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Almonds are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, and are associated with a number of health benefits. Just a handful of almonds, approximately one ounce, contains one-eighth of our necessary daily protein7.
Almonds may be eaten on their own, raw or toasted. They are also the ingredients of several different dishes. Almonds are available sliced, flaked, slivered, as a flour, oil, butter, or as almond milk.
The health benefits of almonds 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.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of almonds, the potential health benefits associated with the nut, and the possible risks when consuming almonds.
Almonds are a source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and high quality protein.
Almonds also contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids in addition to a lot of bioactive molecules (such as fiber, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals, and antioxidants) which can help prevent cardiovascular heart diseases.1
Nuts and seeds are the vegetable foods that are richest in fiber after cereals, which could explain why almonds are good for cardiovascular health.2
Nutritional report: Almonds, raw 1 cup whole (143 grams):
|Water - 6.31 grams||Energy - 828 kcal|
|Protein - 30.24 grams||Total lipid (fat) - 71.40 grams|
|Carbohydrate, by difference - 30.82 grams||Fiber, total dietary - 17.9 grams|
|Sugars, total - 6.01 grams||Cholesterol - 0 grams|
|Calcium, Ca - 385 mg||Iron, Fe - 5.31 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg - 386 mg||Phosphorus, P - 688 mg|
|Potassium, K - 1048 mg||Sodium, Na - 1 mg|
|Zinc, Zn - 4.46 mg||Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid - 0 mg|
|Thiamin - 0.293 mg||Riboflavin - 1.627 mg|
|Niacin - 5.174 mg||Vitamin B-6 - 0.196 mg|
|Folate, DFE - 63 µg||Vitamin B-12 - 0 µg|
|Vitamin A, RAE - 0 µg||Vitamin A, IU - 3 IU|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) - 36.65 mg||Vitamin D - 0 IU|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone) - 0 µg||Caffeine - 0 mg|
A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that consuming almonds increases vitamin E levels in the plasma and red blood cells and also lowers cholesterol levels.4
Ella Haddad, DrPH, RD, an author of the study, said:
"This study is important because it shows that eating almonds can significantly boost levels of vitamin E in the diet and bloodstream. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that defends your cells against damage on a daily basis and prevents artery-clogging oxidation of cholesterol. Eating a handful of almonds a day is a great way to get the vitamin E your body needs to stay healthy."
Researchers at the Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, conducted a study to determine the effect of almonds on colon cancer.5
According to the authors, the results suggested that "almond consumption may reduce colon cancer risk and does so via at least one almond lipid-associated component."
Their research was published in Cancer Letters.
Almonds, along with nuts and seeds in general, are often associated with improved levels of blood lipids and being good for the heart.
There is evidence indicating that including almonds in your diet can help ward off heart disease.
One study, published in the journal Circulation, assessed almonds' effect on coronary heart disease risk factors, and concluded that "almonds used as snacks in the diets of hyperlipidemic subjects significantly reduce coronary heart disease risk factors, probably in part because of the nonfat (protein and fiber) and monounsaturated fatty acid components of the nut."6
Recent developments on the health benefits of almonds from MNT news
Eating nuts every day may prolong life. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who eat a handful of nuts every day live longer than those who do not eat them at all.7
"Eat more nuts" to cut the risk of cancer and heart disease. A study published in the journal BMC Medicine concluded that people who regularly eat nuts are at a lower risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. 8
There are potential risks associated with the consumption of almonds. Allergy to almonds is actually rather common.
If you are allergic to almonds it's important to avoid any food products that may contain them.9
Almonds are used to make frangipane, marzipan and praline. Almonds are also sometimes used in cakes, biscuits, bread, chocolates, ice cream, and certain liqueurs (such as Amandine).
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
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Nordqvist, Joseph. "What are the health benefits of almonds?." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 1 Dec. 2013. Web.
18 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269468>
Nordqvist, J. (2013, December 1). "What are the health benefits of almonds?." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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