Making nuts a part of your diet supports your health by helping your body regulate blood sugar and lowering your risk of a heart attack. The University of Massachusetts Medical School highlights almonds as one of the nuts that should appear most frequently in your diet. Almond butter provides one way to boost your almond intake. It offers health benefits thanks to its impressive nutritional profile, and works well in a variety of recipes.
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Calcium and Copper
Some of almond butter's health benefits come from its calcium and copper content. Both minerals play a role in brain cell communication and keep your nervous system functional, while calcium also aids in muscle function and keeps your skeleton strong. Copper enables you to make melanin, which is a pigment that helps protects your skin from the sun. Each 2-tablespoon serving of almond butter contains 111 milligrams of calcium, or 11 percent of the recommended daily intake, as well as 299 micrograms of copper, or one-third of the daily requirement.
Vitamin E and Magnesium
Almond butter also contains beneficial magnesium and vitamin E. Like calcium, magnesium contributes to the health of your bones. It also helps you produce energy, as well as synthesize fatty acids needed for energy storage. A serving of almond butter offers 89 milligrams of magnesium, which is 28 percent of the daily recommended intake for women and 21 percent for men. Vitamin E supports health communication between your cells, and prevents blood lipid oxidation, which is a process linked to cardiovascular disease. Consuming 2 tablespoons of almond butter boosts your vitamin E intake by 7.8 milligrams and provides 52 percent of your recommended daily intake.
Healthy Fats and Fiber
Almond butter offers cardiovascular benefits because of its fiber and fat content. Each serving of almond butter contains 18 grams of fat, made up primarily of unsaturated fatty acids. These fats improve your blood cholesterol levels to combat cardiovascular disease, and also provide energy. Fiber also benefits your cholesterol levels, and following a diet rich in fiber can reduce your coronary heart disease risk by up to one-third, notes the Linus Pauling Institute. A 2-tablespoon serving of almond butter offers 3.3 grams of fiber, which is 9 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 13 percent for women.
Serving Tips and Considerations
Select all-natural almond butter that's free of sugar, hydrogenated fats and other additives. Check the nutrition label, and look for varieties that list almonds, or almonds and salt, as the only ingredients. Use almond butter in the same way you would peanut butter. It works well on toast or blended into fruit smoothies. Alternatively, add a spoonful of almond butter to your morning oatmeal to add richness and flavor.
- University of Massachusetts Medical School: Nuts
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nuts, Almond Butter, Plain, Without Salt Added
- Linus Pauling Institute: Calcium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Copper
- Linus Pauling Institute: Magnesium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin E
- Linus Pauling Institute: Fiber
- Colorado State University Etension: Dietary Fat and Cholesterol