Almonds are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, and are associated with a number of health benefits. Just a handful of almonds, approximately one ounce, contains one-eighth of our necessary daily protein.
- Almonds also contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids in addition to a lot of bio-active molecules (such as fiber, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals, and antioxidants) which can help prevent cardiovascular heart diseases.
- Nuts and seeds are the vegetable foods that are richest in fiber after cereals, which could explain why almonds are good for cardiovascular health.
Nutritional report: Almonds, raw 1 cup whole (143 grams):
- Water – 6.31 grams
- Energy – 828 kcal
- Protein – 30.24 grams
- Total lipid (fat) – 71.40 grams
- Carbohydrate, by difference – 30.82 grams
- Fiber, total dietary – 17.9 grams
- Sugars, total – 6.01 grams
- Cholesterol – 0 grams
- Calcium, Ca – 385 mg
- Iron, Fe – 5.31 mg
- Magnesium, Mg – 386 mg
- Phosphorus, P – 688 mg
- Potassium, K – 1048 mg
- Sodium, Na – 1 mg
- Zinc, Zn – 4.46 mg
- Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid – 0 mg
- Thiamine – 0.293 mg
- Vitamin B2 – 1.627 mg
- Niacin – 5.174 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.196 mg
- Folic acid, DFE – 63 µg
- Vitamin B12 – 0 µg
- Vitamin A, RAE – 0 µg
- Vitamin A, IU – 3 IU
- Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) – 36.65 mg
- Vitamin D – 0 IU
- Vitamin K (phylloquinone) – 0 µg
- Caffeine – 0 mg
Potential health benefits associated with consuming almonds include lowering cholesterol, and reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
- Lowering cholesterol: A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that consuming almonds increases vitamin E levels in the plasma and red blood cells and also lowers cholesterol levels.
- Reducing cancer risk: Researchers at the Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, conducted a study to determine the effect of almonds on colon cancer. According to the authors, the results suggested that “almond consumption may reduce colon cancer risk and does so via at least one almond lipid-associated component.” Their research was published in Cancer Letters.
- Reducing the risk of heart disease: Almonds, along with nuts and seeds in general, are often associated with improved levels of blood lipids and being good for the heart. One study, published in the journal Circulation, assessed almonds’ effect on coronary heart disease risk factors, and concluded that “almonds used as snacks in the diets of hyperlipidemic subjects significantly reduce coronary heart disease risk factors, probably in part because of the nonfat (protein and fiber) and monounsaturated fatty acid components of the nut.”
- There are potential risks associated with the consumption of almonds. Allergy to almonds is actually rather common.
- If you are allergic to almonds it’s important to avoid any food products that may contain them.
- Almonds are used to make frangipane, marzipan and praline. Almonds are also sometimes used in cakes, biscuits, bread, chocolates, ice cream, and certain liqueurs (such as Amandine).
Source: “What are the health benefits of almonds?”, 30 August 2012, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269468.php