Why Almonds Are So Good for You: Health Benefits of Almonds Backed by Science

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Why Almonds Are So Good for You: Health Benefits of Almonds Backed by Science

Almonds are a delicious nut that are packed with minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Almonds come from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the Western United States and are very good for you because they are a very nutritious snack. Consuming almonds can help you lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and keep your digestion working well.

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You can eat almonds with the skin on, blanched (skinless), and roasted. It is usually best to eat almonds without removing the skin because the brown almond skin is full of antioxidants. That means that some of the other health benefits of eating raw almonds include improving the symptoms of diabetes, boosting your immunity, and they have anticancer properties.

In this article, you will find out about the rich nutritional content of almonds and why they are so good for you. You will also learn about recent scientific research that shows why almonds are a delicious healthy nut.

What Are Almonds?

Almonds are actually not true tree nuts – they are the seeds of the fruit of the almond tree (called drupe). Almond seeds are surrounded by a hard shell which has to be removed to enjoy the tasty almonds.

Researchers from Harvard Public School of Health say that raw almonds are a nutrition-dense food that have many health benefits. (1)

You can eat raw almonds with the skins still on. However, many people prefer blanching almonds by placing them in some boiling water to help remove their skin. This gives skinless almonds a finer texture that is good for making almond flour.

Almonds, like many other nuts and seeds, contain phytic acid which can inhibit the absorption of important nutrients. One way to remove the phytic acid is to soak the nuts overnight. This means that soaked almonds may have better nutritional content than unsoaked almonds.

As well as eating roasted or raw almonds as a tasty nutritious snack, you can also consume almond milk, almond butter, or almond paste.

Why Almonds Are So Good for You

The reason why almonds are very healthy is that they contain fiber, protein, healthy fats, and important minerals.

Researchers have found that almonds are a healthy snack because they contain high amounts of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), magnesium, copper, and other phytonutrients. The healthy fats in almonds are also beneficial if you want to reduce cholesterol. (2)

Scientists also say that almonds can help with weight loss. Even though almonds are an energy-dense food, there is no evidence that consuming almonds daily increases weight.

Consuming soaked almonds every day can help to reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, and stabilize glucose levels. Almonds are also very good for strengthening your immunity as they also contain many antioxidants. (2)

There is also evidence that dry roasted almonds are just as good for your digestion as raw almonds. Roasted almonds also help to boost the number of healthy bacteria in your gut because of their prebiotic effect. (37)

Almonds Nutrition Facts: Calories, Fat, Protein, Carbs, Vitamins

Almonds are so good for your health because they are packed with vitamins and nutrients.

One ounce (28 g) of almonds which is about 23 whole kernels contains 164 calories. This 1-oz. serving of almonds also has 6 g of carbohydrates, 3.5 g of fiber and 6 g of protein. This means that 10 almond nuts have about 57 calories. (3)

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Although a 1-oz. serving of raw almonds contain a lot of calories and nearly 14 grams of fat, the type of fat in almonds is actually good for your health. Researchers say that the polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids in almonds are good for your cardiovascular health because they help to maintain healthy blood fat levels. (4)

Consuming almonds with the skins on can also protect your health against the negative effects of oxidative stress. 23 whole almonds contain about 7.5 mg of vitamin E which is 37% of your recommended daily intake (RDI). (3, 5)

Some studies point to the fact that the nutritional content of whole or flaked almonds is good for improving your heart health. For example, consuming around 40 almonds a day (56 g) gives you enough vitamin E, fiber, and fatty acids to help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. (6)

As well as almonds being good for your cardiovascular health, a serving of almonds (1.oz. or 28 g) also contains important minerals that help improve your general health. For example, 23 almonds contain 0.6 mg manganese (32% RDI), 57.7 mg magnesium (19% RDI), 137 mg phosphorus (14% RDI), and 0.3 mg copper (14% RDI). (3)

Half a cup of almonds has 5.3 mg of iron which is 30% of your daily iron needs.

For example, one study found that your body readily absorbs magnesium from almonds. In some cases, the bioavailability of magnesium (the amount your body absorbs) from almonds is better than from certain magnesium supplements. (7)

Because almonds are low in carbs (about 15 grams of carbs in ½ a cup of whole almonds), you can add almonds to a keto diet. In fact, some researchers recommend including almonds in your keto diet or low-carb diet. (8)

You can also replace wheat flour with almond flour if you have gluten intolerance or need to reduce your carb intake. (9)

Almonds are also a good nutrient source if you have diabetes because they have a very low glycemic load. Some studies show that consuming a large serving of almonds (60 g of almonds a day) can help control blood glucose levels. (10)

Almonds are packed with antioxidants

The nutritional health benefits of almonds are also due to the fact that they have high levels of antioxidants.

