Most foods that are considered to be especially healthy and beneficial for us are pretty uninspiring in terms of taste, as there are few people out there that are going to take huge pleasure in tucking into a plate of gently steamed veggies, or a regular salad. However, every now and then we discover a real gem of a food that not only tastes great, but that also happens to be incredibly healthy and beneficial. Almonds are a prime example of this, and if your diet is lacking these delicious nuts, here are a few reasons to step up your almond game and include more in your diet.
1. Almonds lower bad cholesterol
In the human body, there are two types of cholesterol. There is LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, and there is HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, both of which are very, very different to one another. LDL cholesterol is the harmful and dangerous cholesterol that blocks the arteries and can cause a number of ailments, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack. HDL cholesterol however, is very healthy and beneficial as it lowers LDL cholesterol and keeps it under control. Almonds are very beneficial because they lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. This is down to the healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that the nuts contain.
2. Almonds promote cardiovascular health
Another great health benefit of almonds, is that they have also been found to promote cardiovascular health. This is due to several reasons, including the bad cholesterol lowering properties we covered previously. On top of that however, it is due to the fact that they contain magnesium, which helps to enhance oxygen and nutrient transportation via blood flow, which helps lower blood pressure and can help to prevent the risk of heart attack. They also contain vitamin E, which functions as an antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation in the arteries.
3. Almonds promote brain health and function
Almonds are packed full of nutrients that help to strengthen and boost brain health and performance, providing protection against a whole host of ailments and diseases. They are rich in phenylalanine, which has been proven to help enhance production of feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which improve memory, attention span, and problem solving abilities. Almonds also contain zinc and vitamin E, which help to protect brain cells against damage caused by free radicals, and therefore helps to improve cognitive health and function.
4. Almonds are great for the bones
Finally, the last reason why you may wish to consume more almonds on a weekly basis, is the fact that almonds have been found to be so beneficial for our bones. Almonds are rich in calcium as well as phosphorus, which both help to strengthen and maintain bone health. Diets lacking in calcium have been linked with conditions such as brittle bone disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Almonds are especially beneficial for elderly individuals who are more likely to suffer with bone-related health conditions.