July 16, 2024
9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Almonds

Almonds are high in antioxidants, vitamin E, protein, and fiber. This nutrient-rich nut is an excellent addition to any diet since it is a versatile ingredient linked to several health benefits.

1. Almonds deliver a massive amount of nutrients

Almonds are the edible seeds of Prunus dulcis, more commonly called the almond tree. They are native to the Middle East, but the United States is now the world’s largest producer. The almonds you can buy in stores usually have the shell removed, revealing the edible nut inside. They are sold either raw or roasted. They are also used to produce products like almond milk, oil, butter, flour, paste, or marzipan.

Almonds boast an impressive nutrient profile. A 1-ounce (oz), or 28-gram (g), serving of almonds contains:

  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Fat: 14 g (9 of which are monounsaturated)
  • Vitamin E: 48% of the daily value (DV)
  • Manganese: 27% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 18% of the DV
  • A decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and phosphorus

This is all from a small handful of almonds, which has 164 calories and 6 grams of carbohydrates, which includes 3.5 grams of fiber.

It is important to note that your body does not absorb about 6% of the fats in almonds because this fat is inaccessible to digestive enzymes. Almonds are also high in phytic acid, a substance that binds certain minerals and prevents them from being absorbed by the body.

SUMMARY Almonds are very popular tree nuts. They are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein, and various important nutrients.

2. Almonds are loaded with antioxidants

Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in your cells and contribute to inflammation, aging, and diseases like cancer.

The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of their skin. For this reason, blanched almonds — those with skin removed — have less antioxidant capacity. This means they may not offer the same anti-inflammatory capabilities.

A 2022 analysis of 16 clinical trials found that eating up to 60 g (about 2.25 oz) of almonds per day reduced two different markers of inflammation in the body. These findings support those of another study, which found that eating 2 oz (56 g) of almonds daily for 12 weeks reduced markers of inflammation among a group of over 200 participants between ages 16 and 25.

SUMMARY Almonds are high in antioxidants that can protect your cells from oxidative damage, a major contributor to aging and disease.

9 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Almonds

3. Almonds are high in vitamin E

Vitamin E is a family of fat-soluble antioxidants. Almonds are among the world’s best sources of vitamin E. Just 1 oz provides 48% of the DV. Several studies have linked higher vitamin E intake with lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, more research is needed to fully confirm these benefits.

SUMMARY Almonds are among the world’s best sources of vitamin E. Getting plenty of vitamin E from foods is linked to numerous health benefits.

4. Almonds can assist with blood sugar control

Nuts are low in carbs but high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. This makes them a perfect choice for people with diabetes. Another boon of almonds is their remarkably high amount of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral involved in more than 300 bodily processes, including blood sugar management. Adequate magnesium intake has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and improved blood sugar management in people with diabetes. Magnesium may also be linked to reductions in insulin resistance among people with and without diabetes. This indicates that foods high in magnesium, such as almonds, may help prevent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

SUMMARY Almonds are extremely high in magnesium, a mineral that many people don’t get enough of. High magnesium intake may offer major improvements for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

5. Magnesium also benefits blood pressure levels

The magnesium in almonds may also help lower blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Several meta-analyses have suggested that magnesium supplementation can significantly lower blood pressure among people with and without high blood pressure, as well as people with preexisting chronic disease. Adding one to two servings of almonds to your diet can help you meet the recommended daily magnesium intake, which may have positive effects on your health.

SUMMARY Low magnesium levels are strongly linked to high blood pressure, indicating that almonds can help manage blood pressure.

6. Almonds can lower cholesterol levels

High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) in your blood — also known as “bad” cholesterol — are a well-known risk factor for heart disease. Some studies have suggested almonds may be effective in lowering LDL. Eating one or two handfuls of almonds per day can lead to mild reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

SUMMARY Eating one or two handfuls of almonds per day can lead to mild reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

7. Almonds prevent harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol

Almonds do more than just lower LDL levels in your blood. They also protect LDL from oxidation, which is a crucial step in the development of atherosclerosis. Almond skin is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in test-tube and animal studies. This may lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time. More research, including larger human studies, is needed to confirm this.

SUMMARY Snacking on almonds may significantly reduce oxidized LDL, which is a crucial step in the development of atherosclerosis.

8. Eating almonds reduces hunger

Almonds are high in protein and fiber, both of which are known to increase feelings of fullness. One 4-week study showed that a daily serving of almonds significantly reduced hunger and the desire to eat. Numerous other studies support the hunger-fighting effects of nuts.

SUMMARY Nuts are high in protein and fiber. Studies show that eating almonds and other nuts can increase fullness and help prevent overeating.

9. Almonds may be effective for weight loss

Nuts contain several nutrients that your body struggles to break down and digest. Your body does not absorb about 6% of the calories in nuts. Additionally, some evidence suggests that eating nuts can boost metabolism slightly. Due to their satiating properties, nuts are a great addition to an effective weight loss diet. Quality human research supports this. A review of 64 clinical trials and 14 meta-analyses reported that almonds were the only nut that showed a small but significant reduction in body weight and fat mass. Another study including 100 overweight women found that those consuming almonds.