Rich in lots of good stuff like healthy fats, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, it’s no wonder that almonds are among the world’s most commonly-eaten tree nuts.1 Here, we explore the health benefits of eating almonds, plus how to incorporate them into your diet. But first, what’s actually in almonds? Let’s look at their nutritional value.
Almonds’ nutritional profile
Almonds contain a variety of nutrients which are good for the body, including2:
- Fibre3: essential for promoting good digestive health, a high-fibre diet helps to normalise bowl movements. It’s also linked to lower cholesterol levels and aids in achieving a healthy weight
- Protein4: an important building block of bones and muscles, your body uses protein to make and repair vital tissues
- Magnesium5: good for cell health, magnesium is found mostly in bone, but can also be found in muscles, soft tissues, and fluid (including blood)
- Vitamin E6: helps maintain healthy skin and eyes. It’s also known to strengthen the immune system
Key health benefits of almonds
Here are just some of the many health benefits of eating an almond-rich diet:
They’re jam-packed full of antioxidants
Almonds are full of antioxidants, which help protect against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage cell molecules and cause things like inflammation, premature ageing, and nasty diseases like cancer.7 8
However, it’s important to note that these powerful antioxidants are mostly found in the brown layer of skin around almonds.9 10 11 So almonds with the skin removed (blanched almonds) aren’t as good for you.
They can help control blood sugar
High in healthy fats, protein, and fibre, almonds are a great snack choice for people with diabetes. They also contain high amounts of magnesium, which studies have shown that 25-38% of people with type 2 diabetes are deficient in.12 13 14
They can lower cholesterol
It’s a well-known fact that people with higher cholesterol run a much higher risk of developing heart disease. A recent study found that people with high cholesterol who ate a diet providing 20% of calories from almonds, saw their cholesterol levels lowered over time.15
They can reduce hunger pangs
Almonds are high in protein and fibre, which are both known to make you feel fuller for longer. This means that people with a diet high in protein and fibre tend to consume less calories than those who eat more carbs and fats.16 17
What counts as a portion of almonds?
While there are no set medical guidelines detailing how many almonds are in a regular portion, it’s generally accepted that between 20g-50g per day of almonds for adults is beneficial as part of a balanced diet.18
How to include more almonds in your diet
There are lots of ways to cook and eat almonds, here are just a few19:
- Dry roasting: to dry roast your almonds, heat your oven to 175C. Spread the almonds on an ungreased cooking sheet on a baking tray and bake for ten minutes or until they are golden brown and fragrant.
- Oil roasting: heat your oven to 175C. Cover a baking tray with tin foil and place your almonds on top. Spread canola oil over the almonds and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the almonds with kosher salt.
- Honey roasting: heat your oven to 175C. Spread your almonds on an ungreased cooking sheet on a baking tray and heat for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir honey, sugar, water, and almond oil together in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Take your almonds out from the oven and mix them into your honey mixture. Leave until the almonds have absorbed all the liquid (about five minutes). Sprinkle a bit of sugar over them and let the almonds cool before serving
For more nutritional food ideas, check out our range of healthy snacks.
Last updated: 25 May 2020