Almonds have long been associated with improving memory and metabolism. In addition, they are rich in protein and fiber that are necessary for proper gut functioning. As a result, almond butter has recently become more popular as a replacement for milk butter, and for good reason. It is rich in vitamin A and calcium that make it more beneficial than most other butter options.
This article discusses almond butter benefits, how you can prepare at home, and the various recipes you can try using it. Keep reading to know more.
Almond Butter: What Is It And How Nutritious Is It?
Almond butter is made from raw almonds and is a good replacement for milk butter if you want to opt for plant-based foods. It is rich in nutrients and supplies a lot of carbohydrates per serving. In addition, almond butter has monounsaturated fatty acids.
Dr. Daniel Boyer, from Farr Institute, says, “Monounsaturated fats help to lower LDL (’bad cholesterol’) and raise HDL (’good’) cholesterol.”
A serving of almond butter (about 16 grams on a bread slice/roll) contains the following nutrients (1):
|Total Fibers||1.65 g|
|Total Fats||8.88 g|
“A typical 2 tablespoon serving provides a whopping 22% of the daily value for magnesium and 10% of the daily value for calcium,” says Megan Wong, an RD at AlgaeCal.
Almond butter is also rich in vitamins B3, B6, B9, E, and some forms of vitamin A. It is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent antioxidants. These vitamins aren’t normally found in the body and need to be supplemented through food sources. Almond butter is an excellent one.
Read on to find out how your body can benefit from almond butter.
Top Benefits Of Almond Butter
We have seen the nutritional profile of almond butter. Each of these nutrients contributes to maintaining the body’s metabolism. Here are the top 5 ways almond butter can be beneficial.
1. May Help Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk
It is scientifically proven that consuming almonds or almond butter daily reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL) (2). The monounsaturated fatty acids in almonds promote the production of HDL.
In addition, the vitamin E in almonds prevents clogging of the blood vessels. It acts as a vasodilator. Vasodilation and the increase in antioxidant levels in the body help reduce high blood pressure. These factors further promote heart health (3). However, more research is warranted to further understand the link between vitamin E and cardiovascular health.
2. May Help With Weight Loss
The carbohydrates and fiber in almond butter help you feel satiated. Almond butter, in this manner, helps curtail the need your body feels to eat energy-rich foods (4). Hence, it may help reduce your intake of extra fatty food to a certain extent. This leads to weight loss and, subsequently, controlled weight gain if you want to shed a few pounds.
3. Is Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are major antioxidants with various functions (5). They help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease due to their antioxidant properties. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two important omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the body’s triglyceride levels (that directly influences heart health).
Omega-3s also improve vision and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). They also reduce pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
4. May Help With Better Brain Function
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, phenolic acids, and folate, which are all essential for the proper functioning of the brain. One study on rats showed that repeated administration of almonds for 28 days showed immense improvement in their cognitive behavior (6).
Almonds could also help prevent age-related brain function deterioration. In another human study conducted on 50- to 70-year-olds, consumption of 3oz of almonds every day for six months showed improvement in their overall brain function (7).
5. May Help With Healthy Pregnancy
Dr. Boyer says, “Calcium can prevent preterm labor and delivery, lower the risk of preeclampsia, and may increase birth weight.”
Almond butter has folate, calcium, and iron, which are necessary for the mother’s strength and fetal growth (8).
6. May Help With Digestive Health
The fiber in almond butter is good for the gut. This fiber is non-soluble and acts as a lining in the digestive tract. It smoothens the digestion process and could also help with smooth excretion. It even promotes good gut flora, which is essential in maintaining the pH of the digestive system (9).
7. May Help Promote Bone Health
Almond butter has magnesium and calcium, which are essential for bone health (10).
Melissa Mitri, an RD with Wellness Verge, says, “Almond butter contains calcium for healthy bones, as well as magnesium to aid in calcium absorption.”
8. May Reduce Diabetes Risk
The magnesium in almond butter reduces insulin resistance in the body. Lower insulin resistance means better uptake of glucose in the body (11). This way, it may help reduce the risk of diabetes.
9. May Help Reduce Skin Inflammation
Almond butter has, to some extent, omega-6 fatty acids too. Along with the omega-3s, these help in the production of eicosanoids that are essential anti-inflammatory compounds. They have proven to help manage skin diseases like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and eczema (12).
These are the health benefits of almond butter. Guess what – you can make it right at your home. Read on for the recipe.
How To Make Your Own Almond Butter
Making organic almond butter at home is the better option because it preserves the nutritional properties of almonds.
