We all know that a balanced diet and exercising are the basic fundamentals of keeping healthy, but how many of us think about how food affects our organs? The truth is, probably not enough of us. However, healthy organs are the key to keeping our whole body running smoothly. The heart is the most vital organ, powering all other organs in the body, therefore we need to look after our heart health.
There is one small, but mighty food source that can keep our hearts healthy – the humble almond! We’ve outlined all the wonderful benefits that this tiny nut packs into its delicious shell, including everything you need to know about how this clever, vegan snack can help keep your heart happy.
Eating almonds can help improve and maintain a healthy heart because they can lower cholesterol levels. This is because eating almonds can help to lower LDL lipoproteins levels (1), which are better known as ‘bad cholesterol’. Almonds also protect LDL from oxidation, which is a crucial step in the development of heart disease.
Almonds also contain sterols and stanols (2) – plant chemicals found in nuts that can help block the absorption of cholesterol. Although you may not have heard of them, that doesn’t make them any less important! In fact, sterols and stanols contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels making them an important contributor to your overall heart health.
Almonds contain high levels of magnesium (270mg per 100g serving) (3) which has a wide variety of incredible health benefits. A lack of this important mineral can cause a magnesium deficiency which can have further implications including high blood pressure. These high blood pressure levels can then lead to complications of their own, such as causing heart attacks, making it imperative to keep those blood pressure levels down at a healthy rate. Almonds can help you do just that. They are a great source of magnesium to help you reach the RDA recommended 375mg of magnesium a day (4).
One little almond is bursting with an array of essential vitamins, great for our overall health and wellbeing. However, there is one vitamin that really puts this nut a level above the rest – vitamin B1. Also known as thiamine, this vitamin can contribute to the normal functioning of the heart, as well as the nervous system, to ensure your whole body is in top shape! Almonds are an incredible food source of thiamine, containing 0.21mg per 100g serving (5), making them the perfect, easy snack to help regulate the heart.
Higher levels of iron can protect against heart disease, so it’s good to know that almonds contain an incredible 3.7mg of iron per 100g serving (6). The body uses iron to maintain the normal formation of red blood cells and to make hemoglobin which transports oxygen around the body to vital organs like the heart. However, too much iron can be dangerous so be sure to follow the recommended daily amount of 14 mg per day (7).
The fatty acids within almonds have been associated with the decreased risk in coronary heart disease (8). Almonds contain both linoleic acid and oleic acid which contribute to the maintenance of blood cholesterol levels because they are unsaturated fats. These unsaturated fats account for approximately 88% of the fatty acids present in almonds and provides roughly 68% of the total energy value of almonds (9), making them not only good for the heart, but a great energizing snack.
Almonds are the ultimate healthy snack, packed with good fats, vitamins and minerals that keep your heart healthy. Good news, we’ve made it easier than ever to enjoy all the goodness almonds have to offer in our new Nakd Almond Macaroon bar. Made with 100% natural ingredients, including real, nutritious almond nuts, this delightful vegan treat is a great way to get the benefits of almonds, in one easy to eat, on the go snack bar. It’s also dairy free, wheat free, gluten free and one of your five a day! Now that’s a clever snack!
If you want to learn even more about food and its relation to both our physical and mental wellbeing, then there are a whole host of nutrition based Nakd blogs for you to enjoy. From the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics, to the Five Reasons To Go Vegan, there is a food and health blog to suit everyone’s appetite.
California Almonds : (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (9)