What’s In My Almond Butter?
The health and fitness industry has long promoted the positive health benefits associated with almond butter, calling it a healthy alternative to spreads loaded with refined sugar, additives and artificial flavorings.
Almonds are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, dietary fiber, and antioxidants, making it one of the best nut butter in the market today.
Almond butter tastes great especially when used as a spread on whole grain bread, added to a bowl of oatmeal, or even just spooned straight out of the jar.
The creamy, almost silky texture of almond butter is not as sweet as peanut butter, but it has similar earthy notes that make it appropriate for any season. As an added bonus, it is gluten-free, Paleo, and vegan-friendly.
What Makes Almonds Superior to Other Nuts?
Almonds are classified as a ‘drupe nut’. Similar to pecans and walnuts, almonds have a hard, layered shell that encases a nut. Almonds must first be shelled and its fruit exposed before it can be made into a butter.
After de-shelling, it is processed with other ingredients such as red palm oil. Palm oil is used to improve the butter viscosity and preserve it in its packaging.
Almonds, eaten raw or processed into butter, offer excellent nutritional value and are high in fiber, minerals and vitamins. It is a fantastic snack between meals to keep your hunger in check, and can be easily incorporated into a healthy diet.
For instance, a single serving (32 grams) of Thrive Market Almond Butter contains:
- 200 calories, with 135 calories from healthy fat sources
- 15 grams of Total Fat
- 7 grams of Protein
- 6 grams of Carbohydrates
- 3 grams of Dietary Fiber
Fat Content of Almond Butter
Not all fats are created equal. Trans-fats and saturated animal fats have given fat a bad reputation.
These two types of fat increase the risk of heart disease such as atherosclerosis. It has high energy content with little nutritional value, increasing accumulation of adipose fatty tissue by the body. (1)
The fat sources found in Thrive Market Almond Butter have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood. This is very good news for your arteries and cardiovascular system, reducing your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Omega 3 & 6 EFA’s found in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats have a myriad of health benefits. Studies show that they can greatly reduce inflammation and assist in regulating blood pressure, while protecting the nervous system and improving metabolic function. (2)
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are a slow-releasing energy source. The fats found in almonds consist of medium to long carbon chains, with a double bond between two of the carbon molecules. According to research, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) can accelerate fat loss and provide the body with lasting, sustainable energy.
Oils and fats exist in different states at room temperature, depending on the length of the triglyceride chains and the number of double bonds between the carbon molecules.
Coconut oil has a medium triglyceride chain with many double bonds and is near solid at room temperature. Olive oil has fewer double bonds and is liquid at room temperature.
Why is Almond Butter Considered a Healthier Alternative?
1. Rich in Antioxidants
Almond butter is rich in plant phytosterols and stanols. These natural fatty compounds have a similar structure to cholesterol. The powerful antioxidant properties of phytosterols and stanols eliminate free radicals from the bloodstream and help strengthen the immune system. (3)
We are exposed to countless environmental toxins every single day, from the food we eat to the products we apply onto our skin. By consuming more antioxidant-rich foods, we can help prevent and reverse the damage caused by free radicals to avoid the development of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disease, chronic inflammation, hormonal disorders, and many more.
2. Low Carbohydrate Content
Natural carbohydrates in almond butter are different from the refined carbohydrates found in peanut butter and other less healthy spreads. The energy consumers receive from refined sugar is absorbed quickly by the body, spiking insulin levels and storing the excess calories as fat.
Almond butter is a healthy alternative to sugary snacks because these snacks only create a temporary increase of energy followed by a crash as blood sugar levels drop.
The carbohydrates found in almond butter do not raise blood sugar levels as quickly due to its low glycemic load and glycemic index. Therefore, your blood sugar levels will remain more stable, giving you sustained energy throughout the day.
For the reasons mentioned above, natural almond butter is an ideal snack between meals. Less sugar and healthier fats means extended energy without the sugar crash or the risk of developing diabetes.
Diabetes has become a major health issue that is bordering on a global epidemic. Making poor food choices and regularly consuming food that is high in sugar may increase the risk of declining health and exposure to various diseases.
Health Benefits of Almond Butter
Almond Butter Reduces Inflammation
Sugar and refined carbs create inflammation in the GI tract. Inflammation affects your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients from your food, slowing your metabolism. Carbohydrates from almond butter do not create the same inflammatory response, keeping your gut biomes healthy.
