Almonds are a versatile tree nut. They come whole, blanched, slivered, flaked and ground, so make a useful ingredient adding texture and taste to meals. Plus, like fruit and vegetables, almonds are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals beneficial to health. Enjoying a handful of nuts (30–50g) regularly as part of a healthy diet may reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and can help with weight management.1–5 So eat two serves of fruit, five serves of veggies and a handful of nuts every day. A 30g serve of almonds is about 20 nuts. Have you had yours today? Health benefits of almonds • Reduces oxidative stress – a study
Here’s why almonds, like all nuts, are a
• Rich source of healthy fats – almonds • Contains natural plant sterols6 which
reducing cholesterol reabsorption in the
to the cells in our body and is believed
proportion of saturated fat (7% of total
fat).6 Like all other plant foods, they are
• Source of plant protein particularly amino acid arginine – almonds • Excellent source of natural vitamin E
– almonds are high in vitamin E with a
• Anti-inflammatory effects –
to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide
Nutrient content of natural almonds6 Nutrient • Improves blood cholesterol – almonds
lower total and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol
cholesterol reducing effects may explain
which was also low in saturated fat, and
• Prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol
in the diet for a month led to a reduction
For further information on the nutritional
or for specific information on almonds go to
arteries. Almond skins are a rich source
of antioxidants called polyphenols,12–13
Government for R&D activities through
2012 Horticulture Australia Ltd for Nuts for Life
Almonds Almonds also . Buying and storage tips • Contain calcium – a 30g serve of
When choosing nuts, look for crisp, plump
or freezer. Nuts can be refrigerated for up
kernels. If buying them in the shell, select
clean nuts free from cracks and holes. To
keep nuts in the best condition, store them
those that can’t eat or don’t like dairy.
in an airtight container in the refrigerator
• Contain plant iron and zinc6 – 8 ways to include almonds in your diet
anyone following a vegetarian diet. Increase the absorption of plant iron
¼ Team them with dried figs for a tasty calcium-rich snack.
¼ Sprinkle flaked almonds on your breakfast cereal.
rich foods such as citrus fruit or juices.
¼ Toss a handful in your favourite stir-fry.
¼ Almond meal or ground almonds make a great flourless cake. • Benefit digestive health – natural
¼ Try almond butter as a tasty alternative to butter or margarine on toast and crackers.
almonds are a source of dietary fibre which is important for a
¼ Home-made almond biscotti – a healthy alternative to commercial sweet biscuits.
¼ Mix natural yoghurt with berries and top with chopped almonds, pepitas and
¼ Slivered almonds make a great crunchy topping for salads.
has also shown that almonds may have potential as a prebiotic17 – these are
1. Albert CM et al. Nut consumption and decreased risk of sudden cardiac death in the Physicians Health Study. Arch Intern Med, 2002;162(12):1382–7.
which stimulate the growth of beneficial
2. Ellsworth JL, et al. Frequent nut intake and risk of death from coronary heart disease and all causes in
postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women‘s Health Study. Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease 2001;11(6):372–7. • Improve blood glucose control –
3. Hu FB, et al. Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: prospective cohort study.
British Medical Journal 1998;317(7169):1341–5.
4. Fraser GE, et al. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. Arch Intern
5. Jiang R, et al. Nut and peanut butter consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Journal of the American Medical Association 2002;288(20):2554–60.
occurs after eating.15, 18, 21–23 One study
6. Nuts for Life. 2012 Nutrient Composition of Tree Nuts. Sydney: Nuts for Life; 20127. National Health & Medical Research Council. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Canberra,
ACT: Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing 2006. www.nrv.gov.au
8. Ros E. Nuts and novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(5):1649S–56S9. Jenkins DJ, et al. Dose response of almonds on coronary heart disease risk factors: blood lipids, oxidized low-
density lipoproteins, lipoprotein(a), homocysteine, and pulmonary nitric oxide: a randomized, controlled, crossover
trial. Circulation. 2002;106(11):1327–1332.
10. Jenkins DJ, et al. Effects of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods vs lovastatin on serum lipids and
C-reactive protein. JAMA. 2003;290(4):502–510.
11. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Marchie A, et al. Direct comparison of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods with
a statin in hypercholesterolemic participants. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81(2):380–387.
12. Chen CY, et al. Effect of almond skin polyphenolics and quercetin on human LDL and apolipoprotein B-100
oxidation and conformation. J Nutr Biochem. 2007;18(12):785–794.
13. Chen CY, et al. Flavonoids from almond skins are bioavailable and act synergistically with vitamins C and E to
enhance hamster and human LDL resistance to oxidation. J Nutr. 2005;135(6):1366–1373.
14. Li N, et al. Almond consumption reduces oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation in male smokers. J Nutr.
15. Jenkins DJ, et al. Almonds decrease postprandial glycemia, insulinemia, and oxidative damage in healthy
individuals. J Nutr. 2006;136(12):2987–2992. • Help with weight loss – although high
16. Rajaram S, et al. Effect of almond-enriched high-monounsaturated fat diet on selected markers of inflammation: a
randomised, controlled, crossover study. Br J Nutr. 2010;103(6):907–12.
17. Mandalari G, et al. Potential Prebiotic Properties of Almond (Amygdalus communis L.) Seeds. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2008;74(14):4264–4270.
lead to weight gain and in fact can help
18. Josse AR, et al. Almonds and postprandial glycemia--a dose-response study. Metabolism. 2007;56(3):400–404.
19. Wien MA, et al. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord.
20. USDA Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 (2010) cited
21. Cohen AE, et al. Almond ingestion at mealtime reduces postprandial glycemia and chronic ingestion reduces
energy controlled diet, were able to lose
hemoglobin A(1c) in individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism. 2011;60(9):1312–7.
22. Mori AM, et al. Acute and second-meal effects of almond form in impaired glucose tolerant adults: a randomized
crossover trial. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011;8(1):6.
had better cholesterol levels.26 Recently
23. Li SC, et al. Almond consumption improved glycemic control and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes
mellitus. Metabolism. 2011;60(4):474–9.
24. Liu JF, et al. The effect of almonds on inflammation and oxidative stress in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes
mellitus: a randomized crossover controlled feeding trial. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Jun 22.
25. Novotny JA et al. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of
almonds in human diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;96(2):296–301.
26. Foster GD, et al. A randomized trial of the effects of an almond-enriched, hypocaloric diet in the treatment of
obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;96(2):249–54.
SENIOR CONSULTANT, MICROBIOLOGY/QUALITY SYSTEMS Summary of Qualifications James Latham is a microbiologist who has over 15 years of technical experience in the medical device, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He has extensive d laboratory skills, including DNA isolation, purification, sequencing, cell culture techniques, nucleic acid amplification, RNA isolation, purification, electro
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