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6 health benefits of almonds

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Be it a skincare or hair care product, almond often makes it to the label. Yes, almond hair oil and almond body butter are just some of the products with this natural ingredient. But they do much more than provide soft and healthy hair and skin. The nutrient-rich superfood can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet. That’s because there are several benefits of almonds. In fact, starting your day with almonds can be a good idea!

Almonds have protein, vitamin E, and more. They are basically a powerhouse of essential nutrients, with one-ounce serving of almonds containing about:

• Calories: 160
• Protein: 6 grams
• Fat: 14 grams (mostly monounsaturated fats)
• Carbohydrates: 6 grams
• Fibre: 3.5 grams
• Vitamin E: Nearly 40 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
• Magnesium: 19 percent of the RDI
• Phosphorus: 13 percent of the RDI
• Copper: 32 percent of the RDI
• Manganese: 32 percent of the RDI
• Biotin (Vitamin B7): 49 percent of the RDI

almonds in a bowl
Almonds are a nutrient-dense snack. Image Courtesy: Freepik.

Benefits of almonds

Since almonds have a lot of nutrients, they also offer many health benefits. Here are the health benefits of almonds you should know:

1. Heart health

The healthy fats in almonds, including monounsaturated fats, can contribute to improved heart health by helping to lower bad cholesterol levels, says Sangeeta Tiwari, Clinical Dietitian, Artemis Lite, New Friends Colony, Delhi. The high content of magnesium in almonds also aids in maintaining normal blood pressure levels. This in turn reduces the risk of developing a heart disease.

2. Weight management

Despite being calorie-dense, almonds can be helpful for weight management. The combination of protein, fibre and healthy fats in almonds can promote a feeling of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake. Snacking on a handful of almonds can help to control appetite and prevent overeating.

3. Blood sugar regulation

Almonds have a low glycemic index, which means they cause a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-carbohydrate foods. This makes them a suitable snack option for people with diabetes or those concerned about blood sugar control.

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4. Skin health

Almonds contain vitamin E and antioxidants that can contribute to maintaining healthy skin, the expert tells Health Shots. Vitamin E helps to protect the skin from oxidative stress, which leads to premature ageing and other skin issues. The healthy fats in almonds also support skin elasticity and hydration.

almonds
Almonds are good for hair. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Hair health

Almonds can contribute to healthy hair due to their nutrient profile. They contain biotin, a B-vitamin that is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Biotin helps to strengthen hair follicles and encourages healthy hair growth. Also, the presence of vitamin E in almonds supports blood circulation to the scalp, promoting hair health. The monounsaturated fats in almonds can also contribute to overall scalp health and reduce the risk of dry and brittle hair.

6. Sexual health

Almonds have been traditionally considered as an aphrodisiac, says the expert. The nutritional content of almonds can indirectly support sexual health. Almonds are a source of nutrients like zinc and selenium, which are essential for reproductive health and hormone production. Also, the healthy fats in almonds can contribute to overall cardiovascular health, which plays a role in maintaining good sexual function.

Eat almonds in moderation!

With so many health benefits, don’t forget to watch the portion size of almonds. You can eat about 1 ounce or roughly 23 almonds, recommends Tiwari. This portion provides around 160 calories and a good balance of nutrients. Eating this amount as a snack or adding it to meals can offer the benefits of almonds without excessive calorie intake.

Just don’t overeat, as almonds are calorie-dense, and overeating them could contribute to weight gain. Also, consuming large quantities of almonds might lead to digestive discomfort due to the fibre and fat content.

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