Almonds are good for your heart, brain, AND stomach

Almonds can be added to almost anything, including ice cream, pastries, and chocolates. The versatility of this superfood is not just limited to the foods that it can be added in, it’s also versatile when it comes to the health benefits it can provide. Eating almonds is beneficial for heart, brain, and stomach health and function.

For something so small, it’s amazing that almonds are loaded with tons of nutrients and bioactive compounds that are good for the body. So far, more than 130 compounds have been identified in this seed. These include fats, fibers, carbohydrates, proteins, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, and choline. The presence of these compounds can be attributed to the different health benefits that almonds have, which include the following:

  • Reducing heart disease risk — Almonds are beneficial to the heart since they are rich in polyphenols and vitamin E that work as antioxidants and prevent free radicals from accumulating. The presence of these antioxidants aid in lowering bad cholesterol levels, which effectively lowers the risk for heart disease. Studies have also shown that almonds reduce blood pressure and promote blood flow so that heart attacks and strokes can be prevented.
  • Regulating blood sugar — Insulin resistance, especially in Type 2 diabetes patients, has been associated with magnesium deficiency. Almonds contain half of a person’s recommended daily intake of magnesium. Studies have shown that supplementing diabetes patients with magnesium leads to improved insulin sensitivity.
  • Improving memory  Eating almonds can promote better memory by increasing the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. Aside from this, almonds also contain vitamin B6 that enhance the production of brain chemicals and improve communication between brain cells by increasing the proteins available for cell repair. Vitamin E in almonds also helps improve memory by slowing down cell aging due to free radical stress.
  • Supporting healthy gut microbiota — Since almonds are rich in dietary fibers and polyphenols, they can serve as prebiotics for the beneficial bacteria in the gut. When these bacteria are happy and healthy, they help the body perform its bodily functions, such as digesting food and protecting against pathogens.
  • Preventing cancer — Based on previous studies, eating almonds, as well as peanuts and walnuts, can reduce breast cancer risk by two to three times.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight — The nutritional profile of almonds is suitable for those who want to keep their weight in check since it has low carbohydrate content, but is high in proteins and fibers. Because of this, eating almonds causes people to feel satiated for longer periods of time and leads to reduced calorie intake.
  • Prolonging life — Previous studies have shown that eating a handful of almonds per day effectively lowers the risk of early death by 23 percent. This is attributed to the reduced occurrence of diabetes and neurodegenerative disease in people who eat this seed.

It’s very easy to enjoy the different health benefits that almonds have since they can be consumed in many ways. People can either eat them raw or in the form of milk, butter, or flour. Almonds truly are versatile and delicious superfoods.  (Related: Eating 15 almonds a day lowers bad cholesterol levels and decreases the risk for diabetes.)

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