The almond is a super food that has been on the rise in consumption, and with all the benefits, it comes as no real surprise. Whether as a quick snack, or a morning jump start – more people are choosing these tasty treats. Almonds are the most consumed tree nut in the world, with a majority of the world’s production coming from right inside the United States. The consumption of almonds increased almost 220% between 2005 and 2014 and all indications point to a continuation in the rise of popularity. But why are people going nutty for the almond? Below we will highlight the benefits, educate about possible risks, and provide information on different almond products and some nutritional facts.

Health Benefits

Benefit #1: Reduced Disease Risk

Diabetes: Almonds are a nut that has been found to help people not only with preventing Diabetes, but also have advantages for anyone who is already diagnosed with diabetes.  Almonds are high in magnesium, which based on a study in 2012, has been linked to lowering the risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Due to high blood sugar levels, magnesium can be lost during urination. Consuming a food that is high in magnesium helps to offset this loss. Someone who already has Diabetes can also add almonds into meals, and this helps in controlling glucose level and is good for digestion and a healthy blood flow due to their high level of fiber.

Heart Health: Nuts are a vital tool in the fight for a healthy heart.  Often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (or LDL), is a large part of what can cause a build-up of plaque in the blood vessels. This can lead to heart disease and to heart attacks. Eating nuts, such as almonds, can help in lowering this risk. Eating nuts can lead to less inflammation and lower the risk of lowering blood clots. Despite almonds being high in fat, they are high in “healthy fats”, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These healthy fats and Vitamin E in almonds have also both been found to reduce inflammation and promote a heart health. Almonds are also nutrient rich and contain healthy antioxidants.

Brain Health: Almonds are high in Vitamin E which is known for having advantages for brain health.  Having a healthy level of Vitamin E can help with memory, alertness, and even help in the prevention of cognitive decline. Though more studies are needed, it has been said that consuming foods high in alpha-tocopherol (the form of Vitamin E found in almonds) can lower the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Benefit #2: Everyday Health

Increased Energy Levels: Ever struggle to wake up and get out the door in the morning? Grabbing a handful of almonds can help in getting some energy to get through the day. Almonds have both manganese and copper, both which are linked to energy production in the body. Also found in almonds is riboflavin (also known as Vitamin B2) which assists in oxygen-based energy production.

Lower Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can end up leading to heart attack, kidney failure, and stroke. If suffering from high blood pressure, the monounsaturated fat in almonds can help to lower your blood pressure levels. 

Benefit #3: Almonds & Weight Loss

Including almonds (in moderation) in your diet can also help with weight loss. The reason for this is primarily fiber. Fiber assists in healthy digestion which reduces bloating. Once again, despite being high in fat, the almond is full of healthy fats, which are fats useful to the body. The high level of protein also helps the development of lean muscle in the body. If you’re trying to lose weight by lowering your carbohydrate intake, almonds are low in carbs as well.

Benefit #4: Benefits of Almonds on Skin and Hair Health

Yet again, Vitamin E is highlighted for another benefit. It is said that Vitamin E helps to make the skin softer and smoother. Eating almonds can help with hair growth as well. Not only can it result in stronger, shinier hair, but it can reduce hair loss and can prevent dandruff.Types of Almond Products

1) Raw vs Roasted Almonds
If you are looking to buy almonds to snack on, you’ll run into the options of raw versus roasted, but which are better for you? Raw almonds may have the edge health-wise, but not by much. Eating either raw or roasted almonds will both provide an energy pick-me-up and comparable levels of Vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium. Raw almonds do end up being a little bit higher in fiber, while the roasted almonds do end up with a tiny bit more saturated fat (2.8 grams vs 2.7 grams in raw). All and all, they do end up very comparable. (17) The difference does end up being your taste, with most people tending to prefer the roasted flavor. Be cautious though if buying pre-roasted almonds in stores as most end up coated in salt or sugar. If interested in roasted, but without the added, unhealthy ingredients, buy the raw almonds and roast at home!
2) Almond Alternatives Like Butter Almond, Coffee Almond
If you are looking to add almond into your diet in other ways, there are other alternatives. If you suffer from a lactose allergy, you can try out almond milk instead, which also has the benefit of being lower in calories than regular milk.  If you have a sweet tooth, try switching out that pint of ice cream with one made with an almond base, but remember, still do so in moderation. Almond butter is another alternative to give a try if you suffer from a peanut allergy. And lastly, if suffering from a gluten allergy, try out almond flour as a substitution!
There are also products like almond oil, almond flour, almond milk, almond ice cream, and almond cookies. Unsure where to buy almond butter?

Risks When Consuming Almonds

It’s important to consider that there are some risks associated with almonds as well – we’ll cover the two primary considerations below:

Risk #1: Nut Allergies
Like most things, there are typically some risks. A nut allergy would be something to be aware of if adding almonds into your diet. There are two types of allergies: primary food allergy and secondary food allergy. Primary food allergy is the more common where coming into contact with an almond (or product of) can cause a reaction. A serious allergy can cause difficulty breathing and even death. A secondary food allergy is the lesser common and comes from being allergic to birch pollen. Birch pollen and almond have a similar protein in them, so people with a birch pollen allergy could have a reaction to almonds. The reaction is typically less severe and results in itching in the mouth. If you feel you may have an allergy, it is best to consult with a doctor for an allergy test before adding into your diet.
Risk #2: Over-consumption of Almonds
Can too many almonds be bad for you? In short, yes, eating too many almonds can end up resulting in weight gain, which for some may be the opposite reason they’re eating almonds to begin with. Even if full of healthy fats, too much of even a good thing can lead to weight gain. Almonds are also high in calories. If you are consuming too may almonds, this can also lead to constipation and bloating. This would be caused by consuming too much fiber and your body not being able to process it all. This can partly be avoided if you also increase the amount of water you drink. Due to these risks, it is best to stick to the suggested serving size of 1 ounce.
Written by Amanda Druhan



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By Tran & Do © 2020. All rights reserved.


By Tran & Do © 2020. All rights reserved.