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Health Benefits Of Almonds

Health benefits of almonds

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Almonds are one of the world’s most popular nuts, thanks to their impressive health benefits. They are highly nutritious and rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Key takeaways: 

1. Almonds are rich in protein and healthy fats. A 28g serving contains 6g of protein and 9g of monounsaturated fats.

2. They have been linked to improved heart health as they lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the amount of oxidised LDL.

3. Almonds can also reduce oxidative damage thanks to its antioxidant content, which reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

 

Nutritional content 

Almonds boast an impressive nutritional profile. A 28g serving contains on average 3.5g of fibre, 6g of protein and 14g of fat, 9g of which are monounsaturated fats (“good” fats). They also contain a relatively high amount of vitamins and minerals including 37% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin E, 32% of the Manganese RDI, 20% of the Magnesium RDI, as well as smaller amounts of copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. Finally, almonds are rich in antioxidants, which are mostly concentrated in the brown layer of the skin.

 

Health benefits 

Almonds have been linked to a number of health benefits, thanks to their highly nutritious content. To start with, researchers found that individuals eating almonds had lower LDL cholesterol levels than those who didn’t eat almonds. High levels of LDL cholesterol (ie. “bad” cholesterol) is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. What’s more, other studies found that almonds reduced the amount of oxidised LDL by 14%. The accumulation of oxidised LDL can result in atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries resulting in a decrease of blood flow. Also, almonds are among one of the best sources of vitamin E, with one ounce providing around 37% of the RDI. Several studies have linked high vitamin E intake with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, due to its antioxidant content, almonds have been found to reduce oxidative stress markers by 23 to 34% as well as reduce markers of oxidative damage.

 

WORK CITED:

Garrido I., Monagas M., Gomez-Cordoves C. and Bartolomé B. (2008). Polyphenols and antioxidant properties of almond skins: influence of industrial processing. Journal of Food Science, 73(2), pp.106-115.

Li N., Jia X., Chen C. et al. (2007). Almond consumption reduces oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation in male smokers. Journal of Nutrition, 137(12), pp.2712-2722.

Jenkins D., Kendall C., Josse A. et al. (2006). Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia and oxidative damage in healthy individuals. Journal of Nutrition, 136(12), pp.2987-2992.

Wien M., Bleich D., Raghiwanshi M. et al. (2010). Almond consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in adults with prediabetes. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 29(3), pp.189-197.

Berryman C., West S., Fleming J. et al. (2015). Effects of daily almond consumption on cardiometabolic risk and abdominal adiposity in healthy adults with elevated LDL-cholesterol: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Heart Association, 4(1).

Jenkins D., Kendall C., Marchie A. et al. (2002). Dose response of almonds on coronary heart disease risk factors: blood lipids, oxidized low-density lipoproteins, lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, and pulmonary nitric oxide: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Circulation, 106(11), pp.1327-1332.

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