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Almonds & Arthritis

author image Natalie Stein
Natalie Stein specializes in weight loss and sports nutrition. She is based in Los Angeles and is an assistant professor with the Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Stein holds a master of science degree in nutrition and a master of public health degree from Michigan State University.
Almonds & Arthritis
A wooden bowl of roasted almonds in their shell. Photo Credit: utah778/iStock/Getty Images

Almonds are a convenient snack for almost any occasion. They also make a tasty accompaniment to salad, vegetable dishes, cereal and yogurt. Almonds are not only packed with heart-healthy nutrients, but as part of a balanced diet, they might prevent or reduce arthritis. Arthritis is a potentially disabling condition with symptoms of painful, swollen joints. Its most common forms include rheumatoid arthritis, gout and osteoarthritis, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Anti-Inflammatory Micronutrients

Since many arthritic conditions result from inflammation, almonds could help, thanks to their anti-inflammatory micronutrients. MedlinePlus suggests increasing your intake of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant in almonds and other nuts, peanuts, avocados and plant-based oils. An inadequate intake of magnesium is one possible cause of chronic inflammation, according to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Almonds provide 78 mg of magnesium per ounce, or 20 percent of the daily value.

Weight and Arthritis

Obesity puts you at higher risk for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout, according to Mayo Clinic. Almonds might lower your risk. Individuals who often eat nuts or peanuts tend to have lower body weights than individuals who do not eat them, reports the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. An ounce of almonds supplies 163 calories, so to avoid unintentional weight gain, eat them in moderation.

Almonds and Cholesterol

Each ounce of almonds supplies 14 g total fat with 8.8 g heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and only 1.8 g saturated fat. A diet high in monounsaturated fat and low in saturated fat can lower your cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in your blood increase your risk for some forms of arthritis, such as gout, according to the Langone Medical Center. Each ounce of almonds provides 3.5 g dietary fiber, which is another cholesterol-lowering nutrient.

Other Information

You have a higher risk of developing gout, or a painful buildup of uric acid in your joints, when your diet is high in animal proteins, such as from meat, fish and shellfish. Almonds provide a vegetarian source of protein, with 6 g protein per ounce. Although almonds potentially provide some benefits for arthritis, many other factors affect your symptoms. See advice from your doctor if you need help managing or preventing pain. He might recommend performing certain exercises or taking medications.

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