5 Amazing Health Benefits of Almonds

Ready to learn about the health benefits of almonds? This food is loaded with valuable nutrients, and it can help lower blood pressure and prevent cancer.

SUMMARY

The health benefits of almonds are potent and plentiful. Rich in healthy fats and nutrients such as magnesium, this food supports weight loss, and it can help lower cholesterol. 

Fresh N’ Lean is the nation’s largest organic meal delivery service. Our tasty, chef-prepared cuisine is always fresh and never frozen, and we offer five convenient meal plans: Protein+, Keto, Paleo, Standard Vegan and Low-Carb Vegan. Choose Fresh N’ Lean for affordable nutrition, delivered to your doorstep. 

Food is a powerful tool that can be used to maintain and improve your health. 

Almonds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, rich in nutrients that can help your body maintain wellness and fight off disease in these stressful, unpredictable times. The health benefits of almonds include an ability to lower cholesterol; this food may also reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. 

Read on to learn more about the almond and its nutrient profile. We’ll also examine some of the key ways in which almonds can improve your health. 

The scoop on almonds

Though they are widely referred to as tree nuts, almonds are actually seeds. They are the edible seeds of the almond tree, which is native to Iran and surrounding regions. 

Even though the tree’s natural habitat is in the Middle East, the United States grows more almonds than any other country in the world. Spain, Iran, Morocco, Turkey and Italy are also top almond producers.

This food can be eaten raw or roasted. It may also be consumed as almond butter or almond milk. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are 579 calories in 100 grams of almonds. That portion contains the following nutrients:

  • Protein – 21.15 g
  • Carbohydrates – 21.55 g
  • Calcium – 269 mg
  • Iron – 3.71 mg
  • Magnesium – 270 mg
  • Phosphorus – 481 mg
  • Potassium – 733 mg
  • Sodium – 1 mg
  • Zinc – 3.12 mg
  • Copper – 1.031 mg
  • Manganese – 2.179 mg
  • Selenium – 4.1 µg
  • Thiamin – 0.205 mg
  • Riboflavin – 1.138 mg
  • Niacin – 3.618 mg
  • Pantothenic acid – 0.471 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.137 mg
  • Folate – 44 µg
  • Choline – 52.1 mg
  • Betaine – 0.5 mg
  • Beta carotene – 1 µg
  • Vitamin A – 2 IU 
  • Lutein + zeaxanthin – 1 µg
  • Vitamin E – 25.63 mg
  • Saturated fatty acids – 3.802 g
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids – 31.551 g
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids – 12.329 g

Now that you know what kind of nutrition almonds provide, let’s take a look at the ways in which this food can benefit your health. 

Health benefit #1: Almonds may lower overall cholesterol

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 102 million American adults have cholesterol levels that at or are above 200 mg/dL. A level this high is considered unhealthy. 

Of that group, more than 35 million have cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or higher. A cholesterol level in this range means you’re at high risk of developing heart disease. The CDC notes that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Almonds are free of cholesterol. Also, this plant-based food contains unsaturated fats that may help lower your cholesterol levels. 

A 2005 study fed participants three different diets for four weeks each: a control diet, a low-almond diet and a high-almond diet.

The study showed that almond consumption may boost the amount of vitamin E present in the plasma and red blood cells. 

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and it can help reduce oxidative stress. In so doing, it can slow or halt the process that causes cholesterol to block your arteries. 

This makes the almond a heart-healthy food that can lower cholesterol. Eat at least a couple handfuls of almonds each week to help maintain satisfactory cholesterol levels. 

Health benefit #2: Almonds may help prevent cancer

The CDC reports that breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer experienced by women in the U.S. In rare cases, this disease also occurs in men. 

It’s estimated that roughly 42,170 women will die from breast cancer this year. And this ailment is expected to take the lives of 520 men during the same time period. 

Almonds and other nuts appear to offer protection. A 2015 study showed that participants who consumed high amounts of peanuts, walnuts and almonds were two to three times less likely to develop breast cancer. 

Note that this protective benefit wasn’t present with low or moderate consumption of these foods. 

Reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by consuming at least a serving of almonds per day. 

Health benefit #3: Almonds may help lower blood sugar levels

Diabetes and prediabetes are conditions that affect more than 100 million Americans. In 2015, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in this country. 

People with diabetes often have high blood sugar, which is called hyperglycemia. Research indicates that almonds may help with the management of blood sugar levels.

A 2011 study tracked 20 people with type 2 diabetes. Participants were put on a diet that included 60 grams (2.1 ounces) of almonds per day over the course of 12 weeks. Those who consumed almonds reported improvements in blood sugar levels. 

Eat a couple ounces of almonds each day to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. 

Health benefit #4: Almonds may help lower high blood pressure

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure. This condition can put you at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. 

Almonds are a good source of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has been linked with high blood pressure. Studies show that correcting this deficiency can help to significantly decrease a person’s blood pressure levels. 

Including almonds in your diet can provide you with the magnesium you need to stave off high blood pressure. 

Health benefit #5: Almonds may help with weight management

Many of us struggle with unwanted weight gain from time to time. Almonds have qualities that may help promote weight loss. 

Almonds contain lots of protein, fiber and healthy fats. This makeup of nutrients can leave you feeling full and reduce your appetite. This may ultimately cause a reduction in caloric intake, and that can help you lose weight.

In one study, a mid-morning almond snack was shown to increase satiety in ways that can have a positive effect on appetite control. 

Add a moderate amount of almonds to your diet if you’re hoping to shed a few pounds. 

Next steps 

Whether you’re looking to lower cholesterol, reduce blood sugar or lose weight, almonds have beneficial properties that can support you on your journey. 

Fresh N’ Lean provides healthy meal delivery that can help you add more almonds to your diet in the most convenient way possible. Our meal plans include dishes such as Strawberry Almond Oatmeal and Almond-Crusted Sustainable Cod. We also offer a la carte almond snacks. 

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