The almond is a species of tree native to India, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Possible health benefits of almonds
Potential health benefits associated with consuming almonds include lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Almonds and cholesterol
A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggested that consuming almonds increases vitamin E levels in the plasma and red blood cells and also lowers cholesterol levels.
Almonds and heart disease
Almonds, along with nuts and seeds in general, are often associated with improved levels of blood lipids and being good for the heart.
There is evidence indicating that including almonds in your diet can help ward off heart disease.
One study, published in the journal Circulation, assessed almonds' effect on coronary heart disease risk factors, the researchers concluded that "almonds used as snacks in the diets of hyperlipidemic subjects significantly reduce coronary heart disease risk factors, probably in part because of the nonfat (protein and fiber) and monounsaturated fatty acid components of the nut.
Nutritional profile of almonds
Almonds are a source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and high-quality protein; they also contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids along with high levels of bioactive molecules (such as fiber, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals, and antioxidants) which can help prevent cardiovascular heart diseases.
As far as vegetable foods are concerned, nuts and seeds are the richest in fiber after cereals, which could explain why almonds are good for cardiovascular health.