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.
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
2) Almond Alternatives Like Butter Almond, Coffee Almond
Risks When Consuming Almonds
Risk #1: Nut Allergies