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Are Almonds Healthy? Nutrition Facts and 7 Health Benefits
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Are Almonds Healthy? Nutrition Facts and 7 Health Benefits

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 10, 2022
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8 min

Today’s article is all about almonds and why you should eat them. As such, we discuss the benefits as well as the side effects of consuming almonds. Stick with us!

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The almond is not a true tree nut! While we have come to regard them as nuts, almonds are actually drupes, as they are the seeds of the fruit from the almond tree.

Still, almonds are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, healthy fats, and many other important nutrients. As such, almonds offer a plethora of incredible health benefits, including lowering elevated blood pressure, preventing cardiovascular disease, and alleviating constipation.

Moreso, this super-nut is incredibly versatile, as it can be eaten raw, roasted, or as a part of a healthy recipe. Almonds are also available as sliced, flaked, slivered, flour, oil, butter, or almond milk.

Today, we discuss the health benefits of almonds and the side effects associated with them. We will also answer some questions concerning almonds as part of a holistic approach to healthy eating.

Are Almonds Healthy?

Based on nutritional evidence, the answer is yes. Almonds are a rich source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, contributing to a healthy, balanced diet. Not only that, but they also contain important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc.

These nutrients serve a number of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels and systolic blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.

In addition to their nutritional benefits, almonds are one of the most versatile drupes out there (almonds are, in fact, not true nuts). Therefore, you can easily incorporate almonds into several diets and meal plans. However, if you base your diet on ketogenesis, it is important to note that almonds are keto if eaten in limited quantities.

Overall, they make a tasty snack on their own, can add texture and flavor to salads or yogurt bowls, and can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs in recipes.

7 Health Benefits of Almonds

Almonds are a nutrient-dense bomb that benefits you and your body. Here are 7 major health benefits of almonds.

#1 Lower cholesterol levels

According to science, an increased level of LDL cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of heart disease. 

Almonds are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats found in olive oil, which have been shown to improve cholesterol levels

According to research, eating just 1.5 ounces of almonds every day can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 9.4%, which leads to lower blood pressure. In addition, almonds also contain high levels of plant sterols, specifically beta-sitosterol, which have also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. 

Likewise, a 2005 research highlighted almonds’ high amount of vitamin E. This antioxidant is responsible for halting the formation of plaques in the arterial walls by stopping the oxidation of cholesterol. 

Researchers advise people to consume no less than 45 grams of almonds daily to maintain healthy hearts. 

#2 Anticancer properties

According to a study carried out in 2015 to determine the effect of nuts on cancer, consuming higher quantities of almonds and other similarly beneficial nuts can lower breast cancer risks by as much as three times.

#3 Promote healthy skin

Eating almonds can promote healthy skin due to their high levels of vitamin E, a nutrient that helps protect the skin from damage and keeps it looking smooth and youthful. In addition, almonds contain essential fatty acids that help maintain the skin’s barrier function and improve overall hydration. 

Almonds also contain anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the appearance of acne and other skin irritations. 

#4 Improve bone health

According to reports, about 10 million Americans who are over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis, while 34 million within the same age group suffer from low bone mass. 

Eating almonds on a regular basis helps fortify your bones, increasing their resistance to bone fractures. It also lowers the risk of bone-related diseases such as rickets and osteoporosis and promotes overall bone health

Almonds are a great source of calcium, essential for building and maintaining strong bones. They also contain high levels of magnesium and vitamin E, both of which have been necessary to improve bone mineral density.

In addition, almonds also contain phosphorus and protein, both of which are essential for building and maintaining bone structure and density.  

#5 Help with weight management

While there is skepticism about almond consumption due to its high calorie content, almonds are a great addition to any weight loss or maintenance plan because they contain protein and fiber, both of which help keep you feeling full and satisfied. 

In addition, almonds have been shown to increase feelings of fullness when eaten before a meal, leading to naturally consuming fewer calories. However, for this to work, you must closely monitor your serving size. 

According to 2015 research, eating almonds as a mid-morning snack tends to leave a person feeling full for a significant amount of time. 

The premise of the research saw two groups eating varying amounts of almonds (group 1 ate 28g, equalling 173 calories, while group 2 ate 42g, equalling 259 calories). The result showed that the participants who ate more almonds experienced lower appetites than those who did not.

#6 Rich source of antioxidants

Almonds come with an interesting antioxidant profile that makes them great at fighting a wide range of diseases. 

Almonds are a powerhouse of antioxidants, with one serving providing 20% of the recommended daily intake. These antioxidants help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

#7 Control blood sugar

Eating almonds can help control blood sugar levels because they contain a good amount of protein and fiber, both of which slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and help prevent spikes in blood sugar. 

Studies have also shown that almonds can improve insulin sensitivity, meaning they can help the body efficiently use its blood sugar. Additionally, almonds contain magnesium, a mineral that is important for healthy blood sugar regulation.

