What the Hull?! Unleashing the Power of Almonds

Fun fact: Almonds are related to roses, orchids, and peaches. And they are nutritionally powerful!!

There’s a reason almonds have surpassed peanuts as the world’s most consumed nut. As this seed’s popularity tops the charts in countries like Brazil, China, and Spain, almonds fair well on their own in ranking high in nutritional benefits when compared with other nuts across the board.

Almonds place first against other nuts in the amount of calcium packed by weight. They are impressively among the lowest in calories while providing the most protein and fiber. Don’t forget about vitamins. Almonds rank first in vitamin E and two out of eight of the vitamin B complex’s riboflavin (B2) and niacin/niacinamide (B3). Vitamin E doubles over as an antioxidant that assists in maintaining healthy skin. Researcher Haddad also states that vitamin E “defends your cells against damage on a daily basis and prevents artery-clogging oxidation of cholesterol” in her Journal of the American Dietetic Association publication.

In fact, a nutritional breakdown of almonds reveals these seeds are loaded with both macronutrients and micronutrients essential for proper human body function. Almonds offer carbohydrates, fats, protein, and water as macronutrients. The monounsaturated fats in the nut are healthy fats that promote cardiovascular health by decreasing hypertension and reducing the risk of heart disease. These unsaturated fats along with fiber and protein help keep our weight in check by curbing spikes in appetite and controlling ghrelin, the hormone associated with hunger. The tree nut also boasts naturally low sugar content.

In addition to macronutrients, almonds possess diverse micronutrients to include minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, and other nutrients. Almonds are rich in both macrominerals and trace minerals alike. High levels of macrominerals magnesium and potassium are found in almonds, helping to improve blood circulation and protect against hypertension. Its trace minerals manganese and copper contribute to energy production. These minerals are key in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive problems.

Almonds are incredible powerhouses for nutrients. Major benefits include cardiovascular health in part by lowering LDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels, and promoting gastrointestinal health with its prebiotic properties, although less commonly known.

Bottom line: The FDA recommends daily consumption of 1.5 ounces of nuts; making almonds your go-to nut is a healthy choice.

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