Using Almonds for Weight Loss, More Energy and Better Skin

Many people avoid nuts like almonds when they want to lose weight, thinking they are too high in calories. But nuts are little powerhouses of nutrition and getting a good variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients into your diet is precisely what is needed to help diminish the carbohydrate cravings that lead to tiredness and weight gain.

Most nuts are also rich in healthy fats that provide high levels of satiety, that feeling of fullness that eliminates hunger and will keep you satisfied with what you’ve eaten for much longer than a grain-based ‘low-fat’ snack. Additionally, slow digesting nuts provide a much more sustained type of energy than the rush and fall of simple carbohydrate based energy.

Here’s why adding more almonds to your diet, and particularly eating them in a certain way, can help you to lose weight rather than gain it and look and feel much better doing it.Health Benefits of Almonds

Almonds for Losing Weight

While many nuts share similar nutritional benefits and healthy fats that fill you up, almonds are especially good to use for weight loss

. Let’s have a look at the reasons for this.

Almonds are a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, the same kind as those found in avocado and olive oil. Oleic acid is the primary monounsaturated fat in almonds and it has been associated with a reduction in unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels and a lower risk of heart disease and breast cancer for women.

They contain good levels of minerals such as manganese, copper and magnesium as well as B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin and biotin. These particular nutrients are integral to the cellular processes that activate energy production within your body. And anything that helps you to feel more active and energetic can only be a good thing for losing weight.

Almonds are also particularly high in vitamin E for protecting your cardiovascular system from free radical damage and keeping your heart healthy and pumping.Almonds for skin

Studies like this one from the International Journal of Obesity have found that people in eating a restricted diet with added almonds loss considerably more weight than those on the same restricted diet with the same calories of added complex carbohydrates. This was despite the fact that the almond enhanced diet was 39% total fat (primarily monounsaturates) while the complex carbohydrate diet was only 18% total fat.

So much for the old ‘a calorie is a calorie’ thinking. A handful of almonds is not only better for you and will fill you up for longer than grain-based foods (meaning overall you’ll eat less anyway), they seem to have a more pronounced effect on weight loss, even when calories are measured by scientists to be identical.

Another nutritional factor that makes almonds so good for reducing body fat is their high levels of protein. Raising the levels of protein and healthy fats in your diet while diminishing processed carbohydrates make a big difference to your success in shedding the pounds. Much more on this in Why Bread Makes You Fat and High-Fat Foods Can Help You Lose Weight.Losing weight almonds

Better Skin with Almonds

While almond oil is a popular natural skin treatment, almonds also have some powerful skin benefits when you eat them regularly.

Top of the list is their rich vitamin E content. Foods naturally high in vitamin E like almonds contain a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols which are the true form of vitamin E and is much more powerful than most regular supplements which only contain alpha-tocopherol.

Vitamin E is so beneficial for skin due to the way it protects the collagen and elastin proteins that ‘glue’ your skin cells together from free radical damage. Collagen and elastin are vital for firm and young looking skin. The more they break down, the more tired and dry your skin will look, eventually leading to fine lines and wrinkles.

Eating almonds regularly can help provide protective vitamin E to your skin’s cells and keep it looking younger for longer. Perhaps think of a bag of them as a natural and tasty nutritional facelift.Almond benefits

Almonds also have another secret weapon for facial protection in their thin brown skins. High levels of up to twenty different antioxidant flavonoids have been detected that work together with vitamin E to defend your skin against environmental damage.

Many of the nutrients in almonds like oleic acid, vitamin E, copper, magnesium and manganese are also associated with healthy hair. Weight loss, good skin and better hair – almonds really do seem to be an exceptional food for improving your appearance.

How to Eat Almonds for Weight Loss

One of the best way to eat almonds if you are concerned about losing weight is to use them as a replacement snack food. The Ideal Meal Frequency for Weight Loss covered why smaller more regular meals are so beneficial in this regard. One of those smaller meals could be a handful of mixed nuts, with almonds as a good percentage of them.

If you’ve never tried this before you’ll be surprised how well mixed nuts fill you up, especially if you chew them properly and really taste them. You can add a small apple, carrot or other healthy fruit or vegetable, but the key is to avoid bread or other grain foods at the same time. That way you don’t get high levels of insulin released into your blood that has you hungry again soon after and defeat any chance of accessing stored body fat as energy.

Other good ways to add almonds to your diet include chopping them up in a food processor or crushing them on a chopping board in a bag with a heavy jar and sprinkling them on salads or into healthy stir fries. They are even good added to smoothies or topping off a tub of natural yogurt.

With so many different uses for these healthy nuts it’s worth getting them in bulk and storing an extra bag in the fridge for a regular supply.

Have you noticed a difference using almonds for weight loss or to improve your skin or energy levels? Are there other nuts you’d like to read about the health benefits of? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll see about getting those covered soon too.

About the author

Jim Dillan

Jim Dillan is health and wellness researcher, writing about natural nutrition, improving your physical and mental well-being and moving to a healthier lifestyle. His website Superfood Profiles has detailed articles on superfood health benefits, hair and skin treatments and healthy recipes.

  • Adenike

    What are the other health benefits apart from weight loss?

