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Almonds are one of the most popular tree nuts in the world. Native to the Middle East, almonds grow best in hot, dry climes. Known by the scientific moniker Prunus dulcis, almonds are primarily produced in the U.S. Almonds are bite-sized and crunchy and taste nutty, woody, and earthy. Almonds are the primary ingredient in some butter, oils, flours, and milk products. Almonds are versatile nuts in that they can be enjoyed raw and roasted.
What’s more, almonds are a nutrient-dense ingredient in many popular recipes; they’re found in many baked goods and trail mixes and are delicious atop salads. Best of all, almonds are incredibly nutritious, full of healthy fats, and loaded with many significant health benefits. Check it out.
Important Note: All of the information noted within is based on the most up-to-date scientific research at the time of this publication.
Loaded With Nutrients
Almonds have an incredible nutrient profile; a one-ounce serving of almonds contains high concentrations of fiber, protein, and healthy monounsaturated fat. They also contain 37%, 32%, and 20% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium respectively. Moreover, almonds also boast impressive concentrations of copper, vitamin B2, and phosphorus. Almonds are also rich in phytic acid, a type of antioxidant that binds the intake of certain minerals. Lastly, a single serving of almonds has only 160 calories and just over 2 digestible carbohydrates. Calling almonds nutritious is an understatement; they’re packed with many essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. In addition to being a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, almonds are fraught with many powerful nutrients.
Packed With Antioxidants
One of the greatest benefits of almonds is that they’re packed with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential to your health because they fight off harmful free radicals that could eventually lead to chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Notably, the highest concentration of antioxidants in almonds is found in their brown skin; as such, it’s important to consume almonds without removing the skin for the greatest health benefits. One notable study showed that subjects who consumed a serving of almonds every day for four weeks reduced oxidative stress by up to 34% compared to those who did not consume the almonds. Another significant study showed similar results in subjects who ate almonds with a main dish each day. Lastly, the antioxidants found in almonds are useful for reducing the oxidative stress that leads to aging and chronic illnesses. One of the primary antioxidants found in almonds is vitamin E; several studies of the vitamin E family of antioxidants conclude that it reduces incidents of some cancer types, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Almonds are a great source of antioxidants; many studies conclude the antioxidant content of almonds is useful for reducing the oxidative stress that leads to disease.
Helps With Controlling Blood Sugar
Almonds are a great snack choice for individuals with diabetes; they’re low in carbohydrates which is a significant consideration for diabetics. Another important factor concerning diabetics is that almonds are rich in magnesium which is a mineral essential to controlling blood sugar levels. Notably, just two ounces of almonds provide you with more than half the daily recommended intake of magnesium. Adequate magnesium intake is also good for those with prediabetes as it reduces insulin resistance; the indication is that maintaining optimal magnesium intake may also reduce one’s risk for a diabetes diagnosis.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Hundreds of studies come to the same conclusion about eating almonds: doing so is not only good for a diabetic diet, but it may also prevent the onset of diabetes.
Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
The magnesium content of almonds is also good for controlling your blood pressure. Controlling your blood pressure is integral to avoiding cardiovascular disease, strokes, and even kidney disease. Magneisum deficiency is scientifically linked to high blood pressure so regular consumption of almonds, which are high in this mineral, can help you to better manage your blood pressure. Multiple studies show that improving one’s magnesium intake can also improve their blood pressure.
General Consensus: 4/5 and here is why. Although magnesium deficiency isn’t the only cause of high blood pressure, improving your magnesium intake by eating almonds can help you to better manage hypertension.
May Lower Cholesterol
Another common cause of cardiovascular disease is high cholesterol. Of note, a handful of studies have shown that regularly including almonds in your diet may lead to lower cholesterol. One such study showed that people with prediabetes who regularly incorporated almonds into their diet saw a significant reduction in their bad cholesterol levels. Another study showed that eating a serving of almonds per day not only lowered bad cholesterol levels but also maintained healthy cholesterol levels. Finally, another study concluded that the polyphenols, or plant compounds that act as antioxidants in almonds, reduce the oxidation of cholesterol; this could lead to a reduced risk for heart disease when almonds are consumed over time. Undoubtedly, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important to your cardiovascular health.
General Consensus: 3/5 and here is why. While only a few studies draw the connection between eating almonds and lowering cholesterol, this focus is promising.
Good For Weight Loss and Management
High in protein, high in fiber, low in calories and carbohydrates, and rife with healthy monounsaturated fats, eating almonds is a great food choice in your weight loss and management journey. Not only are almonds a highly nutritious food choice, but the high protein and fiber content provide you with greater satiety than other food choices; therefore, you’ll maintain a longer feeling of fullness after eating almonds and in theory consume fewer calories altogether. One telling study concluded that individuals who consumed one serving of almonds per day reported reduced hunger following the consumption of almonds. Many other studies have drawn the same conclusions about eating fiber-rich and protein-packed nuts.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Eating almonds is a nutritious, low-calorie diet choice; furthermore, their high-protein, fiber-rich makeup provides you with a longer feeling of fullness causing you to eat fewer calories.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
Good for Bone Health
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. Though almonds contain trace amounts of both calcium and potassium, both of which are good for bone health, there are just too few studies linking almonds to bone health.
May Help Digestion
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why.
There are many facets of digestive health and although almonds work as a probiotic for gut health, they do little else in terms of digestion.