The Awesome Health Benefits Of Almonds

The Awesome Health Benefits Of AlmondsAlmonds—The Good-for-You Snack!

Available year round, almonds are a delicious and convenient snack requiring little or no preparation. And a mere handful of almonds, about a quarter cup, is also a powerhouse of nutrition. A good source of protein, almonds contain both vitamin E and riboflavin, as well as fiber, calcium, and magnesium, which can help provide the daily recommended amounts of these essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, almonds contain no sodium and no cholesterol in their natural state. As part of a healthy diet almonds, like other nuts, can help lower LDL, the “bad” cholesterol; stave off diabetes; and even contribute to weight loss.

Vitamins and Minerals

An ounce of almonds (about 25 almonds, 170 calories) contains about 35 percent of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin E and about 4 percent each tof thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. That one-ounce portion of almonds also has about 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of magnesium (84 mg), 8 percent of a day’s calcium (74 mg), along with potassium (207 mg), phosphorous (147 mg), zinc, and copper.

Heart-Healthy Protein and Fat

A quarter cup of dry-roasted almonds contains over 7 grams of protein, or about 15 percent of the recommended daily amount, and almost 5 grams of dietary fiber. The protein in almonds contains no cholesterol but does include a healthy dose (about 12 grams per quarter cup) of monounsaturated (heart- healthy) fat—think of almonds like the good fat in olive oil. Almonds lower HDL (the “bad” fat) while helping to raise healthy LDL like whole grains do.

Insulin Release

Almonds contain no carbohydrates. And because their glycemic index (GI) is zero, they do not cause the rise in blood sugar that results when eating high-glycemic foods like white bread and other simple carbs. Rather almonds result in balanced releases of insulin and help avoid spikes in blood sugar, which may lead to diabetes and heart disease. Consequently, almonds are ideal for pre-diabetics and diabetics. Moreover, when almonds are eaten in conjunction with high-glycemic foods, they may actually prevent the elevation in blood sugar that those foods might otherwise trigger.

Weight Control

The protein in almonds can keep you from feeling hungry and due to their zero-glycemic index promote an even release of insulin in the body. They are also a very satisfying snack. Consequently, a small amount of almonds in your diet might help you lose weight.


Almonds are an exceptionally nutritious snack food, but why stop there? Sprinkle some chopped almonds over yogurt or your morning bowl of oatmeal; include them in a snack mix with dried fruit, sunflower seeds, and maybe a few chocolate bits; enhance salads with the crunch of almonds; add almonds to steamed veggies; and add them to desserts like pudding and ice cream or use them to decorate cupcakes and cookies. Almonds, though technically a seed of the almond tree rather than true nuts, are a nutritional bargain, so reach for a handful of almonds and be healthy!


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