Almonds can be sprinkled on your favorite foods or eaten alone as a delicious snack. Aside from being a delicious food, almonds offer many health benefits. Almonds are an excellent source of healthy nutrients such as essential fatty acids, fiber and vitamin E.
Almonds naturally contain a very high amount of vitamin E. Research compiled by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin beneficial for health because it is a powerful antioxidant, a compound that protects cells from harmful molecules that damage and destroy them and promote chronic diseases. Vitamin E blocks the formation of carcinogenic compounds formed in the body that can result in cancer. In addition to protecting cellular health from damaging effects, vitamin E supports cardiovascular health and promotes a healthy immune system. The incidence of heart disease is 30 to 40 percent lower in individuals with the highest intakes of vitamin E.
Essential Fatty Acids
Almonds are packed with essential fatty acids that promote good health and well-being. Not all fat is the same, and MedlinePlus reports that essential fatty acids are important because the body cannot produce them and they must be obtained from dietary sources. The essential fatty acids found in almonds are linoleic and linolenic acid, and they are responsible for proper functioning of the body. Research from MedlinePlus shows that essential fatty acids aid in preventing inflammation, blood clotting and proper brain development. Essential fatty acids are considered unsaturated fats, and they help lower blood cholesterol if consumed regularly instead of saturated fats. Healthy skin and hair also are supported and maintained by the essential fatty acids found naturally in almonds.
Dietary fiber is recommended by many physicians for good health because of its many benefits. The Mayo Clinic claims that dietary fiber is essential for a healthy diet because it promotes normal bowel movements and decreases constipation. Fiber supports a healthy colon and lowers the risk of developing hemorrhoids and other colon disorders. Intestinal disorders such as diverticulosis and diverticulitis and even cancers of the intestines are prevented by regular intake of dietary fiber. Aside from promoting regularity, dietary fiber also has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and support heart health. The Mayo Clinic also reports that fiber helps control healthy blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. Dietary fiber prevents individuals from overeating and promotes a healthy appetite because it makes them feel full longer.
- bowl of almonds image by Steve Lovegrove from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.