Almonds are an incredibly popular tree nut and are often described as the king of nuts.
Almonds (botanically called Prunus dulcis) are very small stone fruits belonging to the Amygdalus family and related to other fruits that contain hard pits, including cherries, plums, and peaches.
They are a type of drupe nut, which means along with other nuts like macadamias, pecans, and walnuts; they have multiple layers that enclose a single, hard seed in the center.
Despite being high in fat, they are packed with numerous nutrients and are extremely healthy.
Almonds can be used in so many ways either: eaten raw as a healthy snack; as the base ingredient in almond butter, almond milk or almond flour; and even in many fragrances, and body lotions.
Here are 8 science-based health benefits of eating almonds and why you should care.
1. Almonds May Improves Heart health
Almonds are very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. These compounds support heart health and prevent factors that could lead to cardiovascular disease.
Research studies show that almonds have a consistent “bad” LDL cholesterol-lowering property, especially in individuals with high cholesterol and diabetes (1)
2. Almonds Help Maintain Skin Health
Almonds are rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants that nourish the skin and reduce signs of aging.
Some of those compounds include; antioxidants such as epicatechin, catechin and flavonol antioxidants, including quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol.
3. Almonds May Improve Brain Function
Almonds are very rich in nutrients which help in the development and health of the brain. They are often considered one of the best brain foods.
Almonds nutrition is somewhat unique in that almonds contain two vital brain nutrients riboflavin and L-carnitine, which have positive effects on neurological activity and preventing cognitive decline.
4. Effective for Weight Loss
Nuts contain healthy fats and dietary fiber which aids in weight loss because they help you feel full, which curbs overeating and unhealthy snacking.
Research studies have revealed that an almond-rich, low-calorie diet is good for obese people to assist in shedding their excess weight.
In a research study, a low-calorie diet with 3 ounces (84 grams) of almonds increased weight loss by 62 percent compared to a diet enriched with complex carbohydrates (4).
Another study in overweight women found that those consuming almonds lost more weight than those in the nut-free group. They also had improvements in waist circumference and other health markers (5).
So, despite its high-fat content, almonds are also effective for weight loss.
5. Almonds Help Controls Blood Pressure
Nuts are low in carbs, but high in healthy fats (MUFAs), protein and fiber.
These fats slow down the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream. This almond super effect can drastically bring down the reactionary rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals.
This modulation offers protection from blood glucose spike which diabetics often suffer from following a large meal, or a meal with an unexpectedly high level of sugar in it.
6. Almonds May Help Fight Cancer and Inflammation
Almonds are high in vitamin E a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage and oxidative stress that are linked to cancer.
Many studies find a link between nut consumption and cancer prevention, including a reduced risk for colon, breast and prostate cancers. (6).
7. Almonds May Help Regulate Blood Pressure
The potassium in almonds may also help regulate blood pressure.
8. Boost Immune System
Almonds are great sources of alkali materials which contribute to the alkalinity of the body. It is also a rich source of Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant.
This antioxidant mops up free radicals generated by the body during metabolism.
Antioxidants like Vitamin E found in almonds affect all major diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Research studies show that people who ingest high levels of Vitamin E are actually 30-40 percent less likely to contract heart disease.
Almonds are a rich source of healthy fats, protein fiber, potassium magnesium, and vitamin E. Due to their huge health benefits, they are termed king of nuts.