What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Almonds Every Day

The humble almond seems to have taken over the world. The teardrop-shaped nut (which is actually, if we're being picky, not a true nut, but a seed) is not only popular in its original form but, in recent years, has shown its versatility, with almond milk and almond flour now hugely popular dietary alternatives. And, this popularity shows no signs of slowing down. The global almond market, which has grown year-on-year since 2017, is projected to grow by 4.5% between 2021 and 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence.

Part of why almonds are so darn popular, apart from their delicious flavor and adaptable form, is because of how nutritious they are. "Almonds have been studied extensively for their benefits on heart health, diabetes, and weight management," said registered dietitian with the Almond Board of Canada, Jenny Heap, to Live Science. Thanks to their combination of protein, monounsaturated fats, fiber, and vitamin and mineral content, almonds have a range of health benefits. But if we eat them every day, what'll happen to our bodies? Grab a handful of almonds and join us as we find out.

You could improve your cholesterol levels if you eat almonds every day

Almonds, like most other nuts, are pretty high in fat. For a one-ounce serving, you'll be looking at around 14 grams of fat, according to Live Science. Now, usually, we associate high-fat foods with higher levels of cholesterol, but the good news is that roughly two-thirds of the fats present in almonds are monounsaturated fats, a type of healthy fat which instead of raising our cholesterol levels, can help to lower the "bad" LDL cholesterol in our arteries, said Medline Plus.

In fact, when it comes to eating almonds every day, they've been specifically shown to help improve cholesterol levels, as seen in a review of studies published by Cambridge University Press. A further study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, also showed how eating almonds every day could help to lower levels of plasma lipids, e.g., fats in the blood, like triglycerides, which can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. However way you split it, the fats that are present in almonds will generally be much more heart-healthy than saturated or trans fats, which can contribute to higher LDL cholesterol levels.

If you eat almonds every day, you'll get a huge amount of vitamin E daily

Almonds are little nutritional superheroes, and their mineral and vitamin content is to be envied. "Ounce for ounce, almonds are higher in fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin than any other tree nut," states registered dietitian with the Almond Board of Canada, Jenny Heap, to Live Science. While all of those nutrients are highly important to the proper functioning of the body, the vitamin E content you get by eating almonds is pretty exceptional and can help to reinforce your health in many different ways.

As an antioxidant, vitamin E can help to protect the body from the effects of free radicals, which can help to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease or cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, vitamin E plays a vital function in our reproductive health, our vision, and proper skin, blood, and brain health. And check this out for efficiency: Just a single-ounce serving of almonds can provide you with almost half of your daily recommended value of vitamin E, states Healthline.

Eating almonds every day may help you stay fuller longer

As well as their incredible nutritional profile, almonds are also super-filling and, if you're looking to manage satiety levels, they could be the perfect snack. Almonds are high both in fiber and in protein, two components of food that take longer to digest and have less of an immediate effect on blood sugar, meaning they keep us fuller for longer. As such, they have an excellent profile for a snack that can promote satiety and reduce hunger levels between meals.

This was shown in a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, which examined the effects of eating additional almonds as a mid-morning snack on people's food consumption for the rest of the day. The study found that eating almonds early in the day meant that people would then eat less overall. According to Purdue University's processor of nutrition science Richard Mattes, "This research suggests that almonds may be a good snack option, especially for those concerned about weight. Despite adding 250 calories to the diet, there was no change in total energy intake (per NPR)."

Eating almonds every day could improve your mood

It's not just the sense of virtue you'll feel by eating almonds that'll boost your spirits. By consuming almonds daily, you could be doing your mood wonders thanks to the effects of their nutrients. Almonds, along with other nuts, can help provide your body with tryptophan, an amino acid that can produce serotonin, according to Healthline. As the main hormone that helps to promote feelings of well-being, this serotonin can then help to boost your mood.

Not only that, but eating almonds as part of a nutritious diet can also help to reduce the risk of more profound mental health concerns, like depression. A study published in BMC Medicine looked at the link between diet and depression by examining the effects of eating a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with nuts like almonds, and how it affected certain mental health aspects in participants with type 2 diabetes. The study authors concluded that "a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts could exert a beneficial effect on the risk of depression" in type 2 diabetes patients, and suggested that long-term adherence to this kind of diet could be effective for its mental health benefits.

