Almonds have been grown for thousands of years, first cultivated in the Mediterranean area and now raised around the world. This ancient food, however, has a surprising number of health benefits for modern consumers. Here are the top ten reasons why your body will thank you for eating almonds.
1. They’re Full of Protein
First of all, almonds are chock full of protein. A single quarter cup serving has five grams of protein in it—that’s as much as a small egg. Almonds are one of the highest-protein nuts around, and provide essential nutrients to help your body build muscle.
2. They Have Lots of Good Fat
A serving of almonds is high in fat, but not all fat is bad. Almonds contain large amounts of good fats that your body needs to help function. In addition, a recent study suggests that almond consumption can actually help cut down in belly fat.
3. They’re High-Fiber
Fiber is one of the most important nutrients out there. A serving of almonds has almost three grams, more than 10% of what you need to consume in a day. High fiber foods can help regulate digestion and reduce the risk of heart disease.
4. They’re Low-Cost
Many nuts have health benefits, including walnuts, pistachios, and pecans. If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, though, you’ll know that these nuts can quickly get expensive. Almonds tend to be cheaper than other varieties, so that you can protect your diet without breaking the bank.
5. They Can Help You Lose Weight
What happens if you use almonds to replace other typical snack foods, such as chips or candy? Almonds might not be significantly lower in calories than some other snacks, but they do have many more nutrients. In addition, the potent combination of fat, fiber, and protein increases satiety quickly and helps you to feel full, so that you won’t be tempted to overeat them or have another snack later. Almonds help prevent blood sugar spikes, keeping you from eating irregularly. Their high amount of nutrition also gives you an energy boost, helping you get through a tough day or a strenuous workout. If almonds are used instead of fattening foods, they can help contribute to weight loss.
6. They Lower Cholesterol
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type that is found in olive oil. These types of fats can help decrease the amount of dangerous low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in your bloodstream. Some clinical studies have shown that monounsaturated fats can reduce LDL by as much as eight to twelve percent. In turn, this can lead to better heart health and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
7. They’re Rich in Antioxidants
Another great heart benefit is that almonds have a lot of antioxidants. These chemicals can block the action of free radicals, substances that your body produces naturally that can be damaging to your health. Almonds are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that can protect against artery wall damage and help keep your heart healthy.
8. They Have a Lot of Vitamins
In addition to the protein, fiber, good fats, and antioxidants, almonds have many different vitamins and minerals that are essential for the health. A few of these include:
They also contain small amounts of iron, folate, and vitamin B.
9. They Strengthen Your Bones
Phosphorous and calcium are both essential for your skeletal health, and almonds are high in both. Consuming these vitamins through a healthy food such as almonds can help you avoid osteoporosis and improve bone and tooth health.
10. They Taste Great
Finally, almonds are just plain delicious, with a creamy, crunchy texture and slight sweetness. They lend themselves to all sorts of dishes, both for dinner and dessert, and also make an excellent snack either roasted or raw. It’s important to remember, though, that almonds should be enjoyed in moderation. Despite the fact that they contain healthy fats, it’s still possible to have too much of a good thing—and these nuts are high in calories. Try to stick to a single 1-ounce serving to avoid any of the downsides associated with eating almonds.
Here at PurMedica, your health is one of our top priorities. We want you to get the nutrients that you need, whether it’s through a quality supplement or through a delicious, nutritious food such as almonds.