Almonds are all the rage and it’s easy to understand why. A handful of almonds is an easy, nutritious snack, but they’re also a super versatile ingredient. You can find them in low carb almond flour, almond milk, and even plant-based cheeses.
Plus, almonds offer a number of health benefits and can even improve the overall quality of your diet.
Nuts and seeds tend to be high in the mineral magnesium, and almonds are no exception.
A 1-ounce serving (28.35 grams) of raw almonds provides 18 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for this essential nutrient.
Your body needs magnesium for a bunch of functions including:
- blood sugar and blood pressure regulation
- energy production
- DNA synthesis
- activation and function of vitamin D
- protecting against the adverse effects of stress
So, adding more magnesium-rich foods into your diet, like almonds, can help you maintain optimal levels.
The average American doesn’t come close to meeting the daily fiber recommendation. (It’s 25 grams for women under 50 and 38 grams for men under 50.)
Studies suggest that not eating enough fiber can take a toll on your health. Fiber fuels the beneficial bacteria in your gut, helps keep you *cough* regular, and may protect against certain health conditions.
That’s why getting enough fiber from foods like almonds should be at the top of your to-do list. A 1-ounce (28.35 gram) serving of almonds provides 3.5 grams of fiber. So try snacking on almonds and adding almonds to dishes like salads and oatmeal to give your fiber intake a boost.
Almonds are loaded with vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that functions as an antioxidant in your bod, protecting your cells from damage. It’s also important for immune function, blood vessel dilation, and keeping the platelets in your blood from clumping together.
Almonds are one of the best sources of vitamin E. They provide 45 percent of the DV per 1-ounce serving.
Just 1 ounce (28.35 grams) of roasted almonds provides:
- Magnesium: 18% of DV
- Manganese: 6% of DV
- Calcium: 32% of DV
- Copper: 34% of DV
- Zinc: 8% of DV
- Phosphorus: 10% of DV
All of these minerals play a role in your skeletal health, and almond’s are also a good source of plant-based protein. Protein’s a macronutrient that’s important for your bone health as well.
There’s a solid link between eating nuts and improved heart health. Adding almonds into your diet may help reduce heart disease risk factors like high LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure. It may even help improve blood vessel function. Here’s a breakdown of the research.
- A 2019 meta-analysis that included 15 studies found that eating almonds reduced heart disease risk factors as well as body weight.
- A 2020 review of 16 studies found that almond intake may have a considerable effect on lowering diastolic blood pressure levels. (That’s the bottom number.)
- Other studies have shown that eating almonds may help lower blood pressure and decrease triglyceride levels.
Incorporating almonds into a healthful diet along with regular exercise is a great way to show your heart some love.
If you’re looking to up your protein intake, consider snacking on almonds or almond butter.
A 1-ounce (28.35 gram) serving of almonds and a 2-tablespoon serving (32 grams) of almond butter both contain about 6 grams of protein.
This is a perfect amount to add to snacks like fruit and veggies to make them more filling.
Almonds are also high in the amino acid (building blocks of protein) called arginine. It’s something your body needs in order to produce nitric oxide, a compound that’s important for maintaining the health of the heart and blood vessels.
Fat might get a bad rap, but plenty of types of fat don’t deserve it. Fat makes foods taste delish and can make you feel more satisfied. Plus, fats are essential to your diet and certain fats, like the ones found in almonds, can help keep you healthy.
Almonds contain around 50 percent fat by weight. And most of that is friendly “good” fat. (60 percent of it is monounsaturated fat and 30 percent is polyunsaturated fat.)
Eating more sources of unsaturated fats from sources like nuts, fatty fish, avocados, and olive oil and lower amounts of fats found in foods like french fries and pastries, may help reduce the risk of health conditions like heart disease.
Almonds contain protein, fat, and fiber. All of these help you feel full and satisfied after you eat.
Try adding a handful of almonds or a dollop of almond butter to your daily veggie or fruit snack. You could even toss some sliced almonds into your salad for a crunchy source of filling nutrients.
Almonds are high in plant compounds called polyphenols (like tannins, proanthocyanidins and flavonoids). These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just keep in mind that most of these polyphenols are inside the skin of almonds. You’ll have to eat the entire almond, skin and all, to get the biggest antioxidant boost.
Eating almonds regularly could help improve your overall diet quality. One study measured this by assigning a Healthy Eating Index score to participants’ diets. Researchers noticed an improvement in this score for both groups (children and parents) with daily almond intake.
Adding in a few servings of almonds per week can help you meet your needs of important nutrients like fiber, protein, magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, copper, and more.
Of course, rather than focusing on just one food, it’s best to focus on the quality of your overall diet. But making an effort to choose healthy foods, like almonds, on a daily basis can help you build habits that benefit your overall health.
The best part about almonds is that they have a mild, nutty taste that goes with just about anything.
Here are a few ways to enjoy almonds:
- Spread some almond butter between apple rounds for a delish snack.
- Create a homemade trail mix with almonds, raisins, goji berries, unsweetened coconut, and dark chocolate chips.
- Use almond flour to bake lower carb, higher fiber breads, muffins, and cakes.
- Add almond butter to oatmeal, chia pudding, and smoothies.
- Pair a handful of roasted almonds with a piece of fruit for a quick, yet filling snack.
- Use crushed almonds to bread chicken and fish.
- Stuff dates with almond butter for a sweet, nutrient-dense treat.
There’s so much to love about almonds. They’re a great source of nutrients like healthy fats, fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Plus they may benefit heart health and make meals and snacks more satisfying. There’s plenty of ways to eat more almonds, including almond butter and homemade trail mix.