10 Health Benefits of Almonds
If you're looking for shiny hair, better digestion, and smooth skin, check out the health benefits of almonds. These little nuts may just be the perfect food.
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Almonds are a great source of fiber, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, Registered Dietician Nutritionist for Blue Diamond and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table. Eating a handful of almonds or drinking a glass of almond milk can keep your gastrointestinal tract moving and prevent constipation (here are a few more foods that can keep things moving, so to speak). Almonds can also promote healthy bacteria in your gut. This can help you digest your food and even fight off illness.
If you suffer from dry, flaky skin, a cream or lotion that contains almonds could be the answer. “Almonds provide healthy fats to help keep skin supple,” says Bonnie. Almonds also support glowing skin by giving your body a punch of vitamins A and E. Make your own almond facial oil by filling a small glass bottle with almond oil, then adding up to five drops of the essential oil of your choice. It will last up to a year.
Protect You from Heart Disease
Are almonds good for your heart? You bet! In addition to giving you glowing skin, vitamin E in almonds can help your heart as well. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that diets high in vitamin E are linked with lower rates of heart disease. Try snacking on a handful of almonds or whipping up a heart-healthy salad for lunch.
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If you find yourself always reaching for a chocolate chip cookie when that afternoon slump hits, try keeping a dish of almonds on your desk. Their salty crunch is known to squelch cravings, says Bonnie. And if you can’t get that sweet tooth out of your mind, make some candied nuts right in your slow cooker.
Add Shine to Dull Hair
If dry winter air has left you with brittle hair, reach hair products with almond oil. Its healthy fatty acids help strengthen hair and add texture. When you use hair products with almond oil, the fats absorb into your hair, keeping each strand strong and shiny.
Promote Healthy Cells
Not only are almonds packed with healthy fats and protein, but they’re also rich in antioxidants. These plant compounds can protect your cells from oxidation and premature aging. For an antioxidant-rich snack, enjoy a bowl of almonds and berries. Or skip the fruit and go decadent with this almond bacon cheese crostini.
Almonds are one of the best foods for naturally lowering your cholesterol. Studies show that eating almonds can lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. They’re also quick and convenient, so you’ll never have to rely on vending machine food for a snack. Throw a pack in your car for easy snacking on the go.
Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Start your day right with a bowl of breakfast cereal sprinkled with almonds. Studies show that eating almonds with your cereal slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates in the cereal, says Bonnie. This buffering effect from the protein and fats in almonds has been proven to lower your risk for developing high blood sugar and diabetes.
Lower Blood Pressure
Almonds are rich in magnesium which can help lower blood pressure. Studies show that having a low magnesium level in your blood can put you at risk for high blood pressure. Adding magnesium-rich foods like almonds can protect you.
Keep You Full
Almonds are high in plant protein, keeping you full and satisfied all afternoon long. They’re also a healthy source of “calcium, vitamin E, phosphorus, and a wealth of nutrients,” according to Bonnie. Up your daily protein intake by sprinkling sliced almonds over just about any meal or snack.