Recent research on the gut biome shows that it has a vital role in our physical health and well-being. There is a relationship between the food we eat and the impact it has on the inflammation of the GI tract.
In an inflamed environment, the gut biomes do not have the ability to assimilate our food efficiently. This results in lowered metabolic function and reduced immune response. If your gut biomes are not brought into balance, then your health may decline.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet that has a wide spectrum of nutrients such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and healthy fats lowers inflammation response and balances the gut biome environment. (5)
Almonds Help Alkalize the Gut
Almonds have the ability to alkalize the gut. Eating almond butter reduces lactic acid build up in your GI tract, lowering the PH level and improving assimilation of the nutrients in your food. Eating almond butter daily ensures an alkaline environment for your gut biomes and optimal health of your GI tract. (6)
If you suffer from bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, gas, or any other gastrointestinal disorders, you may want to improve gut health by consuming fiber-rich foods and alkalizing foods.
Almond Butter is Good for the Brain
Almond butter is high in L-carnitine and riboflavin, two nutrients that are shown to have a positive impact on neurological function, enhance cognitive function, and improve mental well-being. (7)
Eating almond butter regularly may help with mood and focus, especially when combined with other foods such as bananas, green tea, flax seeds, green tea, and blueberries.
Almond Butter Has Beneficial Effects on Lipid Profile and Adiposity
According to one study, results show that regular consumption of almonds may improve lipid profile, glycemic control, and adiposity. This could potentially decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. (8)
Almond Butter May Help Prevent Body Fat Storage in the Abdominal Region
In addition to preventing the onset of cardiometabolic diseases, studies show that regular consumption of almonds can help decrease body fat in the abdominal region, especially when dietary changes entailed replacing carbohydrate snacks with almonds.
This study was the first of its kind to not only demonstrate the heart healthy benefits of almonds through lowered cholesterol levels and improved clearance of arterial walls, but also the beneficial effects of almonds on leg adiposity and abdominal adiposity. (9)
Almond Butter Nutrients
The plant-based proteins found in natural almond butter can count towards your daily protein intake
Your body uses these amino acids and enzymes to produce hormones, create new blood cells, and restore muscle tissue. Protein is the building block of cartilage and bones, and an essential part of our daily macronutrient intake. (10)
Consuming a higher protein diet may also assist in fat loss, muscle building, and maintaining a healthy physique.
Calcium & Magnesium
These two minerals are vital to the health of your bones and teeth.
Both calcium and magnesium have been shown by research to improve cell communication and biological function. Calcium and magnesium improve circadian rhythms resulting in better sleep and improved mood. They also assist the heart in pumping out blood to deliver oxygen to the entire body, making countless body processes possible through the abundance of nutrients.
Almond butter gives you a portion of your recommended daily requirements for these two minerals in a single tasty snack. (11)
Iron & Vitamin E
The non-heme iron found in almond butter assists in the absorption of oxygen. This critical biological function is disrupted in people who have anemia. Eating natural dietary sources of iron such as almond butter can prevent iron deficiency and its associated symptoms.
Vitamin E prevents blood lipid oxidation, a biological process linked to heart disease. Vitamin E also improves the health of your skin and hair. (12)
Fiber is a dietary necessity. Failing to eat enough fiber on a daily basis can lead to GI tract inflammation and distress, lowered immune function, and exposure to infection. Surprisingly, statistics show that about 85% of people do not meet their recommended daily requirements for fiber.
According to experts, males should be getting a minimum of 48 grams of dietary fiber per day while females should be getting a minimum of 43 grams of dietary fiber per day. Fiber sweeps the upper and lower intestines clean, reducing inflammation and improving assimilation of your food.
You can find fiber in food like leafy green spinach and kale, or whole grains and legumes. Two tablespoons of natural almond butter have nearly 10% of your daily dietary fiber requirements. (13)
It’s clear that almond butter is a good addition to your diet. This superfood lowers inflammation, provides sustained energy, and is fortified with vitamins and minerals to improve your overall health.
It is best to take note of the ingredients in your natural almond butter. Skip brands that add sugar or other stabilizers. Also, make sure your almond butter is organic and responsibly farmed.
Thrive Market Almond Butter is the top choice for a premium health product that has everything you need to enhance your diet with this tasty, healthy treat.