Health Benefits of Almonds: Despite its high-fat content, almonds are hugely healthy and very nutritious. Here we review its most important benefits. The cultivation of almonds ( Pyrus communis ) has its origins in the same cradle of civilization, more than five millennia ago. When the inhabitants of ancient Persia and Mesopotamia began to cultivate sweet varieties.
Eating almonds is something that has been highly recommended since these are one of the most nutritious nuts that exist. In addition, they taste delicious and can be incorporated into various recipes.
Almonds have a massive dose of nutrients
Almond is the edible seed of the Prunus dulcis tree, commonly known as an 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).
- Manganese: 32% of the GDR.
- Magnesium: 20% of the GDR.
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 emphasize that between 10 and 15% of the calories in almonds are not absorbed by the body because fat is difficult to access and breaks down.
Almonds are also packed with phytic acid, stuff that binds convinced minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. This means that the amount of iron, calcium, and zinc that can be obtained from them is reduced.
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They are full of antioxidants
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 that covers the almonds. For this reason, peeled almonds that are removed from this shell 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.
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Almonds 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.
In short: Almonds are a huge source of vitamin E, which is related to many health benefits.
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Health benefits of almonds 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. To get the most health benefits of almonds, include them in your daily routine diet.
Health benefits of almonds for controlling blood pressure
The magnesium in almonds can also help lower blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency usually linked to blood 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. You can get the most health benefits of almonds for controlling blood pressure by adding them to your daily routine diet.
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Health benefits of almonds to 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 (16).
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 short: Eating one or two handfuls of almonds a day can slightly reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
You can get the most health benefits of almonds to lower cholesterol by adding them to your daily routine diet.
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Almonds prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol
Almonds not only lower levels of LDL cholesterol 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 from 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.
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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.
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Health benefits of almonds to reduce 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 that suggests that consuming them may slightly increase metabolism. Combining this with the ability of almonds to fight hunger, it makes sense that they are a great ingredient in any weight loss diet. And there are several studies that support this claim.
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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.
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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.
You can get the most health benefits of almonds to reduce your body weight by adding them to your daily routine diet.
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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.