You may not agree, but we think great things come in small packages. Take almonds, for example. These 9 amazing almond health benefits just scratch the surface. (1)
Almonds are a beloved healthy snack, consumed by cultures around the world. In fact, they were popular in ancient Egyptian and Indian diets. Ancient Indian Ayurvedic practitioners even believed these nuts could increase brain capacity, intellectual potency, and longevity. And as there are numerous almond health benefits, such as preventing diseases and improving the condition of your skin, you should consider consuming more almonds in your diet.
Check out these 9 amazing health benefits of almonds:
1. Help Prevent Heart Disease and Heart Attacks
Almond health benefits include prevention of heart disease as well as heart attacks. Two of the key components of almonds are healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and antioxidants. These items support heart health and can help prevent cardiovascular disease. (2)
Furthermore, almond skins contain antioxidant flavonoids, which are plant-based compounds that work with vitamin E to improve the health of your arteries as well as reduce inflammation. (3)
Another way almond health benefits your heart, studies show, is by lowering LDL, or the bad cholesterol levels. (4) Additionally, almond health benefits include a laundry list of nutrients, such as arginine, magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium and potassium, all of which promote heart health.
And last but not least, almond health benefits include prevention of artery wall damage as well as protection against plaque buildup.
2. Support Healthy Brain Function
Almond health benefits include the ability to protect the brain, as well. In fact, they are considered by some to be one of the best brain foods. Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, two key nutrients that are capable of promoting neurological activity. Furthermore, these nutrients can help prevent cognitive decline. As you can imagine, this is pertinent to those who have dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. For this very reason, the elderly are encouraged to eat nuts several times per week. To help prevent cognitive decline, make almonds part of your diet. (5)
3. Maintain Skin Health
Almond health benefits extend to the skin, as well. They’re a great source of vitamin E and other antioxidants that nourish thirsty, dry skin and reduce signs of aging. In fact, research shows that almonds contain high amounts of compounds that fight skin cancer as well as damage brought on by such factors as poor diet, pollution, and UV light exposure. (6)
And another way almonds benefits the skin is through the ability to help heal wounds. This occurs due to the healthy fats almonds contain, as well as their ability to improve circulation.
4. Help Control Blood Sugar Levels and Prevent Diabetes
Almonds are rich in MUFAs, which helps slow the rate at which glucose, or sugar, is released into the bloodstream. In this way, almond health benefits extend to prevention of diabetes, as well. Also, it doesn’t hurt to turn to a healthy, low sugar snack instead of a high sugar, highly processed alternative. Diabetics know that keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range promotes well-being. (7)
5. Help With Weight Loss and Prevent Overeating
When it comes to weight loss, healthy fats and dietary fiber can be a big help. They keep you from overeating and from snacking on unhealthy options. And while nuts like almonds are high in fat and calories, they also prolong the feeling of being full after you eat them. Plus, they keep your blood sugar more stable than do meals low in fat. As such, you’re less likely to experience dips in energy and strong food cravings.
There are studies that show almonds support healthy metabolism as well. And other studies show that when diets eat almonds every day, they are less likely to eat too many carbs and are therefore more likely to reach and maintain a healthy weight. (8)
6. Increase Nutrient Absorption
Your body needs enough fat in order to absorb certain nutrients, such as vitamins A and D. This is another area in which almond health benefits come into play. Not only are almonds a good source of healthy fats, the nutrients in almonds may also help regulate digestive enzymes that are involved in nutrient distraction. (9)
7. Increase Digestive Health
Almonds benefit the digestive system in other ways, as well. For example, almonds contain probiotic components that help with digestion, detoxification and healthy bacterial growth with the gut flora. This is key to your body using nutrients from the food you feed it.
In fact, one study from 2014 found that women who ate a daily dose of 56 grams of almonds over an eight-week period saw significant increases in the populations of healthy bacteria. (10)
8. Can Help Fight Cancer and Inflammation
Almonds contain gamma-tocopherol, which is a type of vitamin E that acts as a powerful antioxidant. It fights free radical damage as well as oxidative stress, both of which are linked to cancer. In fact, several studies have found a link between nut consumption and cancer prevention, including a reduced risk for colon, prostate, and breast cancers. (11)
9. Help Maintain Dental and Bone Health
Almond nutrition also includes trace minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus. These nutrients are crucial for building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. Calcium plays a role, and almonds have that, too. Almonds can help prevent tooth decay, fight cavities, lower the risk for bone fractures, and fight osteoporosis. (12)