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January 15, 2022

If you are looking for shiny hair, better digestion and smooth skin, you should learn about the health benefits of almonds. These little nuts could be the perfect food.


Help with digestion

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Almonds are a good source of fiber, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, registered dietitian at Blue Diamond and author of Read It Before You Eat It: The Road from Label to Table. Eating a handful of almonds or a glass of almond milk can keep your gastrointestinal tract moving and prevent constipation (here are some other foods that get you moving, so to speak). Almonds can also promote healthy bacteria in your gut. These can help you digest your food and even ward off disease.


Moisturize your skin

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If you suffer from dry, flaky skin, a cream or lotion containing almonds could be the answer. "Almonds provide healthy fats that keep skin supple," says Bonnie. Plus, almonds keep skin glowing by providing vitamins A and E to the body. Make your own almond facial oil by filling a small glass bottle with almond oil and then adding up to five drops of an essential oil of your choice. The oil will keep for up to a year.


Protect yourself from heart disease

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Are almonds good for your heart? You bet! The vitamin E found in almonds not only gives you glowing skin, but it may also help your heart. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that a diet high in vitamin E is associated with lower rates of heart disease. Try snacking on a handful of almonds or making a heart-healthy salad for lunch.


Eliminate cravings

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If you find yourself reaching for a chocolate chip cookie whenever you have an afternoon slump, try keeping a bowl of almonds on your desk. Their salty crunch is known to suppress cravings, Bonnie says. And if you can't get the sweet tooth out of your head, you can make candied nuts in your slow cooker.


Add more shine to dull hair

If the dry winter air has led to brittle hair, turn to hair products with almond oil. Its healthy fatty acids help strengthen hair and give it structure. When you use hair products with almond oil, the fats are absorbed into your hair, keeping each strand strong and shiny.


Promote healthy cells

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Almonds are not only rich in healthy fats and proteins, but they are also rich in antioxidants. These phytochemicals can protect your cells from oxidation and premature aging. Enjoy a bowl of almonds with berries for an antioxidant-rich snack. Or skip the fruit and enjoy these decadent almond ham and cheese crostini instead.


Lower cholesterol

Almonds are one of the best foods for naturally lowering cholesterol. Studies show that eating almonds can lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels. Plus, almonds are quick and convenient, so you don't have to rely on vending machine food for a snack. Pack a box of almonds in your car for easy snacking on the go.


Reduce your risk of diabetes

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Start your day with a bowl of breakfast cereal sprinkled with almonds. Studies have shown that eating almonds with cereal slows the absorption of the carbohydrates in cereal, Bonnie says. This buffering effect of the proteins and fats found in almonds has been shown to lower the risk of developing blood sugar and diabetes.


Lower blood pressure

Almonds are rich in magnesium, which can help lower blood pressure. Studies show that low levels of magnesium in the blood can increase the risk of high blood pressure. Eating magnesium-rich foods like almonds can help protect you.


Keeps you full

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Almonds are rich in plant-based protein and keep you full and satisfied throughout the afternoon. They're also a healthy source of "calcium, vitamin E, phosphorus and an abundance of nutrients," Bonnie says. Boost your daily protein intake by sprinkling sliced almonds over almost any meal or snack.


How would you like to eat your almonds?


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