• Almonds are high in nutrients. According to Health.com, almonds can be eaten whole, chopped, sliced, or ground into flour or butter. They can even be used to make almond milk. This deliciously satisfying nut truly deserves to be classified as a superfood. Here are four almond benefits supported by research.

    Packed with antioxidants

    Almonds are an important source of antioxidants due to their high vitamin E content. The brown layer of skin on almonds contains a high concentration of antioxidants. Almond kernels are high in fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds, according to a 2020 review of the health benefits of almonds. The researchers write that almonds are used for their natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

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    Almond consumption has been linked to a lower risk of a variety of diseases, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

    Good for heart health

    Almonds protect your heart in a variety of ways. According to a 2018 Nutrients study, the nuts have been shown to maintain or increase “good” heart-protective HDL cholesterol while decreasing “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

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    Almonds and other nuts can also help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function by relaxing blood vessels and reducing artery stiffness.

    Can help with gut health

    Both raw and roasted almonds have been shown to act as prebiotics, which provide food for the beneficial bacteria in the gut that are linked to immunity, anti-inflammation, and mental health.

    Good for skin

    We all know that good fats promote skin health, but almonds may actually help slow down the aging process. Healthy postmenopausal women were divided into two groups in a 2019 randomized controlled study published in Phytotherapy Research. For 16 weeks, one group consumed 20% of their daily calories as almonds, while the other consumed the same amount as non-almond fare.

    At the beginning of the study, as well as eight and sixteen weeks later, a facial photograph and image analysis system was used to assess wrinkle width and severity. The almond group had significantly less wrinkle severity and width than the non-almond eaters, according to the researchers. Not a bad perk for a tasty food with so many other advantages!

    READ MORE: The best homemade smoothies for healthy skin

    However you decide to bring almonds into your diet, don’t be shy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 23 almond nuts as the ideal daily serving. Consider it as a handful to snack on if you’re not a huge counter.

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    6 Vegetables that are healthier cooked

    Written by Ncumisa Lerato Kunana for Bona.

    Feature image: Unsplash