps promote regular bowel movements. Consuming soaked almonds in the morning can be effective in preventing constipation.

Why Are Raw Almonds Bad For You?

Almonds come in two varieties – sweet and bitter, with the latter being potentially poisonous and requiring processing to remove any harmful content. Eating raw almonds in summer may cause digestive issues due to heat production, but soaking them overnight before consumption can help alleviate this problem.

Conclusion

Almonds are a highly nutritious food that can be consumed at any time of the day and by people of all ages. They help prevent chronic diseases, promote heart health, and nourish hair and skin.

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