almonds

Health Benefits of Almonds [Evidence Based]

Almonds, boast an incredibly impressive nutrient profile – high in proteins, fibers, vitamins & good fats but low in carbs. No doubt, there are several health benefits of almonds for our overall well being.

There are multiple health benefits of Almonds for our Heart & Brain and also it plays a vital role in preventing and curing certain types of Cancer.

In this evidence-based article, we’re going to discuss these health benefits & also talk about several pieces of research that back them up.

Health Benefits of Almonds

▪ Health Benefits for the Heart

Almonds are rich in monosaturated fats, proteins & potassium which is instrumental in heart health. It is also rich in Vitamin E & magnesium which can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases & also help avoid heart attacks. Flavonoids, combined with Vitamin Ecan form a powerful shield against artery wall damage.

Almonds are rich in folic acid. It can reduce the levels of homocysteine, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries.

Studies have also shown that Potassium, present in small quantities in Almonds, can help in regulating blood pressure & low levels of sodium.

Recent research, published in 2014, scientists linked almonds to an increased amount of antioxidants in the bloodstream, reduced blood pressure & improved blood flow.

Studies have also shown the response of almonds on coronary heart diseases & research has linked Vitamin E to reduced risk of coronary diseases in Women.

▪ Health Benefits for the Brain

Almonds are linked to higher intellectual levels & are considered essential for growing children. They are a rich source of many nutrients that help in the overall development of the human brain.

Almonds have two vital brain nutrients – riboflavin & L-carnitine, both have shown increased brain activity, building new neural paths & reduced occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.

They are also rich in Vitamin E, which prevents oxidative damage to brain cells & has links to reduced cognitive decline  & Alzheimer’s disease in older people.

Soaked almonds are a better option for brain health as absorption of nutrients is more natural.

▪ Almonds are Full of Nutrients & Antioxidants

As we mentioned in the introduction, Almonds do boast an incredible nutrient profile. About 1 Ounce ( 20~23 seeds ) of Almonds contain 3.5grams of fiber, 6grams of protein, 14grams of fat, Vitamin E, Manganese, Magnesium & decent amounts of Copper, Phosphorus & Vitamin B2.

Impressively, this is only about 161 calories & 2.5 grams of carbohydrates.

Almonds are also very rich in Antioxidants, that can prevent oxidative stress in cell molecules. Studies have found that Antioxidants can slow down aging & prevent certain diseases like cancer. These Antioxidants are primarily in the thin brown layer of Almonds.

▪ Preventing & Healing Cancer

A handful of nuts a day can keep cancer away. We’ll focus on the ‘Almonds part’ here. There are incredible health benefits of almonds, preventing & in some cases curing Cancer is one of them.

A Harvard Study claimed that increasing nut consumption significantly reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer in women.

Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation in 2015 concluded that individuals consuming a higher quantity of nuts had 2-3 times lower risk of breast cancer.

Another Study claimed Almonds could prevent colon cancer. Almonds improve food movement through the colon, which thereby prevents build-up & subsequent colon cancer. There have been extensive studies on the link between high-fiber diets & reduced risk of colon cancer.

Recent research has also concluded that the toxicity in certain types of almonds and almond oil (due to the presence of hydrogen cyanide) is useful for inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. However, the evidence is not sufficient to back this claim.

▪ Preventing Diabetes & Controlling Blood Sugar Levels

If someone with diabetes is looking for a snack, Almonds make a perfect choice for them. Almonds are low in carbs, while still being high in proteins, fibers & healthy fats.

Almonds can also help prevent the sudden rise in glucose levels after meals by regulating the absorption process of glucose.

Also, They have incredibly high levels of Magnesium, a mineral involved in a lot of body processes & play a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels.

There are two different studies on the effect of magnesium supplements in increasing doses on the control of type 2 diabetes & on insulin sensitivity to magnesium.

▪ Weight Management

High amounts of proteins & fibers make people feel full for more extended periods of time. So, they end up consuming fewer calories & carbs in a day.

There are several pieces of research on the effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety & weight loss.

Almonds contain several nutrients that aren’t digested by our bodies & about 10-15% of calories aren’t absorbed.

Studies have shown that consuming Almonds ( & nuts in general ) can boost metabolism. Combine that with its hunger-fighting effects, and It makes an excellent addition to an effective weight-loss diet.

There have been quite a few studies that back these claims.

In one of the studies, a low-calorie diet of almonds increased weight loss by more than 60%. Another study was conducted with over 100 overweight women participating. In this study, those women consuming nuts lost more weight than those who weren’t.

So, despite Almonds being high in fat content, they’re a weight loss friendly food.

Almonds are also rich in fibers, and like most fiber-rich foods, Almonds can help with digestion & prevent constipation.

▪ Preventing Birth Defects

Folic Acid, present in Almonds can help reduce congenital disabilities in newborn babies. Almonds are one of the best sources of folic acid, that plays a significant role in the development of the brain & neurological system in babies.

Even during pregnancy, folic acid plays an essential role in developing the neural tubes in babies.

There has been one study by the Human Reproductive journal that involved around 700 women & suspects a link between usage of almond supplements & pre-mature births. However, a definite conclusion needs more research.

Conclusion

After reading all this, you just can’t ignore the health benefits of almonds. As we’ve repeatedly mentioned, Almonds boast an incredible nutrient profile, full of proteins, fibers, healthy fats, vitamins & minerals. They make an excellent addition to our daily diet for our overall well being.

However, risks come along with the health benefits of almonds. Overeating these delicious nuts ( actually, they’re seeds ) can lead to nausea, vomiting, itching, diarrhea & in some cases, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

We recommend, Reading our guide on daily almond consumption so that you can ensure everything is safe and risk-free.

 

 

Featured Image Credits – Unsplash/Chuttersnap

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