Almonds: The Nutritious Nut That's Just About Everywhere

Almonds: The Nutritious Nut That's Just About Everywhere

Who’s nuts about almonds? Walk into any grocery store, and you’ll see almonds in almost every aisle: almond milk, almond butter, almond flour, almond yogurt, almond cheese — and, of course, countless varieties of plain old almonds.

In addition to being a versatile nut — and a portable snack — almonds’ nutrition benefits are quite impressive. They’re included on our list of healthy foods to eat.

“Almonds provide many nutrients,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. Beyond their impressive nutrient profile, almonds also boast plenty of health benefits.

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Almond Nutrition Facts

almonds nutrition- almonds in a bowl

A serving of nuts is one ounce, and with almonds, you get quite a generous amount: approximately 23.

In that single serving, Gorin explains that you receive healthy nutrients:

  • 6 grams of protein
  • 4 grams of fiber

“This means that almonds are a good source of both nutrients, which help to keep you fuller for longer,” says Gorin. “Almonds also provide heart-healthy fats, as well as many vitamins and minerals.”

To keep sodium and added fat in check, reach for raw or dry-roasted varieties. While Gorin says all types of almonds “can be great choices,” she cautions that “nuts can be roasted in oil, which can add quite a bit of calories.”

Follow the same advice in choosing almond butter, which should only contain almonds — no added oils, salt, or sugar.

And with almond milk, you also want to look for a short ingredient list:

  • almonds
  • water
  • not much more

Unsweetened almond milk is a great choice when choosing your preferred milk — with just 37 calories per cup!

While “the nutrition offered by almonds is more nutrient-dense than the nutrition offered by almond milk,” Gorin says, “many almond milks are fortified with vitamins and minerals.” These aren’t present in large amounts in almonds.

Gorin explains that depending on the variety/brand you choose, 1 cup of almond milk could provide approximately:

  • 45% of the daily value for calcium
  • 50% of the daily value for vitamin B12
  • 25% of the daily value for vitamin D

 

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Health Benefits of Almonds

almonds nutrition- almonds

Let’s go beyond macros to talk about some other almond nutrition benefits.

Some of the healthiest diets in the world, including the Mediterranean diet, include nuts like almonds.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are simply substances found in foods that may be associated with protection against a wide variety of diseases.

You get more than ⅓ of your recommended daily value for vitamin E in a serving of almonds.

Vitamin E is believed to play an important role in offering protection from free radical damage and is believed to impact immune and skin health.

Antioxidant-like compounds

While the only antioxidants recognized by the FDA are vitamins AC, and E, there are antioxidant-like compounds that may help:

  • Offer protection against free radicals
  • Regulate normal cell growth
  • Support immune function

One study found, “Roasting is the most suitable type of industrial processing of almonds to obtain almond skin extracts with the greatest antioxidant capacity.”

Research studies have found an association between eating almonds and a reduction in overall inflammation.

Weight loss

While almonds are indeed calorie-dense, research studies suggest that eating almonds in moderate portions is not associated with weight gain.

“Nuts, including almonds, contain a trio of protein, fiber, and healthy fat,” explains Gorin. “These are all nutrients that help to keep you fuller for longer, which can help keep you from snacking in between eating occasions.”

One 2014 study of 100 overweight women following weight loss plans found that the regimens that included almonds resulted in greater weight loss.

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that’s involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions throughout your body, says Gorin.

Guess which nut is a good source of this mineral? You guessed it: almonds.

They give you 20% of your daily magnesium in a single serving. What does magnesium do?

According to Gorin, magnesium may impact several areas of our bodies, including:

  • blood
  • bones
  • muscles
  • nerves
Stepfanie Romine

About

Stepfanie Romine is a yoga teacher (RYT 500), ACE-certified health coach and fitness nutrition specialist who writes about natural health, plant-based cooking and yoga. A runner and hiker based in Asheville, N.C., her books include The No Meat Athlete Cookbook and Cooking with Healing Mushrooms. Follow her on Twitter.

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