Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer .
The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin .
For this reason, blanched almonds (skin removed) are not the best choice from a health perspective.
A clinical trial of 60 male smokers found that 84 grams (about 3 ounces) of almonds per day reduced oxidative stress biomarkers by 23-34%, over a 4 week period .
These findings support those of another study, which found that eating almonds with main meals reduced some markers of oxidative damage .
Vitamin E is the name for a group of fat soluble antioxidants.
These antioxidants tend to build up in cell membranes in the body, protecting the cells from oxidative damage.
Almonds are among the world’s best sources of vitamin E, with just one ounce providing 37% of the recommended daily intake.
Several studies have linked higher vitamin E intake with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease .
Nuts are low in carbs, but high in healthy fats, protein and fiber.
This makes them a perfect choice for diabetics.
However, another thing that sets almonds apart, is their remarkably high amount of magnesium.
Magnesium is a mineral involved in more than 300 bodily processes, including blood sugar control .The current recommended intake for magnesium is 310-420 mg. Two ounces of almonds provide almost half of that, with 150 mg of this important mineral .
It turns out that 25-38% of type 2 diabetics are deficient in magnesium, and correcting the deficiency significantly lowers blood sugar levels and improves the function of insulin .
Interestingly, people without diabetes also see major reductions in insulin resistance when supplementing with magnesium .
This indicates that high magnesium foods (like almonds) may be beneficial for prevention of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, both of which are massive health problems today.
The magnesium in almonds may also help to lower blood pressure levels.
High blood pressure is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
A deficiency in magnesium is strongly linked to blood pressure problems, regardless of whether you are overweight or not .
Studies have shown that correcting a magnesium deficiency can lead to major reductions in blood pressure .
Given that the majority of US adults do not meet the dietary recommendations for magnesium, the addition of almonds to the diet could have a huge impact.