Natural Health Tips

Almonds Can Control Weight

The great scholar Ibn al-Qayyim in his Prophetic medicine mentioned that almonds were beneficial for health, especially when eaten with dates and figs.

More recently, almonds have been associated with many health benefits, including helping to control weight gain and obesity.

Almonds are the seeds from the fruit of the almond tree. The most commonly consumed almonds are "sweet almonds" (Prunus dulcis). One ounce of almonds (or about 23 almonds) contains 160 calories. Almonds are a good source of protein and fiber, as well as rich in Vitamin E, magnesium, calcium and iron. Almonds contain a variety of antioxidants including the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol.

Almonds and Obesity

A 2004 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who had eaten a serving of almonds had higher levels of cholecystokinin (a hormone associated with satiety from eating fat-containing foods) in their systems than men did [1]. In practical terms this means that while almonds may leave both women and men with a feeling of "satisfaction", women may stay fuller longer.

Another research study from King's College in London found that almonds appear to help block the absorption if carbohydrates, block their own fat from being absorbed, and improve satiety in men and women [2].

According to a 2003 study in the International Journal of Obesity, subjects who added eighty-four grams (about three handfuls) of almonds to a low-calorie diet enhanced weight loss when compared to a low-fat, low-calorie diet alone [3]. The diet that included almonds produced greater and longer sustained weight loss.

Tips on Using Almonds

  • Almonds should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place, because their high fat content makes them more prone to becoming rancid.

  • Almonds can be used to make almond milk, a raw milk substitute to dairy milk.

  • Almond oil is a light, mild oil high in omega-3 fats, and can be used as a substitute for olive oil.

  • Almond flour can be used as an alternative to wheatflour in cakes and biscuits. Almond flour is gluten-free so it is ideal for people with wheat allergies or coeliac disease. Also, sweet almonds contain very little carbohydrates, so its flour can be used by those who want to restrict their carbohydrate intake.

  • [1] Burton-Freeman B, Davis PA, Schneeman BO. Interaction of fat availability and sex on postprandial satiety and cholecystokinin after mixed-food meals. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1207-14.

  • [2] Ellis PR, Kendall CW, Ren Y, Parker C, Pacy JF, Waldron KW, Jenkins DJ. Role of cell walls in the bioaccessibility of lipids in almond seeds. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Sep;80(3):604-613.

  • [3] 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):1365-1372.