Top 5 Health Benefits of Almonds + Nutrient Info and Fun Facts

Top 5 Health Benefits of Almonds + Nutrient Info and Fun Facts

Almonds are a delicious and healthy superfood with a myriad of benefits. Almonds help lower cholesterol and help you lose weight while being a great source of vitamin E, protein, and fiber.

Almonds are also a great source of mono-unsaturated fats, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, iron, potassium, copper, and zinc.

With almond milk, almond butter, or just plain almonds, there are a multitude of choices when it comes to eating almonds.

This article will look at the health benefits of almonds, how to select and store almonds, and the best forms to eat almonds.

Almonds Health Benefits

1. Almonds Help Lower your Cholesterol

Dose response studies have shown that almonds can lower cholesterol by 5-10% (1). This is especially true for people who already have high cholesterol (+200mg/dL).

In order to get a 10% reduction, participants in the study ate 73grams or about 1/2 cup of almonds per day. This is about 400 calories from almonds alone, so when eating almonds to lower cholesterol, you should be sure to remove 400 calories from another part of your diet.

2. Almonds (Combined with a Low-Calorie Diet) Help With Weight Loss

In a dose response study, overweight subjects were put on a low-calorie diet (1000 calories per day). Among other foods, one group ate 84g (~1/2 cup) of almonds while the other ate whole grains with an equal number of calories. By the end of the 24-week study, the almond group experienced more weight loss, had thinner waists, lower blood pressure, and also, kept the weight off for longer (2). It is important to note that almonds help with weight loss only when combined with a low-calorie diet. Otherwise, almonds are a high-calorie food that can lead to weight gain.

3. Almonds are Good Source of Vitamin E

Almonds are one of the top 10 foods highest in vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning you need fat to absorb it. This makes almonds a particularly good source. Health benefits of vitamin E include reduced cancer risk, alleviation of inflammation, reduced risk of cognitive decline, and promoted eye health.

4. Almonds are High in Fiber

Almonds are one of the highest nuts highest in fiber. A handful (1ounce, 28g) of almonds provides 3.6g (14% DV) of fiber.

Fiber's health benefits include reduced risk of colon cancer, and reduced risk of heart disease.

5. Almonds are a Good Source of Vegetarian/Vegan Protein

Nuts rank among the highest nuts and seeds highest in protein and are a great vegan source of protein. One handful of nuts provide 6 grams of protein, which is 12% of the daily value. If raw almonds are too expensive, consider buying almond butter as an alternative.

Almonds Fun Facts

  1. Almonds originated in the Middle East and North Africa.
  2. California grows 100% of the almonds in the U.S. and produces the most almonds in the world.
  3. Pollonating Almond trees in California requires 1 million beehives, half of all beehives in the U.S.
  4. Almonds can be made into almond butter and even almond milk.
  5. Almonds are also often candied and sold as nougat, or made into marzipan which in turn can be used to create interesting fruits, flowers, or miscellaneous shapes.

Data Sources and References

  1. How Much Do Almonds Lower Cholesterol
  2. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program