Almonds are among the world’s most popular tree nuts.
They are highly nutritious and rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in your cells and contribute to inflammation, aging and diseases like cancer.
The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin.
For this reason, blanched almonds — those with skin removed — are not the best choice from a health perspective.
A clinical trial in 60 male smokers found that about 3 ounces (84 grams) of almonds per day reduced oxidative stress biomarkers by 23–34% over a four-week period.
These findings support those of another study which found that eating almonds with main meals reduced some markers of oxidative damage.
Vitamin E is a family of fat-soluble antioxidants.
These antioxidants tend to build up in cell membranes in your body, protecting your cells from oxidative damage.
Almonds are among the world's best sources of vitamin E, with just 1 ounce providing 37% of the RDI.
Several studies have linked higher vitamin E intake with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Nuts are low in carbs but high in healthy fats, protein and fiber.
This makes them a perfect choice for people with diabetes.
Another boon of almonds is their remarkably high amount of magnesium.
Magnesium is a mineral involved in more than 300 bodily processes, including blood sugar control.
The current RDI for magnesium is 310–420 mg. 2 ounces of almonds provide almost half that amount — 150 mg of this important mineral.
Interestingly, 25–38% of people with type 2 diabetes are deficient in magnesium. Correcting this deficiency significantly lowers blood sugar leves and improves insulin function.
People without diabetes also see major reductions in insulin resistance when supplementing with magnesium.
This indicates that high-magnesium foods such as almonds may help prevent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, both of which are major health problems.
High levels of LDL lipoproteins in your blood — also known as "bad" cholesterol — is a well-known risk factor for heart disease.
Your diet can have major effects on LDL levels. Some studies have shown almonds to effectively lower LDL.
A 16-week study in 65 people with prediabetes found that a diet providing 20% of calories from almonds lowered LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 12.4 mg/dL.
Another study found that eating 1.5 ounces (42 grams) of almonds per day lowered LDL cholesterol by 5.3 mg/dL while maintaining "good" HDL cholesterol. Participants also lost belly fat.