People all over the world have been eating almonds for thousands of years. Today, about 80% of all almonds are produced in California, but you will find almonds in foods and even as flavors in drinks all around the world.
If you’re looking for an addition to your diet that packs a healthy punch, a small serving of almonds here and there can make a big difference.
Almonds pack a dense nutritional punch to benefit you and your body. If you're looking to strengthen your heart, your bones, or even your libido, almonds can help do the trick.
Here are some major health benefits of almonds:
Eating almonds helps to lower levels of the bad kind of cholesterol, called low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and increase levels of the good kind, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Almonds also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help protect you from heart disease.
Keep a Healthy Weight
Although they contain a high number of calories, almonds can actually help to reduce your risk of weight gain and obesity — as long as you pay attention to portion size. The protein and fiber in the nuts make you feel full faster, so you can better control your calorie intake while still satisfying your hunger..
Lower Blood Pressure
Almonds can help lower your systolic blood pressure, which offers even more protection against heart disease.
Essential Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber
Almonds are rich in valuable nutrients for your body, like magnesium, vitamin E, and dietary fiber. A single serving of almonds makes for a nutritious and filling snack.
Almonds have calcium and phosphorus, which improve bone health and can protect you from fractures.
Better Blood Sugar Control
Almonds seem to help curb blood sugar spikes after meals, which is key for people with diabetes.
Recent research appears to suggest that almonds can protect the health and immunity of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. A healthier gut means a better immune system and a stronger body.
Although technically seeds, almonds are considered nuts. Like many nuts, almonds provide plenty of nutrients.
Nutrients per Serving
An ounce of whole almonds contains:
- Calories: 152
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 13 grams
- Carbohydrates: 6 grams
- Dietary fiber: 3 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
Almonds are also an excellent source of nutrients such as:
It’s easy to eat too many, which could mean you’re getting more calories and fat than you need. A healthy serving is ¼ cup, or about 23 almonds.
How to Prepare Almonds
Almonds are a healthy and delicious snack that can bring some real benefits to your physical health. Because they're so versatile and convenient, it's easy to fit them into your diet. Here are a few ways you can enjoy almonds:
- Enjoy a serving of raw almonds for a daytime or evening snack
- Add sliced almonds to your oatmeal or cereal
- Roast almonds for better texture and flavor
- Use almond milk, butter, or flour in your baking