Your gut health could improve by eating almonds every day

Good gut health is one of the cornerstones of overall wellbeing, and feeding our guts with goodness is vital to maintain it. Luckily, almonds are right at home in a gut-friendly diet and, by eating them every day, they could have a positive prebiotic effect, according to Science Daily. While the word "probiotics" (which most of us have heard of) refer to the alive, beneficial bacteria inside our stomachs, "prebiotics" are what they eat to stay healthy — indigestible parts of food that these bacteria thrive on, said SCL Health. Prebiotics can help to not only maintain the healthy colony of bacteria down there, and therefore our health, but can help to raise their quantity.

All of this was shown to be true of almonds in a study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, which found that consuming ground almonds helped to increase the numbers of good bacteria in the gut. This could be down to the fats in almonds, the study suggests, as when the fats were removed, the same effect on the bacteria wasn't seen.

Eating almonds every day could make your bowel movements more regular

Almonds have a lot going for them, and one of those things is that'll they'll help you "go" — if you know what we mean — a little more regularly. There are a few reasons why eating almonds every could help your bowel movements. The first is their fiber content, with a hefty 4 grams per serving, according to the Almond Board of California. As the Mayo Clinic points out, fiber is a vital component in normalizing bowel movements and helping you pass healthy stools.

However, there's one more star nutrient in almonds that helps your movements: magnesium. "Magnesium neutralizes stomach acid and moves stools through the intestines," said the author of "Drink Your Way to Gut Health" and registered dietitian and nutritionist, Molly Morgan, to Runner's World. A single serving of almonds (just one ounce, or a small handful) can provide you with a quarter of your daily recommended intake of magnesium, which also helps to keep blood pressure regular and strengthen your bones (per WebMD). As Runner's World states, you can also always throw a little almond flour into smoothies or anything you're baking to help boost your magnesium intake.

Eating almonds daily could help your skin health improve

Those almonds you're snacking on daily could be doing wonders for your skin. In fact, a study published in Phytotherapy Research found that eating almonds every day could even have some antiaging properties. The study, which recruited postmenopausal women, found that after eating almonds daily for 16 weeks, there was an observed decrease in wrinkle severity in participants.

Integrative dermatologist and lead researcher on the study, Raja Sivamani, discussed the potential implications of the study, and potential reasons why almonds could have these effects. "Almonds are a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E and deliver essential fatty acids and polyphenols," said Sivamani to New Food, elements which could provide benefits to skin health. "They're a smart choice for overall good nutrition. And, as seen in this study, almonds may hold promise as a food to include as part of a healthy aging diet, especially for post-menopausal women." Vitamin E, in particular, may also have anti-inflammatory effects for skin, as well as helping to reduce free radical damage which can affect skin health, said the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University

In large quantities, eating almonds every day could lead to weight gain

At a certain point, eating too much of anything will cause an excess of calories (although you'd be hard-pressed to overdo it on things like celery or lettuce). With almonds, eating them every day can provide a huge amount of benefits, but it's worth remembering that as foods go, they're pretty calorie-dense. One ounce of almonds will provide around 165 calories of energy, according to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. While as part of a healthy diet this is unlikely to cause too much of an effect, if you're eating significantly more than that daily, you can exceed your normal intake, potentially causing weight gain.

Having said that, it's useful to point out that almonds could be a vital ally if you're looking to reduce or manage weight. Almonds are not only high in fat, helping to curb appetite, but also protein and fiber, according to Verywell Fit. All three of these components are slowly digested, meaning that they keep you full for longer periods and can therefore help control hunger levels.

If you have type 2 diabetes, eating almonds every day could help control symptoms

If you have type 2 diabetes, managing it is essential to prevent further risk factors. Your diet is important in this, and almonds could play a useful role in diabetes management to help reduce glycemic and cardiovascular risk, according to a study published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. The six-month study looked at the effects of eating almonds daily in participants with type 2 diabetes, finding that, as part of a healthy and balanced diet, the nuts showed "multiple beneficial effects" on diabetes risk factors. Another study, published in Metabolism, showed a similar result, finding that almond consumption helped with greater glycemic control.

While almonds can prove useful for those who have type 2 diabetes, they can also exist as part of a healthy lifestyle for prediabetic people, potentially improving insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels in individuals with prediabetes, according to a study discussed via Medical News Today. Living a healthy lifestyle with a balanced, nutritious diet can also help to reduce the risk of developing either prediabetes (which affects over 88 million US adults) or diabetes, said the CDC.

