Nutritional & Health Benefits of Almonds
This week we will talk about the nutritional and health benefits of almonds. Almonds are often referred to as nuts, but botanically they are actually very small stone fruits related to other fruits like cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots. Almonds have an impressive nutrient profile and they have been prized since ancient times and are believed to be the oldest widely grown of all “nut” crops.
Me personally, I love eating them as a snack and I prefer them natural – unsalted and unroasted. But you may prefer it in your porridge, or in your cake, or in your rice or in any other way you can imagine 😊! There are also other forms to consume almonds like almond butter, almond flour, or even almond milk.
But let’s see what the benefits of eating almonds are.
- Almonds are high in monounsaturated fat which helps to protect the heart by maintaining the level of “good” HDL cholesterol vs. “bad” LDL cholesterol. They are a great source of fiber and protein, and important nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins (biotin and folate).
- Almonds are packed with magnesium. Deficiency in magnesium is strongly linked to high blood pressure which is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Moreover, high magnesium intake may offer major improvements for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
- Almonds are high in antioxidants that can protect you against oxidative stress, inflammation, aging and diseases like cancer. One of the most powerful antioxidants almonds have is vitamin E. High vitamin E intake is linked with lower heart rates diseases, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Keep in mind that the antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin
- While almonds are high calories, eating them doesn’t promote weight gain. On the contrary, there are studies suggesting that almonds can enhance weight loss. In addition, eating almonds can increase fullness and help you eat fewer calories due to their high content in protein and fiber.
- Almonds are good for brain health because they are a great source of vitamin E, folate, unsaturated fatty acids, and l-carnitine, known for its neuroprotective benefits.
To sum up, almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack with plenty of health benefits. Just a handful of almonds per day helps promote heart and brain health, prevent weight gain, and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's. With all those benefits why not include them in your diet 😉