When you’re feeling snacky, what do you reach for? It may depend on the mood you’re in, or you might be the type to have a go-to nosh. Kids Health reported on a study that found that salty, crunchies are what people crave when they’re bored. Additionally, crunchy snacks alleviate stress for the anxiety-ridden. However, reaching for a nibble, no matter what is driving your need, often results in diet plan guilt. We’ve been conditioned with a negative connotation on snacking. While the benefits of eating more frequently for a successful weight loss program is a topic for another article, it’s only common sense that eating healthy snacks won’t derail your health and fitness goals. Healthy snacks are where almonds come in. They’re not simply “OK” to eat — with superior nutritional value, low calorie count and the health benefits of almonds, eating them should be more of a requirement than an option.
Vitamin and Mineral Packed
OK, almonds don’t carry every vitamin and mineral you need, but the ones they do contain are important ones. They’re known to be one of the best sources of vitamin E. That’s the vitamin that provides your body with alpha-tocopherol to defend against free-radical damage to your muscles, as well as protecting your skin from the sun. It’s also been shown to help prevent memory decline and increase alertness.
With a more than healthy dose of vitamin B2, almonds help keep your hair, eyes and skin healthy on the outside while producing energy and benefitting your liver on the inside. Additionally, the calcium, potassium and magnesium found in almonds keep your bones strong and healthy.
However, here comes the bonus round: the combination of vitamins and minerals that almonds carry work together to provide even more health benefits. According to Fox News, vitamin E and the minerals in almonds aid in producing testosterone, a handy little advantage for men over 30. Plus, the fusion of vitamins B and E with magnesium boosts your immune system, especially useful when you’re stressed out or feel a cold coming on.
The presence of vitamin E in almonds takes the healthiness of the nutty snack up a notch to disease deterrent. Medical News Today reveals that the antioxidant effects of vitamin E are useful for defending against cancer and other cell-damaging diseases. It’s also what makes almonds effective at lowering cholesterol. Nuts and seeds in general, but specifically almonds, have been associated with warding off heart disease. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that eating almonds reduced the risks for Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.
Satisfying Without the Weight Gain
According to Shape magazine, almonds are some of the lowest-calorie nuts you can eat. That low calorie count is behind one of the almond weight loss tips you probably didn’t expect: eating almonds will curb your appetite and won’t promote weight gain. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that a snack of almonds as small as 1 1/2 ounces satisfied the urge to nibble, but that it also resulted in decreased appetite during subsequent meals. But the kicker is that the participants didn’t gain weight, even though they consumed 250 calories per day in almond snacks. Researchers attribute that to the fact that eating almonds made them less likely to overeat during meals, resulting in an overall decrease in caloric intake. Remember that, to enhance the health benefits of almonds, eating them slowly will increase the amount of time you remain satisfied by your snack.
The Link Between Almonds and a Long Life
According to Medical News Today, people who include nuts in their daily diet plan not only tend to be thinner, but they’re also more likely to live longer than people who don’t eat nuts regularly. The numbers showed that those who ate nuts at least once a day had a 20 percent reduction in the risk of death due to health issues. If a snack is satisfying, nutritious and can help you live longer, where’s the downside? Dry roasted or raw, lightly salted or al fresco, grab a handful of almonds today and start munching.