The journal Nutrition Research Reviews reports that tree nuts such as almonds contain phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties. These compounds help reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative stress. (11)

Some studies suggest that it is better to eat almonds with their skin still on. The skin of roasted almonds contains more antioxidants than blanched skinless almonds. (12)

Vitamin E is also an important antioxidant and just 1 almond contains 7 calories and 0.3 mcg vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol). This means that ½ a cup of whole almonds contains nearly 19 mg of vitamin E which is just over 90% of your daily needs. (3)

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Are Almonds Healthy? Proven Health Benefits of Almonds Based on Medical Studies

Let’s look in some more detail at why almonds are so good for you, including why dry roasted almonds are good for you.

Almonds Are Good for You if You Want to Lose Weight

Eating almonds every day is good for weight loss as they increase satiety and give you plenty of nutrients.

Researchers recommend that people trying to lose weight consume almonds as a healthy snack. Even though almonds are energy-dense, snacking on almonds every day doesn’t increase the risk of weight gain. Consuming almonds for weight loss also helps to improve blood glucose levels. (13)

One study found that consuming around 50 whole almonds daily (about 60 g of almonds containing 347 calories) helped to improve cardiovascular health without increasing the risk of putting on weight. (14)

A randomized prospective trial involving 65 overweight adults found that consuming 84 g of almonds a day on a low-calorie diet helped to lose more weight in a 24-week period than just following a low-calorie diet. Consuming almonds to lose weight reduced BMI, waist circumference, and fat mass. (15)

Learn about other tried and tested methods to help shed extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.

Almonds are Good for People with Diabetes

Almonds are a low-carb food that can help control blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol in diabetics.

One study from India found that consuming almonds as part of a healthy diet can help to lower many of the complications of diabetes. Subjects consumed a serving of raw almonds with the skins on a daily basis. After 24 weeks, scientists found that the inclusion of raw almonds in the diet helped to “significantly decrease the risk of diabetes complications.” (16)

Some studies point to the fact that people with diabetes often have a magnesium deficiency. The fact that a 2-oz. serving of raw almonds contains about 40% of your magnesium daily needs (150 mg) is another reason why almonds are good to eat if you suffer from diabetes. (17, 18)

Find out what other foods can help to control type 2 diabetes and the benefits of adding okra to your diet to help manage diabetes.

Almonds Promote Good Cardiovascular Health

Because almonds contain unsaturated fats as well as many other nutrients, a daily serving of almonds can keep your heart in good health.

One study found that consuming 45 g of whole almonds daily (about 37 whole almonds) helped lower the risk factors for some cardiovascular diseases. (19)

Many scientists recommend consuming a serving of nuts such as almonds daily to reduce your risk of heart disease. (4)

Let’s look at some specific reasons why almonds are so good for your heart.

Consuming almonds is good for lowering cholesterol

Raw almonds with their skins contain nutrients, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids that protect your heart because they help reduce cholesterol.

A review on the cardioprotective benefits of almonds found that almonds help lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is the type of cholesterol that is linked to heart disease. Researchers have found that enzymes in almonds affect cholesterol synthesis in the body. (20)

Other studies have shown that almonds prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation which is also important in preventing cardiac-related diseases. (21)

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Almonds are just one of the many foods to eat that help reduce cholesterol.

Almonds can help lower blood pressure

Minerals in almonds such as magnesium and potassium have a positive effect on blood pressure and help improve cardiac health.

A randomized controlled trial involving over 80 adults found that consuming a daily serving of almonds helped lower blood pressure and, at the same time, helped lose weight. (22)

Researchers from Harvard Medical School say that potassium and magnesium are essential minerals to help control blood pressure. A serving of 20 almonds contains 139 calories as well as 65 mg of magnesium and 176 mg of potassium. Therefore, consuming almonds daily can help you meet your magnesium and potassium needs. (23, 3)

Learn about other natural methods to keep blood pressure at a healthy level.

Almonds Boost Cognitive Health and Prevent Age-Related Degenerative Diseases

Snacking on almonds every day may help to boost your memory and prevent certain cognitive-related diseases.

A study on the effects of almonds on rats revealed that almond consumption increased chemicals in the brain that help improve memory. Scientists found that consuming almonds for a month helps improve memory retention and could prevent amnesia. (24)

Some researchers have found that a serving of almonds with your lunch is good for your brain because they improve mental performance and attention span in the afternoon. (25)

Learn about some of the best herbs that help to boost brain function and protect against cognitive dysfunction like Alzheimer’s disease.

Almonds May Help Improve Your Digestive Health

One of the benefits of raw almond consumption is that they can help boost your digestion.

Almonds are high in fiber with a 1-oz. serving of almonds (23 whole almonds) containing 3.4 g of fiber which is 14% of your daily fiber needs. (3)

However, compounds in almonds also have a positive impact on your digestive health. One study found that consuming 2 or 3 servings of nuts every day such as almonds help to improve the number of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. (26)

Another study found that consuming a 1.5 servings (42 g) of roasted almonds was good for improving the digestion. A 2018 randomized trial on adults found that roasting almonds before eating helped to improve the gut’s microbiota. (27)

Learns about the benefits of taking probiotics to improve your digestion

Almonds Help Strengthen Your Immune System

Consuming raw almonds with their skins intact can help to give your immunity a great boost and help prevent infections.