Your nails could get stronger if you eat almonds every day

If you've ever craved stronger nails, grabbing a handful of almonds every day could help you in your pursuit, thanks to several key nutrients contained in the little nut. The first of these is vitamin E, which, as well as coming in countless beauty products and nail creams, is present in high quantities in almonds. "Vitamin E, known as the beauty vitamin, obviously helps to protect cells from oxidative damage," states Lucy Jones, dietitian and British Dietetic Association member, to Good Housekeeping. "And one portion of almonds (23 almonds) contains 60% of your daily needs of vitamin E."

But that's not all. Almonds are also high in magnesium, a nutrient that plays an essential role in nail health. Specifically, magnesium is involved in protein synthesis, which helps nails grow properly, according to Healthline. One telltale sign of a magnesium deficiency can be seen in your nails, through the presence of vertical ridges. If you see these in your nails, it could be time to get your daily almonds in.

Eating almonds every day could lower your blood pressure

There are a huge amount of factors that affect blood pressure, including our diet; and with nearly half of US adults having hypertension (or high blood pressure), according to the CDC, finding ways to control it is essential. Almonds, luckily, are in the camp that can help to lower blood pressure, particularly if you eat them with regularity. This is comprehensively shown in a 2020 review of studies that looked at the link between almond consumption and blood pressure, which concluded that the current body of research "supports the ingestion of almonds for their beneficial effect on blood pressure," as published in ScienceDirect.

One of the reasons that it's so effective is because of its magnesium content, "which can help lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels," said St. Joseph Hospital registered dietitian, Kailey Proctor, to Livestrong. It's important to remember, though, that no one specific food will help with blood pressure, or with any other health condition; the emphasis should be on a varied, nutritious diet. As Proctor specifically notes, "almonds can help lower high blood pressure when they are part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables."

Eating almonds every day could help your memory

When it comes to brain food, almonds are going to serve you well. As registered dietitian Nicola Shubrook told BBC Good Food, almonds contain folate, vitamin E, and unsaturated fatty acids  — all of which can help to reinforce correct brain function, as well as the naturally-occurring chemical l-carnitine, which has protective benefits for the brain.

Where almonds seem to particularly come into their own, though, are in their potential to help to improve memory. "Almonds elevate the levels of acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps enhance memory and help fight conditions like Alzheimer's disease," said health practitioner, nutritionist, certified macrobiotic health coach and member of the Nutrition Society of India, Shilpa Arora, to NDTV. This has been shown in animal studies, like one published in Brain Research Bulletin, where a link was found between daily almond consumption and improved memory and cognitive function through higher acetylcholine levels. The best part is, you don't have to eat loads of them to get the benefits of this. As Arora said, eight to 10 almonds per day should do the trick.

Eating too many almonds every day could cause certain drug interactions

As with everything in life, there can be too much of a good thing, and too many almonds daily could lead to a few unwanted issues. This is especially true if you're taking certain medications, and it happens largely because of the manganese content in almonds, said Livestrong. A one-ounce serving of almonds will provide around 27% of your daily recommended intake of manganese; and, as we need manganese to form healthy connective tissue and bones to help with metabolism, and to regulate blood sugar (per Mount Sinai), this is normally a good thing.

With specific medications, however, particularly certain antibiotics and antipsychotic drugs, ingesting too much manganese can cause unwanted side effects. Tetracycline and quinolone-based antibiotics (often used to treat bacterial infections) can be decreased in their effectiveness if you have too much manganese in your system, according to WebMD. Haloperidol, a medication used to treat schizophrenia, may also interact with elevated levels of manganese, causing unwanted behavioral changes or hallucinations, states St. Luke's Hospital. If you're taking any medication, it's vital to check with your doctor about any potential interactions.

Eating almonds every day could help maintain eye health

Eating almonds every day could be the best thing you ever did for your eyes. (Well, maybe not the best thing, but definitely not the worst.) The vitamin E content in almonds makes it hugely beneficial for eye health, as the antioxidant effects of the vitamin can help to guard against the free radicals that can harm healthy eye tissue, according to Healthline.

To add further benefit, almonds (like other nuts) are naturally high in zinc, an essential mineral for eye health, as the American Optometric Association pointed out. Zinc helps the body to produce melanin, an essential pigment for eye health. Both of these nutrients can help to protect against long-term eye conditions. Vitamin E is particularly important for lowering the risk of developing eye-related macular degeneration, a condition that causes permanent vision loss; and both vitamin E and zinc are vital in adequate amounts for the prevention of cataracts, as well as the maintenance of good night vision in zinc's case, specifically.