A handful of almonds is a source of easy protein (six grams per serving!). But to get the full benefits, make sure you chew them well. The more you chew, the smaller the almond particles are and the more easily your body absorbs them, according to a panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo, held in Chicago in July.
Because they’re packed with protein and fibre, almonds help keep you full. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium. In fact, a recent study published in the online journal BMC Medicine found that people who ate more than three servings a week reduced their risk of death due to cardiovascular disease by 55 percent, and cancer by 40 percent.
Bonus: A 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that whole almonds have roughly 20 percent fewer calories than we originally thought. One serving (28 grams, or about 23 almonds) actually has 129 calories; previously, they had been calculated at 160 calories. That serving has nine grams of the good monounsaturated fats and three grams of polyunsaturated fats that we need for a healthy heart.