Almonds rank among the most popular nuts. They can be found in a lot of food products like chocolates, milk, and fruit and nut trail mix. However, they also taste good by themselves and are often packed raw or roasted. We see them everywhere, and some of us eat these nuts regularly. But are they healthy? Are almonds good for you? Several studies have been done on this famous tree nut, and the results may surprise you. Truth to tell, these nuts are packed with numerous health benefits, which we have summarized in detail for you in this article.
What are Almonds? Are They Good for You?
Technically, almonds are seeds enclosed in shells, growing on almond trees. The plant was first discovered in the Middle East, and today, it is widely bred in the United States and other parts of the world.
Nevertheless, the nuts we recognize have already had their outer shells removed, and then packed raw, roasted, or mixed with other ingredients in trail mixes. Further, almonds that have been disfigured or broken are included in chocolate products or processed as almond milk.
Continue reading and you might be surprised at this nut’s health benefits:
#1 – Weight management
This is good news for those who struggle with that weighing scale! In this study, almonds appeared to have a stabilizing effect on the metabolism of obese individuals. Individuals who went on a low-calorie diet enriched with these nuts were able to keep off excess weight for the duration of the study.
These nuts are quite filling and nutrient-rich, too. In another study, almonds were found to reduce hunger and appetite. The researchers concluded that these may aid in weight loss and can be “a healthful snack option”.
#2 – Brain health
Short-term memory loss could signal declining cognitive function, especially among the elderly. For example, people who always forget car keys and certain words may have short-term memory loss.
Fortunately, consuming almonds may help enhance memory and improve brain health.
#3 – May lower the risk of heart disease
People who suffer from hypertension or other cardiovascular diseases tend to have high levels of LDL cholesterol depositing in their blood vessels. Prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease usually entail dietary and other lifestyle changes to reduce “bad cholesterol” in the blood.
Almonds have been studied for their LDL-lowering effects in both healthy individuals and individuals with pre-existing conditions like hypertension and diabetes. These tree nuts that are healthy, packed with unsaturated fats, fiber, protein, and other nutrients offer a glimmer of hope for improving one’s heart health.
#4 – May decrease blood sugar levels
Similarly, persons with diabetes or high blood sugar may benefit from eating almonds. 2 ounces of these nuts are fortified with nearly 150 mg of magnesium, a mineral that has been studied for its effects on reducing blood sugar levels.
#5 – Digestive benefits
Having digestive issues? These amazing nuts were found to increase populations of good bacteria in the gut such as Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp., which are found in many probiotic supplements. According to the researchers, their findings revealed that “almonds and [their] skins possess potential prebiotic properties.”
#6 – May enhance your skin
If you’re wondering which food can add that glow to your skin, you might want to look into raw almonds. Its skin contains substances called flavonoids, which were discovered to have antioxidant properties that work so well with Vitamins C and E. Many skincare products contain these vitamins. In addition, beauty gurus also recommend supplementing with these vitamins for optimal skin health.
#7 – Stronger bones and teeth
Almonds are also excellent sources of calcium, an important mineral in maintaining teeth and bone health. This is why people who are lactose-intolerant or allergic to dairy often resort to almond milk for their calcium needs.
#8 – May reduce inflammation
Inflammation and oxidative stress in the body are usually the culprits behind many of the killer diseases that plague humans today. Thankfully, one can lessen these harmful factors changing his or her diet and lifestyle. In one study, adding almonds into the diet was shown to significantly lower inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Are Almonds Good for You?: The Verdict
This tree nut, densely packed with a bunch of nutrients, surely contains more health benefits than the eight mentioned here. However, the brief list above hopefully left us in awe of the powers of this nut.
Finally, don’t forget to pick the raw and organic varieties so that they will be truly good for you. 😉