Reduction in blood sugar reduces your risk of high blood pressure. This can cause arterial damage, which can result in many complications, including increased elasticity and reduced oxygen and blood supply to the heart. 

3 Side Effects of Almonds

While the health benefits of almonds are, at this point, set in stone, eating too many almonds can trigger certain side effects. Here are 3 side effects of almonds.

#1 Allergy

Nut allergy is one of the world’s most common forms of allergy. Although almonds are not true nuts, they trigger quite an allergic reaction in some people. 

#2 Digestion issues

Overeating almonds can cause constipation, bloating, and stomach aches. The reason for this is because of the high fiber content. However, you can tackle an increased fiber intake by increasing your water intake.

#3 Vitamin E overload

A 100g serving of almonds contains about 25mg of vitamin E, whereas the recommended daily amount is just 15mg. Higher vitamin E intake can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, it can cause a bleeding disorder.

Nutrition Facts of Almonds

While almonds are not classed as true nuts (they are more seeds than nuts), they still contain a boatload of essential nutrients and, coupled with their versatility, make them one of the best dietary options out there. 

Still, there is more to just attesting to how beneficial almonds are. Let us take a look at the nutritional facts.

Nutritional value (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount
Calories (kcal)667
Sodium (mg)256
Net Carbs (g)5.2
Fiber (g)11g
Sugar (g)4.17
Fats (Total)57.8
Protein (g)20.4

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/323294/nutrients

High in calories and fats

While other nuts contain fewer calories, the calorie content of almonds ranks on the high side as it contains 667kcal per 100g serving. However, while the carb content is on the low side, the bulk of its calories comes from its protein and fat content. 

Almonds contain a high amount of healthy, unsaturated fats, the kind found in flaxseeds, avocados, and olive oil. These fats help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. 

They also provide a source of essential fatty acids, which our bodies need for proper brain function and cell growth. Additionally, healthy fats can keep us feeling fuller for longer, aiding in weight management.

High in protein

Proteins found in almonds play important roles in the body, including building and repairing tissue, creating enzymes and hormones, and aiding in muscle contraction. 

Additionally, protein helps to keep us feeling full and can aid in weight management. Eating a handful of almonds as a snack or adding them to meals can help increase our protein intake.

High in carbohydrates

The carbohydrates found in almonds serve as a source of energy for the body. They can also be broken down and stored as glycogen, which can then be used for energy during physical activity or periods of fasting. 

Additionally, carbohydrates help to regulate blood sugar levels and provide structure and support to cell walls.

Rich in vitamins and minerals

The vitamins and minerals found in almonds, such as vitamin E and magnesium, have various functions in the body. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, helping protect cells from damage. Magnesium is involved in muscle and nerve function and energy production. 

Additionally, these nutrients may help support a healthy immune system and heart health. Eating almonds as part of a balanced diet can provide these important nutrients to support overall health and wellness.

Healthy Recipe With Almonds

There are many ways for you to enjoy almonds. You can eat them raw or incorporate them into many healthy recipes. Here is a simple almond recipe for you to enjoy – almond and spinach smoothie.

Ingredients

  • 200ml almond milk
  • 12–18 whole raw almonds
  • 8–10 fresh spinach leaves
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves 
  • Nutmeg 
  • Crushed black peppercorns

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Only use a pinch of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black peppercorns to avoid an overwhelming taste. 

This easy, one-step breakfast smoothie is a great way to kick-start your day. However, there are countless other almond recipes that you can incorporate into lunch and dinner. If you seek these recipes, then the DoFasting app is just for you.

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FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions concerning almonds.

Do almonds have cholesterol?

Almonds contain zero amounts of cholesterol. As such, you benefit from a reduced risk of high blood pressure.

Are almonds good or bad for you?

Almonds are a healthy dietary option for you. However, due to their calorie content, it is important that you stick to a small serving size.

Do almonds make you gain weight?

As long as you stick to your daily calorie intake, you will not gain weight eating almonds. Still, as with any fatty food, going overboard can trigger weight gain.

Are almonds high in fiber?

Yes, almonds contain a significantly high amount of fiber, with about 11g present in a 100g serving.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

From a nutritional standpoint, almonds are of great value to us due to the contents of their nutritional profile.

The health benefits of almonds are vast. They help lower blood pressure, reduce cardiovascular and cancer risk, and improve HDL cholesterol levels and bone health.

Still, as much as they are valuable, they trigger some side effects. Allergies can become a big problem if left unattended. Coupled with the potential for weight gain due to their high carb content, it is essential to check in with your healthcare provider before eating almonds.

Conclusion

Almonds are a healthy and delicious option that provides plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. They are versatile and easy to include in many different recipes. 

If you’re looking for a nutritious snack to help you reach your daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables, consider almonds! Likewise, if you want an amazing healthy dish with flavor and nutrients, also consider almonds.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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