The journal Immunology Letters reported that consuming almonds with their skins benefits your immune system. The antioxidants in almond skins help to protect against viral infections and reduce inflammation in the body. (28)

Many scientists also point to the fact that our gut’s microbiota is closely linked with our immune system. One study involving adults and children found that consuming almonds improves gastrointestinal health and helps boost the immune system. (29)

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Learn more about natural ways to stimulate your immune system to help keep yourself healthy and free of infections.

Almonds Are an Anti-Inflammatory Food

The high levels of antioxidants in almonds help to reduce inflammatory responses in your body.

Many doctors agree that chronic inflammation is detrimental to the body and is associated with diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. (30)

Scientific studies have found that polyunsaturated acids, vitamin E, and fiber in nuts such as almonds can help fight chronic inflammation. Consuming a daily serving of nuts can help protect against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. (31)

Almonds are also a rich source of protein and contain good amounts of amino acids such as L-arginine which also helps protect against inflammation. (31)

A 12-week randomized trial involving adults with type 2 diabetes found that consuming 2 servings of almonds a day (56 g) helped improve inflammatory markers. (32)

Learn what other foods have a natural anti-inflammatory effect that can lower your risk of developing chronic diseases.

Almonds Are Good for Your Liver Health

The health benefits of almonds also protect the health of your liver.

One randomized controlled clinical trial involving 100 women examined how consuming almonds can help lose weight. The women were divided into 2 groups and consumed the same low-calorie diet. One group supplemented their diet with 50 grams of almonds a day. At the end of the trial, the group consuming almonds lost more weight than the other group.

Interestingly, researchers also noted that almond consumption helped to increase the number of beneficial liver enzymes in obese women. (33)

Find out some of the other healthy foods you should consume to help keep your liver in good health.

Almonds Have Anticancer Properties

Almonds are extremely good for your health because of the number of nutrients and antioxidants they contain. Nutrient-dense almonds also have properties that help protect against certain types of cancer.

A meta-analysis that included the results of studies on over 30,000 people found that high nut consumption was connected with a reduced risk of cancer such as colorectal, pancreatic, and endometrial cancer. (34)

Other studies have shown that nut consumption that includes almonds, walnuts, and peanuts can help protect against breast cancer. (35)

Of course, more research needs to be carried out to discover how nuts such as almonds may help reduce the risk of developing cancer.

Find out what other foods you should add to your diet to help protect against cancer development.

How Many Almonds to Eat Daily

After learning about the many reasons why consuming almonds is beneficial for your health, you may be wondering how many almonds should you eat every day.

Many studies have shown that consuming 1 or 2 servings of almonds a day help to improve your cardiovascular health, reduce diabetes symptoms, and boost your immunity.

One serving of almonds is equivalent to 1 oz. or 28 grams of these tasty nuts. There are about 23 whole almonds in one-serving portion.

It is good to remember that, although almonds are classed as an energy-dense food, the type of fat in almonds is very good for you. As some studies in this article have pointed out, there is little risk of weight gain when adding 1 or 2 daily servings of almonds to your diet.

Soaking Nuts and Seeds

You can greatly increase the health benefits of almonds by soaking them before consuming them as a tasty and healthy snack.

There are many health benefits of soaked almonds because most nuts and seeds have anti-nutrients like phytic acid. This compound can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. These nutritional inhibitors can be minimized or eliminated by soaking.

If you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak them in water for 7-24 hours to remove the phytic acid.

You can find detailed information about foods that are high in phytic acid and how to soak your nuts and seeds in my article “Why You Need to Soak Nuts and Seeds.”

How to Consume More Almonds in Your Diet

It is very easy to include a daily serving of almonds into your diet if you want to benefit from all their wonderful nutrients. Here are a few helpful tips on getting more almonds into your diet:

  • Carry an ounce of pre-soaked almonds with their skins still on and snack throughout the day whenever you feel hungry.
  • Add blanched almonds to salads or desserts to improve their nutritional content.
  • Put a handful of soaked almonds in your favorite smoothies to help give your health a boost.
  • Replace regular flour with low-carb almond flour when baking.
  • Switch to calcium-enriched almond nut milk instead of dairy milk.

Precautions and Side Effects

For most people, almonds are a delicious snack that have many health benefits. Dry roasted almonds, raw almonds, and blanched almonds are all good to consume.

A nut allergy is one of the potential side effects of consuming almonds. Researchers say that if you have an allergy to one type of tree nut, then there is a potential for developing allergies to other nuts, including almonds. (36)

Other Healthy Nuts You Should Consume Daily

Walnuts: Help prevent heart disease, lowering LDL and are rich in antioxidants. Read more about them in my article “Here’s What 7 Walnuts a Day Can Do For Your Health“.

Brazil nuts: Contain high amount of selenium which may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Brazil nuts also have strong antioxidant properties, reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Read more about them in my article “Brazil Nuts: Proven Benefits, How Many to Eat Per Day, Nutrition, Calories“.

Cashew nuts: Contain bacteria-fighting components that destroy tooth decay and other infections. Find more information in my article “Cashew Nuts: Are They Good For You, Nutrition Facts, Benefits and More (Research Based)

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