When it comes to diet and nutrition, it can always be handy to have some quick finger foods to snack on. And for those who have undergone bariatric surgery such as gastric sleeve, it can be nice to have some small and easy to eat foods as well.
For many, that can sometimes mean snacks that are not so healthy such as chips, candy, and other foods with poor nutrition. But what if you could eat a small snack that was packed with great nutrition and that provides rewarding health benefits?
Alongside many other great selections, including other types of nuts, almonds are an amazing go to for just this situation. The great benefits of almonds are praised around the world as they are utilized in forms such as:
- Dry roasted or raw almonds
- Shredded almonds
- Trail mix
- Almond butter
- Almond milk
- Almond flour
- Almond oil
- Almond based body lotions
- Almond oil-based face masks
Almonds contain protective phytosterol antioxidants, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, and plant protein. And despite their fat content, almonds actually aid in weight loss due to how well they reduce hunger which leads to fewer calories consumed in a day.
Nutrition Facts of Almonds
- 37% of your daily value in Calcium
- 29% of your daily value in Iron
- 10% of your daily value in Vitamin B-6
- 95% of your daily value in Magnesium
(All of the above information is based on a 2000 calorie diet, and numbers vary depending on individual calorie needs)
So without further delay, let’s get started on the benefits of the nutrition provided by this wonderful bite-sized snack!
1. Prevention of Heart Disease and Heart Attacks
Due to the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants that they provide, almonds serve as an excellent source of cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular disease.
The skin of the almonds contains antioxidant flavonoids, plant-based compounds that work together with vitamin E to improve artery health and reduce inflammation.
Some other key elements within almond nutrition that aid in supporting good heart health are:
Almonds also help to lower cholesterol, prevent damage within artery walls, protecting against harmful plaque buildup, and fighting weight gain (a major contributor to poor heart health).
2. Support for Healthy Skin
Because they contain antioxidants and vitamin E, almonds help to keep the skin healthier and appearance with fewer signs of aging. Research has also found high concentrations of the following:
- Flavonol antioxidants (including quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin)
UV damage, skin cancer, and prior damage from poor diet are greatly reduced because of these compounds. The healthy fats and their ability to improve circulation make almonds a great way to keep your skin hydrated and to heal wounds more quickly. Not bad for such a small and easy to eat snack!
3. Strengthen and Maintain a Healthy Brain
The nutrition provided by almonds has them considered as one of the best brain foods out there. Adults, especially those 50 and older, are encouraged to eat nuts several times per week since they help reduce the risk of inflammation that can cause brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Two nutrients provided by almonds that contribute to better neurological activity and preventing a decline in brain activity are:
4. Support Weight Loss and Prevent Overeating
Because they are loaded with healthy fats and dietary fiber, almonds help to provide you with a feeling of being full. Studies have shown that those who include almonds in their diet on a frequent basis are less likely to overeat or consume too many carbohydrates. By maintaining a healthy body weight, obesity-related health issues such as type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, heart disease, and much more are avoided.
5. Increased Digestive Health and Nutrient Absorption
Almonds and their skin contain probiotic components that support good digestion, healthy bacterial growth within the gut, and detoxification.
Studies have shown that almonds and their skins also help the body to better absorb nutrients from other foods as well as improve the bacterial activities in the intestines.
6. Good Oral and Bone Health
Almonds also contain trace minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus, an important nutrient which aids in building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. They also help to fight cavities, prevent tooth decay and fight osteoporosis.
7. Fight Cancer and Inflammation
Almonds contain a type of vitamin E (gamma-tocopherol) which acts as a powerful antioxidant. It fights oxidative stress as well as free radical damage which are linked to cancers such as colon, prostate, and breast cancers.
For those who undergo bariatric surgery such as gastric sleeve, it is important that you listen to your nutritionist and primary care physician in terms of foods you can eat.
Feel free to post questions in the comments below!
Mexico Bariatric Center