Year after year, the American love affair with the almond just continues to grow stronger. Since 1980, American consumption of almonds has sky-rocketed by 400%, going from a quarter pound per year to 2 pounds per year for the average American. That's because almonds are very versatile and can be used in many different ways. They are used in smoothies, in a sauces, as a milk alternative, in varieties of deserts, and many other numerous uses. Accordingly, it should not be a surprise to learn that the US is now the world’s leading producer of almonds!
There is very good reason for this. Almonds are an absolute powerhouse of nutrition. They are high in mono-saturated fat, fiber, protein, and are also rich in vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B2, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium phosphorus, folic acid, as well as a wide array of antioxidants. They are also relatively low on the calorie count compared to other nuts. All that adds up to some pretty impressive health benefits:
Lets's Look at the Benefits of Almonds:
Almond Benefit # 1: High Vitamin E Content
Almonds are one of the very best sources of vitamin E available – a vital antioxidant that helps protect cellular structure, the heart, and helps to lessen the risk of developing some types of cancer.
Almond Benefit # 2: Rich in Fiber
Given that almonds are rich in fiber, they are great for gut health and helping with regularity.
Almond Benefit # 3: Improves Brain Activity
Almonds also contain vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and another lesser known but still super-effective nutrient - L-carnitine. Both of these have been attributed to healthier brain activity and reducing the risk of developing serious mental health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Almond Benefit # 4: Great for Bone Density
When it comes to bone health, almonds come up with the goods again. That’s because the phosphorous content found in the nut is excellent for strengthening bone and bone density.
Almond Benefit # 5: Important for health Skin
For those looking for smoother, healthier and younger skin, think almonds! Their generous vitamin A and E content are great for skin health.
Almond Benefit # 6: Helps with Blood Sugar
Almonds contain a substantial amount of mono-saturated fat and fiber. This is good news for those with diabetes as eating almonds can help manage blood sugar levels.
Almond Benefit # 7: Helps Reduce Inflammation
The fatty acid profile found in almonds, (and remember not all fats are bad), have been identified with helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
Almond Benefit # 8: Helps Reduce Blood Pressure
Consuming magnesium has the effect of helping to lower blood pressure. Consequently, for those with high blood pressure, almonds can make a great addition to the diet as they have a good magnesium profile.
Almond Benefit # 9: Important During Pregnancy
The folic acid found in almonds is of potential benefit to pregnant women as it promotes healthy tissue and cell growth in the fetus.
Almond Benefit # 10: Assists in weight Loss
Given their fiber and protein content, almonds are a great way to suppress appetite and help with weight loss and weight control regimens, accordingly.
How Can We add Almonds to Our Diet?
Almonds can be eaten in many different ways, including very simply just taking a handful to snack on. However, why not try almond butter or almond milk? Almonds are also great in cakes and desserts, and can be sliced or grated to go with pretty much anything, adding their unique slightly sweet and nutty taste to a main meal or salad.