Almond is an oilseed nut full of health benefits. They contain a core containing one or two seeds, also called “almonds”, corresponding to its edible part. Like walnuts and hazelnuts, almonds are characterized by a high-fat content, and micronutrient intakes are very different from those of most fresh fruits.

Almond is a particularly energetic fruit. Its water content is moderate (20 to 40%) and, unlike most of most fresh fruits, more than 80% of its caloric intake is provided by its lipids, mainly composed of unsaturated mono-fatty acids.

Almonds are rich in proteins and fibers – mostly soluble fibers – but poor in carbohydrates. 

Almonds display a vitamin profile characteristic of oleaginous fruits: they are rich in vitamin E and group B vitamins, in particular, B2 and B3. Minerals and trace elements such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, and zinc are also found in high concentrations.

Almonds also contain phytosterols, substances whose effect on the reduction of LDL-cholesterol has been proven by several studies.

Nutritional Value of Almonds

NutrientsAlmond: content per 100 gNuts, seeds, chestnuts: average content per 100 g
Protein21.4 g13.1 g
Carbohydrates8.76 g20.9 g
– with sugar4.63 g10.6 g
– of which starch1 g8 g
Dietary fiber9.9 g8 g
Lipids52.5 g39.7 g
– of which cholesterol0 mg0.7 mg
– of which saturates3.95 g8.3 g
– of which monounsaturated fatty acids33.4 g16.7 g
– of which polyunsaturated fatty acids12.4 g12.3 g
Water4.51 g16 g

Video Summary – Benefits of Almonds

Benefits of Almonds

1.     Almonds are excellent sources of minerals

Almonds are one of the best plant sources of calcium, a mineral known to be essential for bone and oral health, but also very important for metabolism and muscle contraction.

A handful of almonds can cover an average of 10% of the daily calcium needs. Almonds are also excellent sources of magnesium, copper, manganese, as well as phosphorus, and potassium.

2.     Almonds are very rich in antioxidants

Almonds contain many antioxidant molecules, including α-tocopherol (vitamin E) and polyphenols. These compounds act in synergy and allow optimal protection of our organism against free radicals (reactive substances responsible for the accelerated aging of cells).

Beware, because white almonds, from which the outer brown layer has been removed, contain much less of those antioxidants. That’s because most of the antioxidants are in that brown shell.

3.     Almonds are rich in “good fats”

With 70% monounsaturated fat (oleic acid, i.e., omega-9) and 17% polyunsaturated fat, almonds can unmistakably be called high in “good fats”.

Omega-9s are semi-essential fatty acids. In other words, our body can manufacture them, but its synthesis capacity is not sufficient to fully meet its needs. It is therefore essential to provide it with food rich in these acids. Fortunately, these are the most abundant fatty acids in almonds, and they have many health benefits.

Indeed, they have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system since they help reduce blood pressure and, in synergy with the phytosterols in almonds, they help reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in favor of “good” cholesterol (HDL).

4.     Strengthen the immune system

Almonds are a real cocktail of micro-nutrients that help the immune system work properly. Immunity is a complex system that involves many different cells such as macrophages, B, and T lymphocytes – all of which, however, have one common goal: to destroy bacteria and viruses. To do this, these cells all need folate to regenerate because this vitamin is involved in DNA duplication.

To perform its work efficiently, the immune system also needs certain trace elements such as iron, copper, and zinc.

It is therefore not good to lack these nutritional elements. Thankfully, almonds are rich in these elements. A nice handful of 23 almonds (30g) covers a good part of the RDI of zinc, iron, copper, and folate. Almonds are therefore recommended for a diet deficient in iron, zinc, and folate and for people who get ill easily.

5.     Fight insomnia

A link has been established between the lack of magnesium and insomnia. As we’ve said before, almonds are rich in magnesium. It has been shown that a handful of almonds every day (especially before bedtime) relaxes muscles and nerves, increases the secretion of the sleep hormone, melatonin while decreasing that of cortisol (stress hormone).

At the same time, you will lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

6.     Reduce heartburn

Acid reflux, gastritis, or ulcers can cause unpleasant heartburn. Almond has the advantage of regulating blood sugar levels and therefore relieving heartburn.

