BENEFITS OF ALMONDS-
Almonds and cholesterol
Almonds are high in fat, but it is unsaturated fat. This type of fat does not increase the risk of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol.
In moderation, the American Heart Association (AHA) notes that unsaturated fats may improve a person’s blood cholesterol status.
In addition, almonds contain no cholesterol.
A study from 2005 suggests that consuming almonds may:
- increase vitamin E levels in the plasma and red blood cells
- lower overall cholesterol levels
According to these researchers, vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help stop the oxidization process that causes cholesterol to clog the arteries.
Further studies have found similar results.
Authors of a 2018 review note that the nutrients in almonds may help boost or maintain levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. They advised people to consume around 45 grams a day of almonds to protect heart health.
Almonds and heart disease
Almonds, along with other nuts and seeds, may help improve lipid, or fat, levels in the blood. This can benefit heart health.
In a study from 2014, scientists found that almonds significantly increased the levels of antioxidants in the bloodstream, reduced blood pressure, and improved blood flow. The participants were all healthy males from 20–70 years of age who took 50g of almonds per day for 4 weeks.
The researchers believe this may be due to:
- vitamin E, healthy fats, and fiber, which help a person feel full
- the antioxidant impact of flavonoids
They recommend eating a handful of almonds a day to obtain these benefits.
Almonds and vitamin E
Almonds contain relatively high levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E contains antioxidants, such as tocopherol. One ounce (28.4 g) of plain almonds provides 7.27 milligrams (mg) of vitamin E, which is around 50% of a person’s daily requirement.
Vitamin E and other antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage in the body. This damage can occur when too many free radicals accumulate.
Free radicals result from natural bodily processes and environmental stresses. The body can eliminate many of them, but dietary antioxidants help remove them, too. High levels of free radicals can cause oxidative stress, resulting in damage to cells. This can lead to various diseases and health problems.
Scientists have also tentatively linked a higher vitamin E intake with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Almonds and blood sugar
There is some evidence that almonds may help manage blood sugar levels.
Many people with type 2 diabetes have low magnesium levels. This deficiency is common among those who have difficulty managing their blood sugar levels. Scientists have suggested there may be a link between magnesium deficiency and insulin resistance.
In a 2011 study, 20 people with type 2 diabetes ate 60g of almonds a day for 12 weeks. Overall, they saw improvements in:
- blood sugar levels
- blood lipid, or fat, levels
One ounce of almonds provides 76.5 mg of magnesium, or between 18% and 24% of an adult’s daily requirement.
Some experts suggest using magnesium supplements to improve blood sugar profiles, but almonds may offer a suitable dietary source instead.
Almonds help manage weight
Almonds are low in carbohydrates but high in protein, healthful fats, and fiber.
According to research appearing in 2015, eating almonds as a mid-morning snack can leave a person feeling full for some time. Feeling full can help people lose weight, as they will be less tempted to seek more snacks.
Almonds boost bone health
Almonds contain calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin K, protein, and zinc, all of which help contribute to overall bone health.
Experts have recommended almonds as a way to obtain some of these vital nutrients.
The table below shows the amount of each nutrient in one ounce (28.4 g) of almonds. This is approximately equivalent to a handful of almonds or around 23 almond kernels.
|Nutrient||Amount in 1 ounce||Daily adult requirement|
|Carbohydrate (g)||6.1, including 1.2 g of sugar||130|
|Fat (g)||14.2, of which 12.4 g is unsaturated||20%–35% of daily calories|
|Selenium (micrograms or mcg)||1.2||55|
|Folate (mcg, DFE)||12.5||300–400|
|Vitamin E (mg)||7.27||15|
*B vitamins, choline and protein may be lacking in a plant-based diet. People who follow a vegan diet can supplement their needs by eating almonds.