March 08, 2016 2 min read
By Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
Almonds are a delicious type of nut that also is nutritious and has many health benefits. This tasty nut is native to the Middle East and South Asia but is now cultivated outside of these areas in places such as the United States.
When it comes to the health benefits of eating almonds this includes lowering your LDL cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease, help prevent diabetes, aid with weight loss and help you with your energy levels.
Almonds are an excellent source of antioxidants. These antioxidants help to prevent damage to molecules in your cells by protecting against oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can cause diseases like cancer as well as premature aging.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant that builds up in cell membranes of your body. This protects your cells from oxidative damage. There has also been several studies linking higher intake of Vitamin E to lower races of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Since almonds are high in protein, healthy fats and fiber, but low in carbs they can help regulate your blood sugar levels, preventing them from spiking. This makes almonds an ideal snack for diabetics.
Furthermore, the magnesium contained within almonds help with blood sugar control. Since a large proportion of the population doesn’t get enough magnesium, eating foods such as almonds will help increase their magnesium intake. Magnesium has been shown to help individuals who have type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
The magnesium contained in almonds can have a positive effect on high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). If you are deficient in magnesium you could have problems with your blood pressure levels even if you are not overweight.
If your LDL cholesterol levels (considered ‘bad’ cholesterol) are high this is a risk factor for heart disease. Almonds have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels as was discovered in a 16 week study on pre diabetic patients. Also almond consumption has shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. If LDL becomes oxidized this is a negative thing since it is a step towards heart disease.
Since almonds contain little carbs but are high in both fiber and protein they will keep your hunger pangs away. This will help you control your appetite and keep you from consuming too many calories over the long run. As you can tell there are a number of health benefits to eating almonds making them a nutritious and healthy food.
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