Almond Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Almond nutrition facts and health benefits
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Almonds are a nutritious, portable, low-carbohydrate food that can be used in cooking or eaten as is. Almonds can be purchased salted, unsalted, raw, or roasted. Almonds are also highly versatile. They can be turned into almond butter, almond milk, or ground to make almond meal.

Research suggests that eating nuts regularly might contribute to better heart health and other health benefits. Eating almonds daily can be a great choice, as they provide protein, fiber, and micronutrients such as vitamin E and iron.

Raw and roasted almonds are sodium and sugar-free, which is vital for people who have a history of hypertension or diabetes or are looking to lower their intake for other reasons. Keep reading to learn more about the nutritional facts of almonds and the potential benefits of eating them.

Almond Nutrition Facts

This nutrition information, for one ounce of almonds (28g) or about 24 whole almonds, is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 164
  • Fat: 14.2g
  • Sodium: 0.3mg
  • Carbohydrates: 6.1g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Sugars: 1.2g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Vitamin E: 7.3mg
  • Magnesium: 76.7mg

Carbs

A single serving of almonds provides 6.1 grams of carbohydrate. Almonds are a good source of fiber and have a lower glycemic index than many other nuts, making them a good choice for people on low-carb diets. 

Fats

Almonds are high-fat foods, providing about 22% of the recommended daily amount of fat in a single ounce. However, most of the fat found in almonds is monounsaturated fat, which has cardio-protective properties. There is just over 1 gram of saturated fat, 9 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat in a serving of almonds.

Protein

Almonds are a good source of plant-based protein, containing small amounts of all the essential and non-essential amino acids. There are 6 grams of protein in an ounce of almonds.

Vitamins and Minerals 

One ounce of almonds contains 37% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin E, 8% of the daily recommended amount of calcium, and 6% of the daily recommended amount of iron.

Vitamin E confers antioxidant properties and supports immune function. Calcium is essential for maintaining the structure of teeth and bones. Iron helps in the production of certain hormones and getting oxygen to muscles. 

Almonds are a rich source of manganese and magnesium. Manganese is vital in carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol metabolism. Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic pathways, including energy production, protein synthesis, cell signaling, and structural functions like bone formation.

Calories

Almonds are a calorie-rich food, providing 164 calories per single ounce. Most of the calories come from healthy fat, with smaller amounts coming from carbohydrates and protein.

Health Benefits

Almonds are widely promoted for the nutritional and health benefits that they provide. Sceintific studies have provided some insights into the ways that consuming almonds may affect human health.

Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

According to a review of 29 studies conducted in 2016, eating 28 grams of nuts per day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. When it comes to almonds specifically, this may be because they provide lipid-lowering monounsaturated fat, fiber, and vitamin E

Almonds also contain phytonutrients, especially plant sterols and flavonoids, which are heart-healthy and offer antioxidant benefits. To maximize these nutrients, enjoy your almonds with the skins (flavonoids are concentrated there). 

Helps Lower Cholesterol

Studies investigating the health benefits of nuts have pointed out that consuming almonds may help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Low-density lipoproteins are considered "bad cholesterol" because elevated levels are linked to heart disease.

Almond consumption has also been linked to higher HDL cholesterol levels. HDL is "good cholesterol" because it is instrumental in removing LDL cholesterol from the body.

Study authors suggested that almonds could even be a food used in treating people with high cholesterol who do not wish to take or cannot tolerate large doses of medication.

Improves Diabetes Risk and Management

Some studies suggest that higher intakes of magnesium are associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes. Since almonds provide magnesium, they may deliver this benefit. But other evidence supports the consumption of almonds to prevent diabetes.

For instance, a study on adolescents and young adults at risk for developing diabetes found that those who consumed 56 grams of almonds daily showed reduced HbA1c, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in 12 weeks.

Some studies have also suggested that almond consumption can help those with diabetes control blood sugar and lipid profiles.

Supports Gut Health

A comprehensive research review published in 2021 explored the health benefits of almonds. The study authors pointed out the nuts' benefits to the gut microbiota. Specifically, they found that consuming the nuts can support colon health by promoting microflora richness and diversity, improving the microflora ratio, and boosting concentrations of health-promoting colonic bioactive.

May Provide Metabolic Benefits

That same 2021 research review suggested that almonds may offer metabolic benefits. Specifically, the authors found that diets containing almonds helped study participants feel less hungry and more satiated, increasing resting energy expenditure. Almonds also helped create small but significant decreases in body weight and fat mass compared to other nuts.

Allergies

Almonds are a tree nut. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, tree nut allergies are one of the eight most common food allergies in the U.S., affecting roughly 0.5 to 1% of the population.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include abdominal pain, cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, itching, nasal congestion, nausea, or shortness of breath. Reactions can be severe, including anaphylaxis, so those with a tree nut allergy should have epinephrine available at all times.

Another allergy concern is cross-reactivity to birch pollen (one of the causes of hay fever). This condition is called pollen food syndrome or oral allergy syndrome. People who are allergic to almonds may also be allergic to other nuts and stone fruits. 

Adverse Effects

You are not likely to experience adverse effects when consuming almonds. However, if you are sensitive to salt or have been diagnosed with hypertension, you may want to choose your nuts wisely. Nut mixes or flavored varieties of almonds may contain high levels of sodium and may not be the best choice for everyone.

Varieties

There are over 30 varieties of almonds. The most common variety is Nonpareil which is widely grown in California, accounting for 40% of all almond production. This variety is over 120 years old and is characterized by a soft shell and a medium-sized kernel. Other varieties include Sonora, Aldrich, Winters, and Carmel.

When It’s Best 

In California, almonds are harvested from August through October. But you can find almonds year-round in grocery stores and supermarkets throughout the country.

Storage and Food Safety

If you have almonds in the shell, they can be stored in the pantry for about six months from the date of purchase. When refrigerated, they last about 16 months, and when frozen can last about 20 months. Store the nuts in an airtight container.

Almonds without the shell will last about four months in the pantry, eight months in the refrigerator, and 10 months in the freezer.

How to Prepare 

Raw or roasted almonds can serve as a healthy, nutrient-dense snack on their own. Almonds can also add crunch and flavor to salads, yogurt, or oatmeal, making these foods more satiating and satisfying.

You can also use almond products in many ways. Spread almond butter on celery or an apple; use unsweetened almond milk in shakes, sauces, and eggnog; or make pancakes using almond meal. Almonds can be used as a replacement for bread crumbs when making stuffing or coating a fish filet.

18 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN
Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, counseling patients with diabetes. Barbie was previously the Advanced Nutrition Coordinator for the Mount Sinai Diabetes and Cardiovascular Alliance and worked in pediatric endocrinology at The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center.