Here at the Wellness Way, we know that what you feed your body sets the stage for how well it can function. This is why we’re careful with allergies and things like GMOs, food dyes, and the dirty dozen. This can also be a good thing, though–knowing what foods serve to take care of the body and what benefits they have helps us know which foods are best to snack on and stock up on.
With National Almond Day coming up on February 16, we figured it’d be a good time to dig into one of these superfoods–almonds.
Almonds are a hardy little nut and are loaded with nutrients and health benefits. Healthline says:
Almonds boast an impressive nutrient profile. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds contains:
- Fiber:5 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated)
- Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI
- Manganese: 32% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
- They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.
This is all from a small handful, which supplies only 161 calories and 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates.
Almonds are also loaded with numerous antioxidants.
Science Daily relates a study that was done on almonds’ effects on the human heart. After four weeks of eating 50g of almonds a day, healthy middle aged men, healthy young men, and young men with 2 or more CV concerns were shown to have had improved heart function and increased alpha-tocopherol. Systolic blood pressure was also reduced significantly.
Almonds also contain healthy monosaturated fats which positively impacts heart health. Health Central has this to say about monosaturated fat:
This is a heart healthy fat in that it does not cause an insulin response or lead to increases in blood cholesterol.
Remember from earlier that almonds contain magnesium? A lack of sufficient magnesium can lead to hypertension–high blood pressure. Taking in enough magnesium helps keep blood vessels healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease, as well.
Almonds contain the B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc, which have all been shown to aid in hair growth. The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are also in almonds helps boost blood flow. Increased blood flow in the scalp stimulates hair growth.
Almond oil can also be used topically to soften up dandruff. Regularly massaging your scalp with this oil helps keep hair strong, soft, and shiny by reducing inflammation, moisturizing, and softening the skin and tissues around the hair follicles.
The antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory attributes of almonds are also great for the skin. Whether you eat almonds regularly, or apply the oil or milk to the skin, almonds help keep skin soft and supple. Almonds also contain manganese–a vital ingredient in the production of collagen, which not only keeps joints healthy, but gives skin its elasticity.
In fact, a 2019 study shows that almonds can just about turn back the clock on wrinkles.
Organ Health and Function
The same omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that help increase blood flow in the scalp increase blood flow in the brain.
Best for Nutrition has this to say about it:
Tree nuts like almonds have essential nutrients like flavonoids, phytochemicals, vitamin E, vitamin B, protein, and healthy fatty acids that can fight against age-related brain conditions.
Almond helps in the production of neurotransmitters called acetylcholine, which aid in the transmission of messages. A low level of this neurotransmitter can create a brain fog wherein thinking becomes unclear. This may lead to headaches and cognitive decline eventually becoming a disease.
The gut does It is connected to your digestion, mental health, immune system, hormone production, and even the thinking part of the brain. The gut is comprised of a large microbiome, and it’s very easy for this microbiome to become unbalanced. There are certain foods you can eat that have fibers called prebiotics. These prebiotics feed the good bacteria in your gut, boosting its ability to do what it’s supposed to do. A study in 2014 showed that the skin of almonds contains some of these prebiotics.
Almonds have a lot of benefits–even more than are listed here. As always, though, be sure to eat in accordance with your allergies–the benefits listed above will be cancelled out if your immune system is called in to deal with a potentially hazardous foreign substance.
To get your allergies tested or find out about some other superfoods, come into a Wellness Way clinic today!