Nutrition in a Nutshell
Nuts belong to the category of nutrient-rich, high-fat foods that are often undervalued and overlooked when it comes to food selection. Recent research, however, provides compelling reasons for health professionals to help their clients fit nuts into their eating patterns. Almonds are high in nutrients and may also lower people’s risk of developing chronic diseases. Almonds are a good source of protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Almonds are also among the best whole food sources of vitamin E in the form of D-alpha tocopherol. Although almonds, like all nuts, have a high fat content, most of it is monounsaturated. The high levels of monounsaturated fat found in most nuts may be partly responsible for the observed association between frequent nut consumption and reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
Almonds are the most nutrient dense of all tree nuts, delivering a high average percent Daily Value for a variety of key nutrients.
Vitamin E is believed to play a role in preventing heart disease, certain kinds of cancer and cataract formation.
Ounce for ounce, almonds contain nearly as much protein as lean meat.
A single ounce of almonds (20-25 almonds) provides as much calcium as one-quarter cup of milk.
Almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, which is an integral component of protein production and energy metabolism within the body
Almonds provide 15 percent of the recommended Daily Value of Phosphorus, which helps activate certain nutrients such as many B vitamins.
Almonds are a source of folic acid, which has been shown to reduce homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease similar to blood cholesterol.
Almonds are a good source of fiber. Studies have linked adequate dietary fiber to healthy cholesterol levels.
A recent analysis shows that almonds contain a number of phytochemicals, a newly discovered class of biologically-active compounds that scientists are finding to have health-promoting benefits. Phytochemicals are thought to play a role in the prevention of major chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.