Almonds are nutritionally dense with a wide range of nutrients and minerals. Technically they are edible seeds but are commonly viewed as nuts by most people. They are rich in vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, and are loaded with antioxidants. They have a decent amount of vitamin B2 and copper. Almonds also have fat, protein, and fibre. Here are the benefits of consuming almonds.
Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from oxidative stress which can damage them leading to ageing and diseases related to inflammation including cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Most of the antioxidants are concentrated in the skin of the almonds which is why you should go for the ones that are not peeled. One study involving 60 male smokers found that eating almonds daily reduced oxidative stress biomarkers by 23-34% over a four-week period.
Reduce the risk of heart disease
High cholesterol levels and high blood pressure are both risk factors for heart disease. Almonds protect the heart in a variety of ways, they have nutrients that protect the heart including unsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin E, copper, and manganese. They also protect the heart by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Magnesium in almonds helps lower blood pressure. A deficiency in magnesium is linked to high blood pressure and consuming it can help correct this.
There are two types of cholesterol in the body, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) which is the bad cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which is the good cholesterol. Almonds help lower the levels of the bad kind of cholesterol. One study found that eating almonds daily lowers LDL cholesterol while maintaining good levels of HDL.
Control blood sugar levels
Almonds may help reduce sugar spikes after meals. This modulation is incredibly important for diabetics who often experience sugar spikes after meals. They are diabetes-friendly because they are healthy in fats, protein, and fibre. Magnesium plays a key role in blood sugar control. Research shows that people with type 2 diabetes are deficient in magnesium and fixing the deficiency lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin function. In this way, almonds reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Aid in losing weight
Almonds have a satiating effect that aids in weight loss. They help you feel fuller for longer keeping you from reaching for unhealthy snacks. The high protein and fibre content are responsible for this effect. One study with 65 obese adults recorded 62% weight loss over the 24-week trial period. Consuming it can help you manage a healthy weight.
Rich in vitamin E
Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E which has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. They also have other nutrients known to protect brain health including folate and unsaturated fatty acids with studies suggesting it may boost memory.
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Almonds are a great source of phosphorus, a mineral that plays a role in the development of strong bones and teeth. Phosphorus also helps prevent the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis. One study found that consuming almonds was linked to increased bone mineral density.
Likely because of its high fibre content, consuming almonds has been linked to good gut health. It alters the composition of the gut microbiome in a way that improves gut health. A healthier gut means a healthier immune system and a stronger body.
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