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.
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.
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.
- MedlinePlus; Arthritis; February 2011
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Inflammation; Victoria Drake; August 2010
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center; Nuts; Victoria Drake; June 2009
- Mayo Clinic; Gout Diet; March 2010
- Langone Medical Center; Gout; Jenna Hollenstein; September 2010