The benefits of eating almonds every day
You probably already know that nuts are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats, but research suggests there’s more to the story. Researchers at Cambridge University are uncovering new information about the health benefits of eating almonds. Here’s what we know so far.
Nuts have been shown to have certain benefits for the heart and blood vessels, including reduced inflammation and improved blood vessel function. In fact, research shows that eating a handful or so can have these benefits, even if you have no risk factors for heart disease.
Other research shows that eating about half a cup can help prevent blood sugar spikes and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. Eating almonds daily can also help reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Below are some examples of the benefits of almonds.
Studies have shown that eating almonds every day can reduce your risk of heart disease, especially if you have risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
One study followed more than 40,000 people in the US, Canada and Australia. Those who ate the most almonds – 7 whole almonds – had a 25% lower risk of heart disease than those who ate the least.
Eating almonds every day can help protect your blood vessels and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
One study followed more than 35,000 women over a 10-year period and found that those who ate the most almonds had a 14% lower risk of developing diabetes.
Eating almonds can improve memory and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Almonds contain a compound called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is thought to be responsible for these biological effects. GABA is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in brain health and function.
In addition to the heart health benefits, daily consumption of almonds may also reduce the risk of certain cancers, improve skin, strengthen muscles and improve eyesight.
In a study of over 1,000 people, those who ate the most almonds had a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. (6)
Do almonds make you fat? Combined with a healthy lifestyle, and a balanced diet, you can incorporate almonds into your diet.
Should you eat almonds every day?
It depends. While there are many health benefits to eating almonds, people with certain medical conditions should not eat them. People who are allergic to almonds should avoid them, as should newborns and infants. And if you have gallstones, you should probably stay away.
People with severe liver or kidney disease should also avoid almonds.
Scientists are still trying to work out why almonds are so healthy, but one explanation could be that they are a good source of soluble fibre.
This means that you should be careful not to eat too many almonds, as this could lead to increased bowel movements. A healthy diet should include fibre from wholegrain cereals, vegetables, fruit and nuts, but also modest amounts of low fibre foods such as fish, poultry, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, dried beans and peas. Also note that eating almonds in the evening can also provide many benefits.
Consider these recommendations first
Before adding almonds to your diet, consider these recommendations:
Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential, and researchers believe that up to 80% of our physical and mental health is determined by how much sleep we get each night.
Stay hydrated. Both physically and mentally, you are more likely to perform well when you are well hydrated.