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Evidence Based health benefits of almonds
10 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds are nuts loaded with nutrients. They contain fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. The benefits of almonds are many as they are a good source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
Almonds provide vitamin E which is a potent anti-oxidant. Almond skin also has flavonoids which have anti-oxidant property. Almonds are rich sources of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs) (1). Almond flavonoids and vitamin E have antioxidant activity and may help to prevent oxidation of LDL-C the bad cholesterol which is a contributing factor of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
In today’s article, we are going to highlight the various benefits of almonds:
1. Rich source of energy
Almonds are energy-dense nuts as they provide all the three macronutrients. They have 21% of carbohydrates, about 50% fat and 21% protein. A fistful of almonds will give a good boost of energy (2).
2. Good source of protein
The protein content of almonds is 21% which makes almonds a rich source of proteins. Vegans and vegetarians with limited or no animal products in their diet can rely on the benefits of almonds to meet their protein requirements (2).
3. Almonds contain good quality fat
Almonds are rich sources of mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs and PUFAs). A portion of 100g of almonds contain around 50g of healthy fats, most of which (40g) are mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) along with 4g of saturated fats (2).
4. Rich source of dietary fiber
The dietary fiber content of almonds is 12.5 % (2). Dietary fiber increases the bulk of stools and contributes to gut health. Fiber also helps in controlling blood glucose and lipid levels. Fiber also contributes to weight loss and hence one can gain a lot from the benefits of almonds.
5. Provides calcium
Almonds are a good source of calcium, 269 mg in 100 grams of almonds. Hence vegans, who do not consume any dairy products, can opt for the benefits of almonds (2).
6. Almonds are good source of potassium
Almonds contain 733 mg of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral and it performs several important functions in the body. Potassium has a protective effect on heart health because potassium lowers blood pressure (3).
7. Almonds reduce central adiposity
Almonds, about 40 grams a day may have the ability to reduce central adiposity. Study results pointed out that the substitution of almonds instead of high carbohydrate snacks may be a simple alteration in the diet to reduce central adiposity (4). Make almonds part of your balanced diet.
8. Almond consumption and effect on lipid profile
The benefits of almonds are many as evidence from several clinical studies shows that they reduce LDL-C, which is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Research has been conducted to study the effect of almonds on HDL-C, the good cholesterol, and it was found that almonds have helped maintain or sometimes even increase HDL-C levels (1).
Dyslipidemia is one of the most important risk factors of CVDs. Dyslipidemia is elevated levels of total cholesterol or LDL-C levels and low HDL-C levels. Having almonds daily (about 45 grams) every day can help reduce dyslipidemia in Indians. Incorporating almonds into the diet is a safe way of tackling dyslipidemia (1).
Almonds about 40 grams a day may also have the ability to reduce central adiposity along with non‐HDL‐C, LDL‐C while maintaining HDL‐C concentrations (4).
The time when almonds are eaten also has an effect on the body. If they are eaten as a snack in between meals instead of a high carbohydrate snack which has the same calorific value they are more effective in improving lipid profile rather than consuming almonds just before the meal (5).
9. Diabetic-friendly almonds
In a study, in which the participants were Asian Indians with type 2 diabetes (T2D), they were given sufficient almonds to meet 20 % of their total energy intake for 24 weeks. The results showed that HbA1c decreased significantly compared to their levels when they were consuming a control diet (6).
This is one of the most significant benefits of almonds. The incorporation of almonds in white bread reduced the glycaemic index of the composite meal in a dose-dependent manner in another research work. It was concluded that almonds may decrease the glycaemic impact of carbohydrate foods when consumed along with them (7)
10. Almonds exhibit antioxidant activity
Almonds contain vitamin E which exhibits potent antioxidant activity. Almond skin also has flavonoids which have an antioxidant property (8). Antioxidants are known to reduce the risk of several chronic degenerative diseases.
Almonds are energy-dense and nutrient-dense too. Apart from this, there are several benefits of almonds for your health. Incorporate almonds into your balanced diet regularly.
- Kalita, S., Khandelwal, S., Madan, J., Pandya, H., Sesikeran, B. and Krishnaswamy, K. (2018) Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review, Nutrients. Vol. 10(4).
- United States Department of Agriculture, USDA Food Composition Databases.
- Lanham-New, S.A., Lambert, H. and Frassetto, L. (2012) Potassium, Advances in Nutrition. Vol. 3(6).
- Berryman, C. E., West, S. G., Fleming, J. A., Bordi, P. L. and Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2015) Effects of daily almond consumption on cardiometabolic risk and abdominal diposity in healthy adults with elevated LDL-cholesterol: A randomized controlled tial, Journal of the American Heart Association. Vol. 4(1).
- Liu, Y., Hwang, H. J., Ryu, H., Lee, Y. S., Kim, H. S. and Park, H. (2017) The effects of daily intake timing of almond on the body composition and blood lipid profile of healthy adults, Nutrition research and practice.Vol.11(6).
- Gulati, S., Misra, A. and Pandey, R. M. (2017) Effect of Almond Supplementation on Glycemia and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Asian Indians in North India with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A 24-Week Study, Metabolic syndrome and related disorders. Vol.15 (2). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5333560/
- Josse, A.R., Kendall, C.W.C., Augustin, L.S.A., Ellis, P.R. and Jenkins, D.J.A. (2007) Almonds and postprandial glycemia—a dose-response study, Metabolism. Vol. 56 (3)
- Richardson, D., Astrup, A., Cocaul, A. and Ellis, P. (2009) The nutritional and health benefits of almonds: a healthy food choice, Food Science & Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods. Vol. 6 (4). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250058086_The_nutritional_and_health_benefits_of_almonds_a_healthy_food_choice