7.     Keep your skin beautiful

Eating almonds improves skin elasticity, keeping the skin naturally beautiful and youthful. This is mainly due to the antioxidants contained on the thin film covering the almond. It is, therefore, necessary to avoid removing it when eating them!

8.     May help prevent cancer

The antioxidants in almonds also help to slow down the aging of cells, and therefore, more easily prevent certain cancers. However, be careful, eating almonds does not cure cancer, they only help in preventing it.

9.     Increase libido

Almonds contain vitamin E, zinc, but also selenium. These three components increase libido just like a natural aphrodisiac, especially in men. The fatty acids they contain also help increase the production of sex hormones.

10.     Reduce pre-menstrual spasms and pain

Also, thanks to its magnesium content, almonds can help fight against spasms, which are often accompanied by more or less severe pain. Almonds also help to counter pre-menstrual pain in women.

11.     Help fight depression

Almonds are rich in magnesium. The latter is known to help to calm the nervous system, especially in cases of depression. Consumption of almonds, therefore, helps fight depression.

12.     They strengthen cognitive functions

Eating almonds regularly can act positively and effectively strengthen cognitive functions, that is to say, keep the brain healthy. This is particularly due to the presence of zinc, riboflavin, or even vitamin E that they contain. Ideally, children should be given almonds regularly, so that their brains develop well and better.

13.     Almonds are satiating

Like many dried fruits, almonds have a strong satiating effect thanks to the protein and fiber they contain.

Proteins are the most satiating macronutrient. This was, for example, shown in a 2005 study in which a first group ate a balanced “classic” diet, and a second group ate a diet twice as rich in protein. Naturally, the second group had better appetite regulation and consumed an average of 22% fewer calories while still eating their fill!

In addition, almonds contain fiber. In addition to being excellent for digestive balance, fiber has two important effects on hunger:

  • They make it possible to slow down the food bolus at the intestinal level. By regulating the speed of digestion, they will allow you to feel satiety longer.
  • They delay the assimilation of carbohydrates and lipids. So instead of having a peak absorption, carbohydrates and fats will be absorbed over a longer period of time. Blood sugar will then be more constant throughout the day, thus avoiding cravings.

Thus, due to their high protein and fiber content, almonds are excellent allies for regulating appetite and therefore weight management.

14.     Improve vision

Almonds contain vitamin A, the benefits of which are well established. It allows in particular to maintain good vision over the years, by acting actively on the ocular system. By consuming almond milk on a regular but reasonable basis, we will improve the health of our eyes.

Vitamin A also helps the eyes adapt better to changes in light. It is essential for good vision and helps prevent common eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

How many calories are in the almond?

Like all oleaginous fruits, by definition very rich in oil (lipids), almonds have a high energy value. Fresh, almonds contain 350 calories per 100g, but when dried, the caloric value of almonds doubles with a content of 634 calories per 100g.

Risks of eating almonds

Nuts are one of the main causes of food allergies. In order to limit the risk of allergy in young children, nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts) and products containing peanuts should not be introduced into the diet before the age of 1 year, and not before the age of 3 years in children who are at risk where one of the two parents or siblings are allergic.

Whole nuts should not be offered to children before the age of 4-5 years to avoid the risk of suffocation.

People with allergies to peanuts should avoid consuming other nuts and oilseeds, including almonds. These are often handled by the same companies that distribute the peanuts.

The nutritional value of almonds also depends on how they are prepared. Better to use dry roasted or dried almonds, which are less high in fat than oil roasted almonds. Salted almonds contain almost 70 times more sodium than unsalted almonds.

The most interesting solution, from a nutritional point of view, is to eat fresh or dried almonds plain.

Last Words

In conclusion, whether consumed raw or roasted or in a butter form, almonds are a real concentrate of nutrients that are beneficial for our health. Thanks to their great richness in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins and unsaturated fats, a handful of almonds or a few glasses of almond milk each day are already sufficient to enjoy the nutritional benefits of these dried fruits.

However, be careful not to overdo the consumption of almonds. They are naturally highly energetic and eating too much of them can quickly derail your calorie intake. If you have nuts allergies, you should also avoid eating almonds.

In any case, if you have doubts about the consumption of almonds, you should talk to your doctor.

Elena Mars

Elena writes part-time for the Scientific Origin, focusing mostly on health-related issues.