5 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds are a popular nut – can find them in cereals, as toppings, or we just have them as snacks.
Although some people shun them because they are high in fat, they are actually high in good fats, and if eaten in a balanced nutrition plan they can be a very nutritious and healthy addition to your day.
Here are 6 evidence-based health benefits of almonds.
1. What is an Almond, really?
An almond is actually an edible seed that grows on the tree Prunus dulcis.
At the store when you buy almonds they usually already ave the shell removed, you didn’t know that did you?!?! Well what you buy is usually the edible nut!
Here’s how nutrition almonds are:
A small handful serving of almonds contains:
- Fiber: 3.5 grams.
- Protein: 6 grams.
- Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated).
- Vitamin E: 37% of the current RDA.
- Manganese: 32% of the current RDA.
- Magnesium: 20% of the current RDA.
- They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.
This = 1 ounce, 28 grams.
This is all from a small handful, which supplies only 161 calories and 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates.
2. Want to be less Hungry? (Which will cause you naturally to eat less calories? )
Here’s why almonds do the trick with this! Almonds are low in carbs, and high in both protein and fiber. Keep reading keep reading, following along here….
Both protein and fiber are known to increase satiety, which is how full we fell, how satisfied we will. And this is why we eat less!
In a 4-week study with 137 participants, a daily 1.5 ounce (43 grams) serving of almonds significantly reduced hunger and desire to eat (35).
Take home point: Nuts are low in carbs, but high in protein and fiber. Studies show that eating almonds (and other nuts) can increase satiety and help you eat fewer calories.
3. Almonds Are King for Weight Loss
Nuts contain several nutrients that are hard for the body to break down and digest.
About 10-15% of the calories in nuts aren’t absorbed, and there is some evidence that eating nuts can boost metabolism slightly (38).
Combined with #2 just described above, it shows you why if you’re trying to lose weight, it makes great sense to add Almonds into your weight loss plan!
There are actually some studies to support this as well:
Study: A low-calorie diet with 3 ounces (84 grams) of almonds increased weight loss by 62% compared to a diet enriched with complex carbohydrates (39).
Study: 100 overweight women found that those consuming almonds lost more weight than those in the nut-free group. They also had improvements in waist circumference and other health markers (40).
So don’t be fooled that almonds are “high fat” so you have to stay away from them.
So, despite being high in fat, almonds are most definitely a weight loss friendly food.
But if you are binge -eater, you don’t want to binge on nuts though!
4. Almonds Can Help With Blood Sugar Control
If you have diabetes, the Almond may be perfect for you.
Nuts are low in carbs, but high in healthy fats, protein and fiber.
However, another thing that sets almonds apart, is their remarkably high amount of magnesium.
And what people don’t know, because they actually know so little about this mineral, is that Almonds are high in Magnesium.
Often overlooked, Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of bodily processes, including blood sugar control.
The current recommended intake for magnesium is 310-420 mg.
Two ounces of almonds provide almost half of that, with 150 mg of this important mineral.
This indicates that high magnesium foods (like almonds) may be beneficial for prevention of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, both of which are growing steadily in this country, and around the world.
Take Home Point: Almonds are high in magnesium, a mineral that most people don’t get enough of.
5. Magnesium Also Has Benefits For Blood Pressure Levels
The magnesium in almonds may also help to lower blood pressure levels.
High blood pressure is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
Given that the majority of US adults do not meet the dietary recommendations for magnesium, the addition of almonds to the diet could have a huge impact.
Take Home Point: Low magnesium levels are strongly linked to high blood pressure, so Almonds can help with controlling this.
Take Home Message
Almonds are very nutritious and can help us out a lot, especially if we have these conditions or are trying to prevent!
Check with your health care professional if you are on a special meal plan already.
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