Almonds are one of the world’s most nutritious and versatile nuts, perfect for snacking as well as in tasty recipes , renowned for their many health benefits and culinary uses. Here are just a few:
Reduce Blood Sugar Levels: Eating almonds may be a great option for diabetics looking to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Findings from a 2007 study published in the journal Metabolism found that consuming almonds alongside white bread regulates spikes in blood sugar and significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal.
Heart-Loving Antioxidant Powers: Almonds are one of the richest food sources of alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E that is most easily absorbed by the body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects cells against the damaging effects of free radicals, boosts the immune system, supports cardiovascular health, and helps your body create new red blood cells.
A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that almond consumption helped meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance of 15 mg/day alpha-tocopherol and improved red blood cell concentration. Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that almonds can reduce C-reactive protein, an indication of inflammation that affects the arteries.
Weight Control: As part of a calorie-conscious eating regime, almonds, which are high in monounsaturated fats, can help obese adults lose weight easier than a diet high in complex carbohydrates, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. Contrary to many worries of healthy eaters, consuming almonds actually lowers the risk of weight gain. A 28-month long study showed that individuals who ate almonds at least twice per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than nut-avoiding participants. So go ahead and go nuts!
Lower Cholesterol: Almonds are the leading source of monounsaturated fat among commonly eaten nuts: over 60% of the total fat in almonds is monounsaturated. Numerous studies have demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering effects of consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fat. A 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming almonds as part of a heart-healthy diet can be just as effective at lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol levels as first generation statin drugs.
A good source of calcium and other nutrients: We’ve already heard that almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, but they offer a modest but significant and absorbable form of calcium, which is good for the bones. Likewise, they’re a good source of phosphorous for strong bones and teeth. Almonds are a good source of magnesium and folic acid, as well.
Excellent source of plant-based protein: Just one ounce of almonds contains about 12 percent of average daily protein needs. Enough said!
Adapted from Nuts.com , with permission.