  • http://superfoodprofiles.com/ Jim Dillon

    Hi Adenike,

    As the article says, almonds are particularly good as an energy food and for improving your skin. They contain so many different nutrients that would have benefits for many different areas of you health.

  • JAY

    Hi Jim,
    Just want to add that almonds has always been a symbol of intellect. It improves brain functionality and prevent you from various heart diseases and cancer.
    You correctly pointed out of usefulness of almonds in weight loss.

    • http://superfoodprofiles.com/ Jim Dillan

      Thanks for your comments Jay. That’s no doubt to do with the healthy fats and many nutrients in almonds.

      I think they work so well for weight loss because they really fill you up well. Much better than the usual junk from the corner store.

  • Stuart

    I buy mine from Asda (Wallmart) and half of them in the packet are white with no brown skin. Are they like apples in that a massive percentage of the goodness is in the actual skin or is it the nut itself that contains all the goodies?

    Stuart (Glasgow)

    • http://superfoodprofiles.com/ Jim Dillan

      Hi Stuart. Many antioxidant flavonoids have been identified in almond skins so I think it’s best to have them with the skin on. I’ve recently started soaking mine for a while before eating them and that seems to remove some of the slight bitterness you sometimes get with the skins on. Hope this helps.

  • Carol

    Hi Jim, I have used almond for my snacks for a few months now. Is there a guideline for the amounts I should be taking? Also is roasted almonds ok?

    • http://superfoodprofiles.com/ Jim Dillan

      Hi Carol and thanks for your question.

      Almonds tend to be very filling, making them great for an afternoon snack. Just six to ten usually keep me going if I’m hungry.

      Much better than store bought roasted almonds (which can have damaged fatty acids) is to soak your own overnight with a little sea salt and then slowly bake them on a low heat in the over until dry. These taste delicious and are very good for you.

      Hope this helps.

  • Mashabela Sello

    Hi Jim ,I have been suffering from intermittent heart pains for 13 years especially whenever I ate salty foods .I have been to several Doctors to no avail. Since I discovered Almonds nuts eight months ago, my pain had quietly been unheard of . I have started to abstain from any meat product since 2007 but I promise you that my health has not been any better until I discovered and used Almonds nuts.

    Mashabela SJ
    Centurion, Pretoria, RSA

    • http://superfoodprofiles.com/ Jim Dillan

      Hi Mashabela and thanks for your comments.

      Almonds are full of nutrients and it seems likely you were lacking in something they contain. Once you started eating them this helped to alleviate the problem. I like to combine a few other nuts with almonds for snacking like walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts. Together they are even more powerful for your health.

      All the best.

  • Mashabela Sello

    Hi Jim do you think the above comments with regard to my bodily reaction to salty foods have possibly , permanently found solution in almond nuts? what else do you think I must eat almond nuts with , to improve my health. I am a vegetarian and I take no meat at all (since 2007).

    Mashabela S.J
    Centurion RSA

    • http://superfoodprofiles.com/ Jim Dillan

      Hi Mashabela,

      Almonds are known to be quite alkalizing but fresh vegetable juice like carrot, celery, cucumber and the like are even more so. If your diet has a lot of acid forming grains like wheat it could be beneficial to juice some of the vegetables in this new article – http://www.healthambition.com/vegetables-for-juicing-the-juice-diet/ More pottasium in your diet could also be helpful if you are having a reaction to salt. Avocados and bananas are good for this. Obviously see a doctor if the pain returns but I would also avoid salt or use the much healthier Himalayan crystal salt. Processed sodium chloride isn’t good for anyone.

      Hope this helps

  • Nancy

    Hi Jim. Great post. My husband and I eat almonds for our snacks, but we also eat almond butter and drink almond milk. I usually eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning with almond milk. Then I will eat a handful of almonds twice a day. And I might have some almond butter toast once a day. My husband eats the same thing. But he will also have a couple bowls of cereal with almond milk, and a 2-3 pieces of almond butter toast, and his almond “snack” has a tendency to be a bit bigger than just a handful. Do you think it’s possible we are eating too many almonds?

    • http://superfoodprofiles.com/ Jim Dillan

      Hi Nancy,

      Almonds are generally very filling and satisfying. I’d think the handful of almonds would be a much better snack than most and almond milk is preferable to conventional milk or soy. The only concern might be the high glycemic toast, particularly if it’s white bread, with the almond butter as this can spike hunger and store body fat. I personally have almond butter just by the small teaspoon and find it great like this.

      Hope this helps.

  • Divya

    Hi Jim, Great post. i started from one week and I can see changes in my health.

    • http://superfoodprofiles.com/ Jim Dillan

      Hi Divya and thanks for your positive comments. I hope you continue to enjoy your almonds.

  • sandeep Nayak

    HI, my weight is 110 kg. i need weight lose. So i regularly exercise 1 hour . a friend talk to mi tale almond. but how many almond par a day & what process to eat?

  • A.subramani

    Super information thank you

  • Rajshree

    Hi Jim
    Do almond oil helps in any case. For weight loss if we take almond as evening snack than should we avoid dinner or you mean lunch also. We take 5 almond and 2 dates daily at morning soaked one.
    Please help.