Nutritious and tasty, almonds yield rich health benefits, especially to those who have prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. If they are not on your table daily then you could be missing out.
Almonds Improve Bowel Health!
One chief health complaint in America is constipation. Since almonds are high in fiber, they help keep your bowels regular. If this is your problem, try eating almonds, raw or dry roasted, with three or four prunes and you will most likely avoid the unwanted cramps and discomfort that commercial laxatives give. (For more info on improving gut health, click here). 1
Three Ways Almonds Help Diabetes!
Almonds quell inflammation: Diabetes, like so many chronic conditions, promotes inflammation. Inflammation in turn fuels diabetic complications. In one study, participants with type 2 diabetes and mild elevation of blood fats were given a diet that included almonds. Lab tests were completed over a given length of time, showing that almonds can be beneficial in reducing generalized, vascular, and bowel inflammation.3,4
Almond consumption lowers blood sugar and improves appetite control. Almond ingestion at mealtime reduces the steep rise of blood glucose that occurs after a meal. The A(1c) test reveals how well one manages his/her diabetes. This test provides an index of average blood glucose for the previous three to four months. Regular, daily almond consumption reduces hemoglobin A(1c) in individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus.5 Inclusion of almonds in the breakfast meal decreased blood glucose concentrations and increased satiety both acutely and even after a second meal in adults with glucose intolerance.6
Regular consumption of almonds improves the cells’ ability to respond to insulin. An ADA (American Diabetic Association) diet with 20% of its calories coming from almonds over a 16-week period is effective in improving the ability of cells to respond to insulin and yields clinically significant improvements in LDL cholesterol in adults with prediabetes.7
Almonds Also Promote Cardiovascular Health!
Using almonds, almond skin supplements, walnuts, and extra-virgin olive oil in the diet have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Especially helped are people with high blood lipids, inflammation, and insulin resistance. These sources of fats have a significant amount of mono-saturated fats giving them added health benefits compared to the saturated fats found in animal products. Almonds are low in saturated fatty acids, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and contain fiber, phytosterols, and plant protein, all of which help to lower LDL or the “bad” cholesterol.
Additionally, they possess other important constituents for cardiovascular health such as the anti-oxidant α-tocopherol, arginine, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Arginine is an amino acid that helps the blood vessels to open up as it is a precursor to the vasodilating molecule nitric oxide. 8
If you want to order pure almond butter or almonds or other health-promoting nuts, consider shopping at Wildwood Natural Food Market. We do ship items. 1 (706) 820-1252
- Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). “Chew more to retain more energy.” Science Daily.15 July 013
- Ahmad, Z, The uses and properties of almond oil. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010 Feb; 16(1):10-12
- Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Jun; 21Suppl 1:S14-20
- Crossover study of diets enriched with virgin olive oil, walnuts or almonds. Effects on lipids and other cardiovascular risk markers. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar; 65(3):386-93
- Cohen, AE, Almond ingestion at mealtime reduces postprandial glycemia and chronic ingestion reduces hemoglobin A(1c) in individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism. 2011 Sep; 60(9):1312-7
- Mori, AM, Acute and second-meal effects of almond form in impaired glucose tolerant adults: a randomized crossover trial. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Jan 28; 8(1):6
- Wien, M, Almond consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in adults with prediabetes. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun; 29(3):189-97
- Berryman, CE, Effects of almond consumption on the reduction of LDL-cholesterol: a discussion of potential mechanisms and future research directions. Nutr Rev. 2011 Apr; 69(4):171-85
- Li SC, et al., Almond consumption improved glycemic control and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 2011 Apr; 60(4):474-9