Almonds are the world’s most famous tree nut. They are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Native to the Middle East, these nuts have an impressive nutritional profile which makes them a great addition to an already healthy lifestyle.
Here are seven science-backed reasons to eat a handful of almonds daily.
Almonds are loaded with nutrition
Almonds are extremely healthy. A one-ounce serving contains:
- 3.5 grams of fiber
- 6 grams of protein
- 14 grams of fat
- 37% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E
- 32% of the recommended daily amount of manganese
- 20% of the recommended daily amount of magnesium
- A good amount of copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorus
Almonds contain powerful antioxidants
Almonds are an amazing source of antioxidants (found mostly in brown layer of skin) which protect against oxidative stress leading to inflammation, premature aging, and serious health conditions such as cancer. In one study, it was found that 3 ounces of almonds per day reduced oxidative stress biomarkers by 23-34% over a period of 4 weeks. Another study found that eating almonds with meals reduces some markers of oxidative damage.
Almonds can help balance blood sugar
Because almonds are low in carbs and high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they are an excellent choice to balance blood sugar. Almonds also contain a high amount of magnesium, a mineral that is involved in more than 300 bodily processes, including the regulation of blood sugar. Many people with type 2 diabetes are deficient in magnesium, and correcting this deficiency helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin function. Additionally, people who supplement with magnesium experience a significant reduction in insulin resistance. Eating foods high in magnesium, such as almonds, can help prevent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Almonds are high in vitamin E
Almonds are one of the worlds best sources of vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that builds up defenses in cell membranes against oxidative damage. Just one serving gives you 37% of the recommended daily value of this critical vitamin. Research has shown that vitamin E can reduce rates of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Almonds can lower cholesterol
Having a high amount of LDL lipoproteins has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. What you eat can significantly impact levels of LDL in your blood. Research shows that almonds can lower LDL. One study found that people with prediabetes who ate 20% of their calories from almonds for 16 weeks had an average reduction in LDL cholesterol levels of 12..4mg/dL. Another study found that participants who ate 1.5 ounces of almonds per day experienced lowered LDL cholesterol and stable “good” cholesterol while losing belly fat.
Eating almonds reduces hunger
If you are prone to hunger, almonds are a great addition to an already healthy diet. This low carb, high protein, and fiber tree nut helps to keep you feeling fuller longer while helping you reduce the number of calories that you eat. In one study of 137 people, it was found that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds daily reduced hunger and significantly diminished the desire to eat. Other studies report the appetite-curbing benefits of nuts.
How to enjoy more almonds daily
- Keep a bag of raw almonds in your desk drawer and eat a handful daily
- Add almonds to your salads
- Add organic almond butter to smoothies or oatmeal
- Make a delicious and nutritious homemade trail mix using almonds
- Add raw almonds to yogurt
-The UpWellness Team