Looking for a tasty snack that’s easy on the carbs but rich in calories? Look no further than almonds. A favorite among health enthusiasts, almonds pack a nutritional punch and offer several health benefits.
For centuries, Muslim mums have been recommending almonds as being beneficial for better memory. It is the tradition in many Muslim countries for people who are memorizing Quran to eat some almonds every morning.
Almonds are also incredibly versatile. Just look at the different almond products on the market: almond butter, almond milk, almond flour – the list goes on! Each is uniquely delicious, and all are good for you.
The many health benefits of almonds
Ounce for ounce, almonds contain more fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin than any tree nut. So it really isn’t surprising that almonds boast a long list of health benefits. Here are some of them:
- Supports healthy heart function – Almonds keep your heart in excellent shape by reducing levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. High cholesterol and blood pressure levels can severely raise your risk of developing heart disease and experiencing complications like stroke and heart attack.
- Helps control blood sugar – People with diabetes benefit the most from eating almonds. Experts say almonds can prevent blood sugar from spiking after meals by helping cells process glucose effectively.
- Combats inflammation – Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E. As an antioxidant, vitamin E helps protect your cells from inflammation. Many studies have linked inflammation to serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
- Boosts digestion – If you frequently feel bloated, chances are you lack fiber. Luckily, almonds give you enough fiber to keep bloating at bay. Fiber keeps food moving along your intestines. It also binds to stool, adding bulk so that it’s easier to pass.
- Energizes – Almonds make a great pick-me-up snack. They are packed with manganese, riboflavin and copper, all of which are important for energy production. Almonds are also rich in protein. This provides a longer-lasting energy source than carbs because they take longer to digest.
- Burns belly fat – Although almonds are high in fat, they may actually help you burn fat, particularly in the belly area. This is likely because almonds are rich in protein. Previous studies have shown that a high-protein diet aids in weight and fat loss among men and women.
- Builds strong bones – Almonds give you high levels of phosphorus, a mineral that works with vitamin D and calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong, especially as you age. Some studies even suggest that phosphorus may help reduce your risk of developing bone diseases like osteoporosis.
- Keeps your brain young – When it comes to brain foods, nothing is doing it like almonds. These nuts pack more than one nutrient for your brain, including riboflavin and L-carnitine. Riboflavin helps maintain a healthy nervous system, while L-carnitine wards off age-related mental decline.
- Maintains healthy, youthful skin – Almonds can turn back the clock when it comes to skin aging, as shown by a recent study. In the study, postmenopausal women who ate almonds as part of their regular diets had less severe wrinkles after just 16 weeks. This is possibly due to the healthy fats in almonds.
- May help protect against some cancers – Almonds have tremendous anti-cancer potential because of their high antioxidant content. Antioxidants protect your cells and DNA from damage, which could lead to cancer. The beneficial fats in almonds also help prevent cancerous tumors from growing.
- Improve Memory – According to Health Practitioner and Certified Macrobiotic Health Coach, “almonds elevate the levels of ACh acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps enhance memory and help fight conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Tips for incorporating almonds into your diet
Almonds are great for snacking. But you can also incorporate them into your daily diet! Here’s how:
- Blend them up – The natural oils in almonds can make your fruit or veggie smoothies creamier. So add a handful of almonds to the mix the next time you make a batch.
- Use them as a crust – Crush a bunch of almonds and use that to bread meat or chicken with. They add a nice crunch and a slight sweetness that won’t overpower the actual dish.
- Turn them into a crumble topping – For a quick, simple and healthy dessert, coat your favorite fruit in almond crumble made from almond butter and rolled oats.
- Stir them into sauces – You can also add a bit of almond butter to hearty broths or smoky sauces for a hint of nuttiness that cuts through powerful flavors.
- Include them in savory dishes – Whether chopped, sliced or slivered, almonds are great for all kinds of hot, savory dishes like stir-fries, roasted veggie bowls, soups and slaws.
Brimming with vitamins, minerals and beneficial fats, almonds make a valuable addition to a balanced diet. To reap its nutritional benefits, start snacking on almonds or, better yet, use them in your go-to recipes.