The results of a study have found that supplementation with almonds, in contrast to complex carbohydrates, is associated with greater reductions in weight and BMI, waist circumference, fat mass, total body water and systolic blood pressure.
Although almonds are referred to as nuts, they are technically the seed of the almond fruit. Like most whole foods, they are naturally rich in a variety of nutrients and antioxidants.
Almonds are one of the top sources of the cancer-preventing antioxidant Vitamin E, and contain the most calcium of all nuts, and a third more protein than eggs. They also provide laetrile, thought to be a powerful tumor-fighting compound, and are rich in zinc, which helps to build up the immune system.
Almonds and Weight
This research found that when trying to control weight, a small handful of almonds is a better snack choice than a snack high in complex carbohydrates, such as a bran muffin. The study compared those who ate a low-calorie diet that included either almonds or complex carbs, found that the almond group had a:
- 62 percent greater reduction in their weight/BMI
- 50 percent greater reduction in waist circumference
- 56 percent greater reduction in body fat
A separate study from 2006 found that women who had eaten a serving of almonds had higher levels of a hormone associated with feeling fuller for longer. The hormone cholecystokinin, is associated with satiety from eating fat-containing foods, meaning that when almonds were eaten, they give the feeling of "satisfaction" and improve satiety.
Almonds Are A Superfood
One of the healthiest aspects of almonds appears to be their skins, as they are rich in antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are typically associated with vegetables and fruits. As the Almond Board of California reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, even a one-ounce serving of almonds has a similar amount of total polyphenols as a cup of steamed broccoli or green tea.
Almonds are a versatile food that can be eaten whole, ground up as flour, sliced and sprinkled over food, or made into almond milk.
Research Paper Details:
Wien MA, Sabate JM, Ikle DN, Cole SE, Kandeel FR. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Nov;27(11):1365-72.
Bes-Rastrollo M, Sabate J, Gomez-Gracia E, et al. Nut Consumption and weight gain in a Mediterranean Cohort: The sun Study. Obesity (2007) 15, 107?116.