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Health Benefits of Almonds

Some people might consider almonds a party snack or a treat for a special occasion.  However, almonds are considered one of the world's healthiest foods and contain several nutrients that make them a good addition to almost any diet.  These nuts can be eaten alone or mixed with salads and main dishes to add protein and other nutrients to snacks and meals.

Nutritional Information

Almonds contain several nutrients that contribute to high energy levels, positive mood and proper body function.  Just 1/4-cup of almonds contains 45 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) of manganese.  The same serving sizes contains 45 percent of the DV for vitamin E, 25 percent of the DV for magnesium and approximately 22 percent of the DV for tryptophan.  Almonds also contain vitamin B2, phosphorus and copper.  While there are 205 calories in one serving, and a rather high amount of fat, almonds contain plenty of protein and healthful fats, making them a good choice when eaten in moderation.

Health Benefits

Almonds contain high levels of “good” fats known as monounsaturated fats.  These are the fats that have been shown to reduce the risk of developing heart disease.  Almonds can also help prevent heart disease because they can help reduce cholesterol levels and contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that can help neutralize the effects of free radicals on the body's cells.  The magnesium in one serving of almonds can help to control blood pressure because it can improve oxygen levels and blood flow, helping the arteries to relax.  Potassium is another important nutrient found in almonds.  Potassium helps the nerves and muscles function properly, and it can also help maintain normal blood pressure levels.  Almonds can also help to protect the body against diabetes because they can help prevent surges of blood sugar after meals.  Despite their high fat content, almonds have been shown to help people lose weight and they can also reduce the risk of gaining weight.

Warnings

Nut allergies are becoming increasingly more common, so avoid almonds if you have a known allergy.  It may be necessary to avoid eating almonds in places where other people have nut allergies.  If this occurs, consume nuts at home so that they do not contribute to an allergic reaction.  Nuts can get stuck in the digestive tract, especially in people who have bowel diseases.  Consult a doctor if you have an inflammatory bowel condition that could make almonds and other nuts a dangerous choice.