Almonds are quintessential superfoods packed with proteins, vitamin E, fiber, iron, and calcium. They are also high in antioxidants, minerals, and healthy fats. Plus, they’re tasty and a perfect quick snack to have on you every day. Almonds were also a big part of ancient Indians’ and Egyptians’ diets.
Table of Contents
- Almond Health benefits
- 1. Support your weight loss
- 2. Might reduce the risk of cancer
- 3. Reduce your total caloric intake
- 4. Support a healthy pregnancy
- 5. Regulate cholesterol levels
- 6. Strengthen your bones
- 7. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
- 8. Regulate your blood pressure
- 9. Help you have a smooth and elastic skin
- 10. Keep blood sugar levels under control
Almond Health benefits
Let’s talk about the various ways in which almonds can improve your health and more.
1. Support your weight loss
Research suggests that almonds might help you shed some unwanted pounds. According to various studies, people eating a diet rich in almonds lost more weight than those with a high-carb diet but the same calorie intake.
How so? Well, first of all, almonds make you feel full for longer. So, you can sprinkle some on your salads or toss a handful into your morning cereal, which should keep you going until noon.
Secondly, researchers believe that our bodies do not absorb all the fat in almonds. The cell walls might act as a physical barrier to that. So, when we eat almonds, we only assimilate 10 – 15% of their calories.
Thirdly, there is evidence that almonds can boost metabolism. So, despite their high content of fat, almonds can support you in your weight-loss journey.
One study in 100 overweight women found that those who were eating almonds lost more weight and showed some considerable improvements in waist circumference and other health markers compared to those on an almond-free diet.
2. Might reduce the risk of cancer
Some epidemiologic studies suggest that some forms of cancer are more common among a population with a limited intake of certain nutrients and vitamins, such as folic acid or vitamin A.
Almonds are rich in vitamin B and flavonoids that can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Their substantial content of boron can help prevent prostate cancer.
In a study from 2015, scientists found a strong association between the consumption of nuts and the development of breast cancer. More precisely, a high intake of walnuts, peanuts, and almonds significantly helped to decrease the risk of breast cancer by 2-3 times.
Of course, saying that almonds can prevent cancer is a big statement. Therefore, more research is needed to know for sure. However, what we do know is that almonds are a good and nutritious choice to add to your diet that can strengthen your body. Don’t underestimate them!
3. Reduce your total caloric intake
Almonds are a smart and energizing snack for weight management. They are rich in protein and fiber and low in carbs. Isn’t that just lovely?
Besides, their high content of fiber and protein will help you feel satiated and remove those annoying cravings that always trick you into eating a couple more calories than needed. We’ve all been there. So, whenever that craving hits, make sure you have a bag of almonds on you. They really are your allies against those naughty calories.
Studies also suggest that almonds are a tremendous hunger-fighting snack. For example, a study in 137 participants has proved that consuming 43 grams of almonds a day can significantly reduce hunger and the desire to keep eating.
Moreover, almonds could also help with belly fat reduction. Studies showed that people who snacked on almonds had a lower hunger drive compared to those who ate crackers. Almonds might also help you suppress that unconscious desire to consume high-fat foods. So, stick to almonds, folks!
4. Support a healthy pregnancy
The present research suggests that eating peanuts, almonds, or walnuts during pregnancy is very helpful for the growth and development of the baby. In general, during pregnancy, you should have a diet high in nutrients. Almonds are packed with key nutrients like calcium, dietary fiber, protein, magnesium, vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids. Specialists recommend consuming about 20 almonds every day during pregnancy for a healthy baby and mother.
A small caveat here – would-be-mothers who are allergic to nuts should avoid any consumption during pregnancy.
However, if you are not allergic, almonds will help you fulfill your nutritional needs, and you should definitely add them to your pregnancy diet. In fact, an interesting study has found that consuming 3 almonds per day during pregnancy can reduce nut allergies in babies.
5. Regulate cholesterol levels
Almonds help prevent LDL oxidation which can have various clinical implications. Oxidized LDL cholesterol can lead to inflammation and the formation of plaque in the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Oxidized LDL is also bad news for your triglycerides levels, increasing the amount of fat deposits in the body.
According to various test-tube and animal studies, the rich content of polyphenol antioxidants from the almond skin can help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. The effect is made stronger by other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
One interesting study in humans has shown that consuming almonds every day for one month can lower the levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol by 14%.
