Almonds had been considered too fatty to be a healthy snack, but research has shown that the nuts actually lower blood cholesterol levels. 90 percent of the fats in almonds are unsaturated, and the nuts are high in protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. Almonds help prevent osteoporosis and they regulate blood pressure.
Eating almonds has the same effect as the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. A one and a half ounce handful of almonds is a leading source of vitamin E and magnesium and offers protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron in 246 calories. Also, almonds (and other nuts) contain phytochemicals, which are plant chemicals that may provide powerful protection against heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases.
New research gives even more support to the healthy benefits of almonds: almonds may well be a food that helps fight obesity and diabetes.
Almonds also have greater levels of satiety, that is, satisfaction or fullness from food. This may be due to the high fiber content of the almonds, and this greater satiety leads to an overall satisfaction of hunger that can help people to maintain a healthy weight. The studies done at Purdue University showed that adding nearly two servings of almonds to a person’s diet did not cause them to gain weight or body fat at all, but rather led them to decrease their intake of calories from other sources of food. Therefore they did not consume more calories overall but kept the same levels of consumption despite adding almonds to their diet.
- Almonds are among the earliest cultivated foods in history.
- Almonds are thought to have originated in China and Central Asia.
- Explorers brought almonds back with them, and before long almond trees flourished.
- Almonds, like most nuts, were thought to have too much fat to be a healthy snack.
- But research has debunked that belief as an old myth.
- One study showed that three ounces of almonds a day actually lowered a person’s cholesterol by 14 percent.
- Munching on almonds helps people feel satisfied and less inclined to overeat at dinner!
- Ninety percent of the fat in almonds is unsaturated fat, and frequent consumption, as a result, could help lower blood cholesterol levels.
- Of course, since almonds are a plant based food, they contain no cholesterol.
- Almonds are loaded with protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and other antioxidants and phytochemicals.
- Almonds have been shown to promote good health, especially when they are part of a healthful diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and low fat whole grain products.
- According to one study, almonds are a well balanced food.
- They contain the right kind of fats-monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated, so they help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, while not touching the high-density, or good cholesterol levels.
- The folic acid in almonds is believed to help lower levels of homocystein, the amino acid that is thought to contribute to the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries.
- And studies have shown links between nut (especially almond) consumption and lower risk of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illnesses.
- In a nutshell, almonds are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, riboflavin, niacin and iron.
- Almonds are the most nutritious of all nuts.