Almonds are one of the world’s most popular tree fruits. These blockbuster nuts are native to Iran and surrounding countries, but today they are widely cultivated in Morocco, Greece, Spain, and the United States.
Even though most people consume almonds for the taste, these nuts are nutrient powerhouses. Whether consumed whole, chopped, or ground into flour, almonds provide several amazing health benefits. This article will go over five research-backed benefits of incorporating almonds into your meals.
The almonds that you can buy in stores are usually either raw or roasted. They may also be used to produce almond milk, flour, oil, butter, or marzipan paste. Almonds' health benefits are associated with the fruit’s impressive nutrient profile.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one ounce of almonds, which is about 23 whole nuts, provides the following:
Despite its rich nutrient content, this portion of almonds supplies 162 calories. However, your body doesn’t absorb about 10% of these calories because your digestive enzymes can’t absorb some of the fat in almonds.
Almonds, however, contain phytic acid, a stored form of phosphorus that binds minerals like iron and zinc, preventing the body from absorbing them. Phytic acid is an antioxidant with some health benefits.
Adding almonds to your diet comes with the following health benefits:
Nuts contain a variety of nutrients that your body may find difficult to break down or digest. Your body doesn’t absorb 10 to 15% of the calories in nuts, including almonds. Furthermore, evidence shows that eating nuts can slightly boost metabolism.
Nuts make a great addition to a weight loss diet because they have satiating properties. A study showed that a low-calorie diet of almonds promotes weight loss better than diets enriched with complex carbohydrates.
Another study on overweight women found that women who consumed almonds lost weight better than others on a nut-free diet. What’s more, the women that consumed almonds also enjoyed improvements in waist circumference and other health markers.
Almonds are rich in magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is one of the major causes of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Health experts have associated magnesium deficiency with high blood pressure.
A study showed that correcting magnesium deficiency can cause your blood pressure to reduce. If you are struggling to meet the dietary recommendations for magnesium, adding almonds to your diet could be hugely beneficial.
Another study observed the effects of almonds on adults with high levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol. The results showed that eating almonds decreased LDL cholesterol.
Nuts are low in carbs but pack a healthy dose of fats, protein, and fiber, making them a great choice for people with diabetes.
Additionally, studies show that magnesium is involved in more than 300 bodily processes, including blood sugar regulation. 2 ounces of almonds provide almost half of your recommended daily intake of magnesium.
About 30% of people with type 2 diabetes suffer from magnesium deficiency. Remedying this deficiency can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin function. Even people without diabetes enjoy significant reductions in insulin resistance when they use magnesium supplements.
Almonds act as prebiotics, both in their raw form and when roasted. Prebiotics serve as food for beneficial bacteria in your gut, which are linked to immunity and anti-inflammation. A 2016 study found that college students who ate almonds as a snack for eight weeks experienced important changes in their gut microbiome makeup.
The study showed that the students experienced a decrease in a pathogenic bacterium and an increase in the diversity of helpful bacteria. Some of these beneficial bacteria have been associated with weight management, insulin function, and cholesterol regulation.
Almonds may support skin health by countering aging. In a 2019 randomized study, healthy postmenopausal women were divided into two groups. Almonds made up 20% of the daily calories for one group, while the others didn’t consume almonds.
Researchers discovered that the group that consumed almonds had a significant reduction in wrinkle severity and width when compared to the other group.
Almonds are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects skin cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and UV rays. The nut also contains small amounts of riboflavin and niacin, which help maintain healthy skin.
Almonds are healthy, and they provide a range of essential nutrients. They can also be a good source of protein if you follow a plant-based diet. They are extremely adaptable, so you should have no trouble incorporating them into your diet. If you have a nut allergy, however, avoid eating almonds.