All in all, almonds and other nuts are your best friends when it comes to regulating blood cholesterol. A diet supplemented with nuts can lower the risk of heart attacks.
So, add some almonds to your morning oatmeal or salad, and make sure you keep them close for a snack.
6. Strengthen your bones
Almonds are rich in calcium, magnesium, copper, vitamin K, manganese, protein, and zinc. That is excellent news for your bone health.
They can help prevent osteoporosis and strengthen your bones, teeth, and muscles. So, get into the habit of eating almonds every day to boost your bone mineral density.
You can eat almonds raw or toasted. Snack on them or add them to your favorite dishes. There are actually more derivates that you can cook with, such as almond flour, almond oil, butter, or milk. So, add almonds to your grocery list next time you go shopping.
7. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
As we have seen so far, almonds have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels, helping reduce the LDL lipoproteins in your blood, also known as “bad cholesterol”. This potentially reduces the risk of heart disease, as cholesterol is one of the main causes of cardiovascular problems.
Studies have shown that eating almonds five times a week reduces the risk of a heart attack by 50%. Let’s not forget that almonds are rich in vitamin E, which also contributes to reducing the risk of heart disease.
As part of a 16-week study, 65 people with diabetes had a diet where 20% of their calories came from almonds. Over the course of the study, their LDL cholesterol levels lowered by an average of 12.4 mg/dL.
According to another study, people who ate 42 grams of almonds a day lowered their LDL cholesterol levels by 5.3 mg/dL while keeping good HDL cholesterol levels. They also managed to lose belly fat.
Isn’t that impressive? Almonds help reduce the bad cholesterol levels and the C-reactive protein, which can damage the arteries. Therefore, almonds are a super-food rich in heart-healthy nutrients that help you keep a strong heart.
8. Regulate your blood pressure
Studies have shown that almonds increase the amount of antioxidants in the bloodstream, reducing blood pressure and improving blood flow.
As part of a study from the Aston University in Birmingham, UK, researchers have found that an almond-rich diet helped improve blood flow and lower blood pressure levels, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease. Healthy young and middle-aged men, as well as young men with cardiovascular risk factors and overweight people, took part in the study. All of them saw improvements.
Almonds are rich in magnesium, and that also helps decrease blood pressure levels, preventing heart attacks, strokes, and kidney diseases.
So, in case you are struggling with high blood pressure, you might want to check your magnesium levels. Correcting a magnesium deficiency can significantly lower your blood pressure. If you cannot get your magnesium levels high, try adding almonds to your daily diet, and that will make a huge impact.
You see, almonds are superfoods, and you are super-missing on key nutrients if you do not add almonds to your grocery list today.
9. Help you have a smooth and elastic skin
The Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was famous for her beautiful looks. Almonds were said to be part of her diet and skincare routine.
She might have been onto something because almonds are rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants, nourishing the skin.
You can apply almond oil and milk to the skin to protect against damage caused by sun exposure. More than that, you can add almonds to your diet to help your skin keep its elasticity and softness.
Almonds might be your anti-aging beauty secret as well. Thanks to their high content of vitamin E, almonds prevent the cells in your body from premature aging. Moreover, they help boost the production of natural collagen in your body. So, you might want to listen to Cleopatra and add almonds to your list, right?
10. Keep blood sugar levels under control
Almonds are a diabetes-friendly food that can reduce glucose and insulin levels after meals. So, snacking on almonds is almost always a good idea.
According to a 2010 study, eating almonds could significantly increase insulin sensitivity in people with a predisposition to diabetes.
Moreover, almonds are rich in healthy fats, protein, and fiber; not to mention their insanely high content of magnesium.
What is interesting is that magnesium is involved in more than 300 body processes, especially blood sugar control. A person needs about 310-420 mg of magnesium a day. 43 almonds will get you 150 mg of magnesium. That’s pretty impressive.
What is even more interesting is that 25%- 38% of people with type 2 diabetes are deficient in magnesium. So, correcting this deficiency could significantly improve insulin function.
Therefore, you need magnesium-rich foods to prevent type 2 diabetes or other metabolic syndromes. It isn’t that difficult, isn’t it? Almonds are tasty and easy to snack on or add to salads. So, why wouldn’t you put them on your grocery list next time, right?