Almonds make a great snack, not only because they are packed full of nutrients, but they have many benefits to health as well. Almonds contain many important minerals such as, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and more. They also contain fiber, folic acid, and are a major source of vitamin E. They also contain NO cholesterol.
The health benefits provided by almonds are a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and osteoporosis. They also contain resveratrol, a phytochemical that acts as an anti-inflammatory. 20-25 almonds (approximately 1oz.) contain the same amount of calcium as 1/4cup of milk, which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Also, 1oz. of almonds can contain 12 percent of your daily protein allowance and 35 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin E.
Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and has roles in anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation, immune enhancement, cell signaling, regulation of gene expression, and other metabolic processes. The main function is as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Free radicals damage cells and may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Vitamin E is thought to prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals. Vitamin E may also block the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines formed in the stomach from nitrites in foods and protect against cancer by enhancing immune function. Also, some studies have found that vitamin E inhibits oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, a crucial initiating step for atherosclerosis. Vitamin E can also help prevent the formation of blood clots that could lead to a heart attack, stroke, or venous thromboembolism.
So, why is it so hard to decide on a healthy snack when the benefits of almonds are right there?