Quick And Easy Almond Butter Recipe (makes 500 g)
What You Will Need
- 500 g or 3 cups of raw almonds
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Spread the almonds out on parchment paper and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir around halfway through to ensure equal toasting.
- Cool the almonds until they are slightly warm.
- Add the almonds to a high-speed blender or a food processor. Blend until smooth. It might take a while, but the almonds will go from a lumpy texture to a creamy one. Midway through, if the mixture heats up, turn it off and let it cool.
- Once you get a creamy texture, add in the salt and any other seasoning you wish to. Blend it well.
- If you add maple syrup, let the mixture cool, and blend it again to get back the creamy texture.
- Let the almond butter cool and transfer it to an airtight glass container.
Recipes To Try Using Almond Butter
1 to 2 tablespoons (approx. 32 g) of almond butter every day can help boost your energy while not overpowering your diet. You can also use it in many delicious recipes.
1. Almond Butter Cookies With A Tinge Of Coffee
What you will need
- ¾ cup of almond butter
- ¾ cup of oats flour
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
- ¼ cup of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of water or any plant-based milk
- 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder
- In a bowl, whisk the almond butter until soft.
- Add in the powdered oats, salt, and baking soda. Dissolve the coffee powder with the water/milk. Add to the mixture.
- Mix and knead the ingredients till you get a rough dough. The oils from the almond butter will help smoothen the dough a bit.
- Form small balls, flatten them, and place them on parchment paper such that they are a little far away from each other.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the tray closer to the grill — bake for 10 minutes.
- Let them rest for about 10 minutes.
2. Crunchy Romaine Salad With A Lime Almond Dressing
What you will need
For the salad
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 large cucumber or zucchini, thinly sliced
- Red and yellow bell peppers (1 each), thinly sliced
- Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 3 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
For the dressing
- 4 tablespoons of almond butter
- 1½ tablespoons of raw honey
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce/tamari
- Juice from one medium lime
- 4 tablespoons of water
- A pinch of red chili flakes
- Prepare the dressing first by mixing all the ingredients. Adjust the taste to your liking. Let it rest for a bit so that the flavors can mix.
- For each serving, assemble the romaine lettuce at the bottom and then with the salad. Pour ¼ of the dressing on top.
- Serve and enjoy!
Risks And Precautions
Before consuming almond butter or adding it to your daily diet, you must consult a doctor if:
- You are allergic to nuts. You don’t need to be allergic to almonds if you are allergic to other nuts. But, it is better to be safe.
- You have a history of kidney stones. Oxalates in almonds tend to flare up kidney stones (13).
Almond butter is one of the tastier kinds of butter and is loaded with nutrients. It has a high energy profile and a high fiber content, which gives your body enough energy to feel satiated for a while. Reduced intake of food means better control over your body weight.
Almond butter may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and AMD, maintain a healthy pregnancy, promote better skin health, and improve the digestive system. It could also help in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Almond butter can be used in various recipes to add a sweet taste and a buttery texture. It is, overall, a winning treat! Start including it in your diet today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it okay to eat almond butter every day?
Yes! 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter every day add to your nutritional intake and help boost your energy levels.
Does almond butter need to be refrigerated?
You can choose to either refrigerate it or not. If you choose to refrigerate it, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Does almond butter help you sleep?
It might. It has magnesium, a muscle relaxant. So, a tablespoon of almond butter every night could help you fall asleep. However, there is no research to support this.
Can you eat almond butter on keto?
Yes! Almond butter’s high carbohydrate and fiber content helps in maintaining a well-rounded diet and in reducing weight.
- Almond butter can be a good butter alterative for vegans.
- Its monounsaturated fats promote heart health.
- It is also rich in vitamin E that may boost brain function.
- However, those with nut allergies or a risk for kidney stones must practice caution.
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- Almond butter
- Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
- Vitamin E and cardiovascular disease
- Long-term almond supplementation without advice on food replacement induces favourable nutrient modifications to the habitual diets of free-living individuals
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Repeated administration of almonds increases brain acetylcholine levels and enhances memory function in healthy rats while attenuates memory deficits in animal model of amnesia
- Effects of daily almond consumption for six months on cognitive measures in healthy middle-aged to older adults: a randomized control trial
- Pregnancy and Nutrition
- Diet quality improves for parents and children when almonds are incorporated into their daily diet: a randomized, crossover study
- Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions
- Magnesium and type 2 diabetes
- Omega-3 Versus Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention and Treatment of Inflammatory Skin Diseases
- Dietary oxalate and kidney stone formation