Almonds are 4% water, 22% carbohydrates, 21% protein, and 50% fat (table). In a 100 gram reference amount, almonds supply 579 calories.
The almond is a nutritionally dense food (table), providing a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of the B vitaminsriboflavin and niacin, vitamin E, and the essential minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Almonds are a moderate source (10–19% DV) of the B vitamins thiamine, vitamin B6, and folate, choline, and the essential mineral potassium.
They also contain substantial dietary fiber, the monounsaturated fat, oleic acid, and the polyunsaturated fat, linoleic acid. Typical of nuts and seeds, almonds are a source of phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, sitostanol, and campestanol.
Research and Health Effects
Almonds boast an impressive nutrient profile.
It is important to note that your body does not absorb 10–15% of their calories because some of the fat is inaccessible to digestive enzymes.
Almonds are also high in phytic acid, a substance that binds certain minerals and prevents them from being absorbed
While phytic acid is generally considered a healthy antioxidant, it also slightly reduces the amount of iron, zinc and calcium you get from almonds.
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.
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 levels 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.
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