What are the Health Benefits of Almonds?
Almonds are tree nuts that grow in warm climates. Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium. Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn all about the health benefits of almonds, and how to incorporate them into your daily eating pattern!
Almonds are a Good Source of Healthy Fats
The fats found in almonds are mostly monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, meaning they’re mostly unsaturated. Saturated fats may increase blood cholesterol and insulin resistance, which may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. Replacing foods that contain mostly saturated fats with foods that contain mostly unsaturated fat, such as almonds, have been shown to decrease the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Almonds are a Source of Plant-based Protein
Almonds are a source of plant-based protein, with just ¼ cup containing 8 grams of protein. This is about ⅓ of the protein we should be aiming for at each meal. Protein is vital for helping to build and repair muscles, skin, hair, nails and helps to build hormones and enzymes. Protein will also help us stay fuller for longer. Plant-based protein can also be found in legumes like chickpeas, black beans, and lentils as well as tofu, tempeh, edamame, and other nuts and seeds.
Almonds are a Good Source of Fiber
Almonds are a good source of fiber, with a ¼ cup containing 4 grams of fiber. Women aged 19-50 require 25 grams of fiber per day, whereas men aged 19-50 require 38 grams of fiber per day.
Fiber helps us to stay fuller for longer, helps with regular bowel movements, may help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Fiber can also be found in whole grains, vegetables and fruit, legumes and other nuts and seeds.
Almonds Contain Antioxidants
Our cells naturally become damaged as we age, or as we’re exposed to pollutants or cigarette smoke. Cell damage can lead to the development of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer.
Antioxidants are found naturally in foods such as almonds, and can be vitamins, such as Vitamin A, E, and C, plant chemicals, such as carotenoids or flavonoids, or minerals such as selenium. Antioxidants prevent our cells from becoming damaged.
Almonds are A Good Source of Magnesium
Almonds are a good source of magnesium, a nutrient that many North Americans are low in. Magnesium may help blood sugar, blood pressure and muscle and nerve function. Magnesium can also be found in legumes, other nuts, seeds, leafy greens and whole grains.
How to Use Almonds
- Grab a small handful of almonds as a quick and easy snack. One serving size is about ¼ cup or about the size of the palm of your hand. This amount of nuts has 162 Calories, 14 grams of unsaturated fat, 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.
- Sprinkle sliced almonds over salads
- Mixed whole or sliced almonds into oatmeal, plant-based yogurt, or baked goods
- Spread almond butter over toast, an apple or blended into a smoothie. Choose to buy almond butter, or make your own with a high powered blender or food processor! Add chopped almonds to stir-fries, noodle dishes or rice dishes
- Substitute about ¼ cup of ground almonds for flour in baked goods
Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium. They can help with blood sugar control, help manage blood pressure, and assist muscle and nerve function. This makes them a great addition to your diet!
What’s your favorite way to incorporate almonds into your meals and snacks? Let us know in the comments down below!
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