Cholesterol reduction is the most celebrated health benefit of almonds, but there are many other vital health benefits of almonds nutrition. Almonds are low in saturated fatty acids, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and contain filling fiber, unique and protective phytosterol antioxidants as well as plant protein.
A 1 ounce (28 grams, or small handful) serving of almonds contains :
Fat:14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated).
Vitamin E:37% of the RDA.
Manganese:32% of the RDA.
Magnesium:20% of the RDA.
They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.
This is all from a small handful, which supplies only 161 caloriesand 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates.
It is also important to note that 10-15% of an almond’s calories are not absorbed by the body, because the fat is too difficult to access and break down .
Almonds are also high in phytic acid, a substance that binds certain minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. This means that the amount of iron, zinc and calcium you get from the almonds will be reduced somewhat.
Support Healthy Brain Function
Almonds are often considered one of the best brain foods. Almonds nutrition is somewhat unique in that almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, two key nutrients capable of positively affecting neurological activity and preventing cognitive decline. This is one reason why adults, especially the elderly, are encouraged to eat nuts several times per week — since they are associated with a reduction in the risk for inflammation that can cause brain disorders including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Increase Digestive Health
In addition to healthy fats and alkaline-forming molecules, almonds (especially the skin of almonds) contain probiotic components that help with digestion, detoxification and healthy bacterial growth within the gut flora — a key to actually utilizing nutrients from food and preventing nutrient deficiencies.
Help Control Blood Sugar Levels and Prevent Diabetes
Almonds’ rich supply of MUFAs helps slow the rate at which glucose (sugar) is released into the bloodstream. In addition to managing blood sugar and preventing insulin resistance (which can occur over time when the body becomes less reactive to insulin, the sugar-controlling hormone), almonds nutrition benefits include the ability to lower other common diabetes risks: unhealthy body weight, inflammation and high levels of oxidative stress.
Almonds Are Incredibly Effective For Weight Loss
Nuts contain several nutrients that are hard for the body to break down and digest.
About 10-15% of the calories in nuts aren’t absorbed, and there is some evidence that eating nuts can boost metabolism slightly .
Combined with the hunger-fighting properties, it makes sense that nuts are a great addition to an effective weight loss diet.
Help Prevent Gallstones
Twenty years of dietary data collected on over 80,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study shows that women who eat least 1 ounce of nuts, peanuts or peanut butter each week have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones. Since 1 ounce is only 28.6 nuts or about 2 tablespoons of nut butter, preventing gallbladder disease may be as easy as having a handful of almonds as an afternoon pick me up, tossing some almonds on your oatmeal or salad or packing one almond butter and jelly sandwich (be sure to use whole wheat bread for its fiber, vitamins and minerals) for lunch each week.
Written By : Israr Choudhary