Ok, let me start off my saying that these little gems are my favorite snack to munch on when I get that afternoon craving to devour something! The health benefits of have been documented for centuries and modern research is backing up many of the claims – there any many goods reasons why you might want to consider including them in your diet, so lets take a closer look!
Benefits Of Eating Almonds:
Nuts, like almonds, hazel nuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts and cashews can all play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, according to a Harvard review. That’s because nuts may help reduce LDL cholesterol (more on that later), and incorporate a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and fiber, which has a heart-protective effect. Nuts are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that converts to nitric oxide in the body and helps blood vessels to relax.
Almonds Nutritional Profile:
Check this out! This is why I love these little guys!
Almonds boast an incredibly impressive nutrient profile, but what about the calories in 10 raw almonds.
A 1 ounce (28 grams, or small handful) serving of almonds contains (1):
- Fiber: 3.5 grams.
- Protein: 6 grams.
- Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated).
- Vitamin E: 37% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 32% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 20% of the RDA.
- They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.
Almonds For Weight Loss:
Not only delicious, versatile, and portable, but are nutritionally beneficial on a number of levels. Recent studies have demonstrated that diets featuring almonds and other tree nuts do not cause weight gain and may actually promote weight loss. This can be explained by the exceptionally healthful fatty acid profile that they possess. In concert with fiber, these compounds evidently work to suppress appetite, possibly by influencing the production of hormones involved in the hunger-satiety cycle and promoting a feeling of fullness. So if your looking for that perfect mid afternoon snack, give these guys a whirl. Add that extra protein to your diet and also help your waistline!
Almonds And Blood Sugars:
Almonds are not only one of the 10 healthiest nuts, but this amazing little snack may also promote gastrointestinal health and even combat high blood sugars. The high fiber content gives them prebiotic properties, which contributes to health in the gastrointestinal tract. Prebiotics are non-digestible food substances, which serve as food for the good bacteria in the intestinal tract and help maintain a healthy balance.
According to a study by the American Diabetes Association, a Mediterranean diet incorporating nuts, such as almonds, helps fight diabetes even without significant changes to weight, physical
activity or caloric intake.
If you avoid dairy, calcium-rich almonds are a good choice to ensure you’re getting enough of this bone-building mineral. Almonds are also high in vitamin E, a nutrient which helps to improve the condition and appearance of your skin. For some extra heart help, swap flaked almonds for the whole nut – with the skin intact – because the almond’s skin is full of heart-protecting compounds called flavonoids.
Almonds To Lower Your Cholesterol?
Having high levels of LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) in the blood is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. What you eat and your overall diet can have profound effects on LDL levels, and some studies have shown almonds to be effective.
A 16-week study in 65 pre-diabetic subjects found that a diet with 20% of calories from almonds lowered LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 12.4 mg/dL. Not to shabby!
Now, check this out, another study found that 1.5 ounces (42 grams) of almonds per day lowered LDL cholesterol by 5.3 mg/dL, while maintaining the “good” HDL cholesterol. The almond group also lost belly fat. Impressive to say the least. so if your looking for another healthy option to add to your snack repertoire, these are a great option. They have always treated my blood sugars well, and I’m certain they will do the same for you, but before diving in, lets check out some of the associated side effects.
Almond Side Effects:
With all its plus points, people tend to eat too many almond day in and day out. However there are few individuals who query of the side effects of eating too many almonds. As you know eating too much of anything can give unwanted symptoms and side effects, so is the case with almonds too.
If you eat too many almonds at once, one of the most obvious side effect to be aware of is abdominal bloating and stomach ache.
There can also be more bowel movements; this is due to the high fiber content that are present in almonds. Fiber in normal amounts is a good thing, as it it promotes healthy bowel movements, it also helps to reduce cholesterol and thereby the risk of heart disease and cancer. But when the fiber amount is large, there is a tendency for frequent bowel movement, that happens when you eat, to many of almonds.
Other notable side effect:
- Weight Gain
- Medication Interactions
- Vitamin E overdose
- Toxcity (due to a chemical called hydrocyanic acid (HCN)
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