5 Almond Butter Benefits That you Should Know About

Kaylee Noland
5 Almond Butter Benefits That you Should Know About

Almond Butter Origin

When thinking of nut butters, your first thought may be that they are high in both fat and calories – which they are. The good news is that almond butter is also high in fiber, and the natural fat that it contains is extremely healthy and essential to our bodies. Almond butter has been trending in the last five years or so as a superfood. In fact, the almond butter market is predicted to double in the next few years. Almond butter is now the more popular choice over the most popular nut butter: peanut butter. In comparison, almond butter not only contains more minerals but it also has double the amount of fiber and half the amount of sugar. Thus, making almond butter a more nutrient-dense choice. 

Even though it has gained popularity in the late for various health reasons, this butter has been a part of the human diet since prehistoric times. Just as we value almonds today for their protein, fat, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, traditional cultures prized almonds for their healing properties! There is evidence of Cleopatra using almond paste in her skincare regimen. Additionally, there is also evidence of nomadic tribes grinding almonds into butter and using it as an ingredient in portable, proto-energy bars more than 4,000 years ago. 

So what knowledge did our ancestors hold about the benefits of this superfood? 

Health Benefits of Almond Butter

Improves Energy 

Almond butter is rich in healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6. While some essential fats are able to be created by our bodies, omega-3's and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats are not, which makes eating them in our diet extremely important. When it comes to energy production in the body, omega 3 and 6 fats provide our body with long slow-burning fuel. We mainly use this fuel for longer durations and low to moderate activities. High intestity workouts rely heavily on fat to help access stored carbohydrates (gluclose). Thus, eating almond butter helps contribute to keeping energy in the body more stable throughout the day.

Good Source of Magnesium

Magnesium contributes to the function of your nervous system, contributes to sleep, facilitates muscle contraction, and even helps support your metabolism. Unfortunately, it is extremely common to be deficient in magnesium! However, just adding two tablespoons of almond butter a day can provide your body with almost 100 mg of magnesium. Thus, this is a fairly simple way to boost your overall magnesium intake! Some easy ways to incorporate a couple of tablespoons into your diet could be adding some almond butter in yogurt, oatmeal, toast, smoothies, celery, or even using it as an ingredient in homemade salad dressings, dipping sauces, breads and marinades. 

Supports Immune Health

The fat in almond butter helps to enhance immunity communication in the body by providing a way for the innate immune system to communicate more effectively with the adaptive immune system. Thus, this is extremely important as the innate immune system tells the adaptive immune system when it's time to help mount a defense. This is an important step in reducing inflammation throughout the body. Additionally, almond butter contains zinc! Zinc is a mineral that helps to also boost the immune system, so eating this may prevent bacterial and viral infections and support gut health.

Helps Balance Hormones

Not only is the fat in almond butter important for energy and immunity it is equally just as important for our hormonal health. Our hormones rely on healthy fats to function properly. As mentioned above, almond butter is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fats which are essential in the production of hormones. Fats in the cell membrane control what goes in and out of the cell, and endocrine factories are inside the cells. Not consuming enough fat can cause hormone production can become dysregulated.

Good For Skin Health

Almond butter is rich in Vitamin E which is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is most commonly known for its benefits for skin health and appearance. Vitamin E also helps support collagen production, this helps to keep our skin smooth and youthful. Vitamin E even aids as a protection against UV-induced skin photodamage. That makes getting enough Vitamin E essential to your everyday health. Just a two-tablespoon serving packs over half of your day's vitamin E needs! 

Best Type of Almond Butter?

In recent years, you may have seen an increase in the variety of almond butters available at the local grocery store. In order to optimally get all the benefits that are mentioned above, it is imperative to get the best source! A better source means less processing, and less processing means more nutrient density. The less ingredients, the better! 

The best almond butters will just have one ingredient, raw almonds! Preferably, these almonds should be organically grown and raw. Non-organic almonds can be pasteurized with propylene oxide. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies propylene oxide as a “probable human carcinogen” and the American Cancer Society puts it on their list of chemicals “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens”. Thus, choosing organic almonds will help you avoid this! 

The primary benefit of consuming raw almonds compared to roasted almonds is that raw almonds retain certain heat-sensitive nutrients that may have been killed off during the roasting process, like vitamin B1 (Thiamine). Additionally, there is also less risk of oxidation and rancidity of the polyunsaturated fats associated with the roasted almonds. Thus, raw organic almonds in almond butter are a better and more nutrient rich choice.

Some of the best brands include:

  • Artisana Organics Raw Almond Butter
  • MaraNatha Organic Raw Almond Butter
  • Jiva Organics Raw Almond Butter

Almond Butter Allergy Risk

Having a nut allergy is one of the top allergies Americans have in the U.S. Many experts advise avoiding all tree nuts and peanuts, due to the risk of cross-contamination. Almonds have also been linked to some fruit and tree allergies since they’re members of the same family. Reactions may differ depending upon which proteins someone is allergic to. Allergic reactions could range from an itchy throat, to a severe systemic reaction such as hives, asthma, even anaphylactic shock. Food labels must disclose almonds or other tree nuts on all food labels as a result of possible alleric reactions. Therefore, if you have a tree nut allergy avoid almond butter and all other almond products. Lastly, food distribution factories must adjust the label if a product is produced in a tree-nut-free facility. They do this in effort to avoid cross-contamination. Don't forget to check!