Ounce for ounce, almonds are one of the most nutrient-dense tree nuts on earth, and that’s something your clients will definitely want to get in on. Just one crunchy ounce a day is a satisfying way to load up on important vitamins and minerals that their bodies need to dominate the day—and when they feel better, you feel better too.
- Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, and a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorous and riboflavin.
- A one-ounce serving has 13 grams of “good” unsaturated fats, just 1 gram of saturated fat, and is always cholesterol free.1
- When compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein (6 g), fiber (4 g), calcium (75 mg), vitamin E (7.4 mg), riboflavin (0.3 mg) and niacin (1 mg).
- Almonds are naturally salt free and low in sugars.
Good news about good fat: U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
On Track with Digestion
The human gut or gastrointestinal tract (GI) is key to your and your clients’ health, with approximately 80% of immunity starting there.1 It’s also where prebiotics come into play. In vitro research hypothesizes, but does not prove, that almonds may have a prebiotic effect that can support the GI tract in maintaining immunity and overall well-being. And while more research and human clinical studies are needed to prove the prebiotic effect of almonds, it’s still just one more reason to introduce them to your clients. Not to mention just one ounce provides 4 grams of fiber (14% of the recommended Daily Value), which can also contribute significantly to a healthy digestive tract.
Inside the Studies
Study 1: In a study conducted at the Institute of Food Research, Norwich, UK, researchers used a model gut to digest almonds and examined the prebiotic effects of two types of almonds compared to a recognized prebiotic. Read more about the study here.3
Study 2: Another study, using the same model gut as Study 1, examined the role cell walls play in the bioaccessibility of nutrients found in almonds, specifically lipid, protein and vitamin E. Natural almonds, blanched almonds, finely ground and defatted finely ground almonds were digested. Find the full research article here.4
1. Rosenbaum, M. Digestion & Immunity. Revolution Health Access at http://www.revolutionhealth.com/conditions/digestive/digestive-health/health-basics/digestion-immunity Oct 13, 2008.
2. Roberfroid MB. “Prebiotics and Probiotics: Are they functional foods?” Am J Clin Nutr 2000 June;71 (suppl):1682S-7S.
3. Mandalari G, Nueno-Palop C, Bisignano G,Wickham M.S.J. “Potential Prebiotic Properties of Almond Seeds.” Appl Environ Microbiol 2008 July;74, 4264-4270. http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/full/74/14/4264?view=long&pmid=18502914.
4. Mandalari G, Faulk RM, Rich GT, Lo Turco V, Picout DR, Lo Curto RB, Bisignano G, Dugo P, Dugo G, Waldron KW, Ellis PR, Wickham MS. “Release of Protein, Lipid, and Vitamin E from Almond Seeds During Digestion.” J Agric Food Chem 2008 May 14;56(9):3409-16. Epub 2008 Apr 17. http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstrac.cgi/jafcau/2008/56/i09/abs/jf073393v.html.
All In with Antioxidants
Almonds’ way-above-average vitamin E content makes them an antioxidant powerhouse ready to help your clients fight the good fight against damaging free radicals. In fact, an ounce of almonds unleashes 35% of the Daily Value for vitamin E, an important nutrient in circulation, hair and skin health, cell function and much more.
- When our bodies burn oxygen, unstable molecules known as free radicals form. The alpha-tocopherol (AT) vitamin E found in almonds can help neutralize these harmful molecules, which can damage cells, tissues and even DNA.
- Researchers have linked free radicals to the development of some chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. Almonds are one of the best food sources of AT vitamin E (see chart below), which the National Academy of Sciences has identified as the only type of vitamin E that makes itself available to cells in the circulatory system.
- In a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, experts found that almond skins contain flavonoids and phenolics similar to certain antioxidant-heavy fruits and vegetables. Findings revealed that a one-ounce serving of almonds contains a similar amount of total polyphenols as one cup of green tea and one cup of steamed broccoli.1
For additional resources on almonds and antioxidants, click here.
1. Milbury PE, Chen C, Dolnkowski G, Blumberg J. “Determination of Flavonoids and Phenolics and their Distribution in Almonds.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2006, 54,5027-5023.
The Facts About Fiber
An almond nutrition discussion wouldn’t be complete without talking fiber. Most frequently praised for its ability to help maintain digestive health and promote regularity, fiber’s benefits actually extend far beyond the bowels. Studies have shown that this multitalented nutrient may be helpful in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, among other notable qualities.
- Fiber has been shown to be helpful in weight maintenance and heart health, and it may even reduce the risk factors for diabetes.
- One ounce of almonds has 4 grams of filling fiber, which will keep your clients feeling satiated for longer after snacking.
- Almonds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Contrary to popular belief, not all the fiber in almonds is in the skin. In fact, 1 oz. of blanched almonds still contains 3grams of fiber even without the skin.
The Calcium Question
With osteoporosis and bone health holding steady as highly popular topics, especially among women, many of your clients are probably asking a lot about calcium. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and it works hand-in-hand with vitamin D to build strong bones and teeth and keep bodily systems running smoothly.
- Usually associated with dairy and dark, leafy greens, most people don’t think of almonds when they think of calcium and that’s exactly what we aim to change.
- When compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in calcium, boasting 75mg per ounce.
- Calcium is most commonly credited for its talents in bone health, but it’s also key in well-functioning muscles (heart included) and nerves.
- Calcium is important at every age, so it’s a good thing there’s an almond option to suit every taste. From almond butter and flavored almonds to gluten-free almond flour for baking, almonds don’t leave anyone out of the calcium-getting game.