Can you eat raw almonds?

In this post, I will answer the question: “Can you eat raw almonds?” and I will provide useful information on the health benefits of these nuts as well as smart ideas to include them as part of a healthy diet.

Can you eat raw almonds?

Yes you can eat raw almonds. Almonds come in a wide variety of flavors and can be eaten in a variety of ways.

They can be eaten raw or roasted, with or without the skin, crushed into flour, or turned into a delightful nut butter.  They can be consumed whole as a quick snack or diced and used for sweet and savory meals. 

What are the types of almonds?

Bitter almonds and sweet almonds are two major types of almonds that are genetically extremely similar.

Sweet almonds have a somewhat nutty flavor and are commonly seen on grocery shelves or in almond-based items like nougat and marzipan.

Bitter almonds have a strong bitter flavor, as their name suggests. This kind grows wild and commercially, and is mostly used to manufacture bitter almond pastes or extracts. They’re not commonly found at supermarkets.

Until a genetic mutation hindered the almond tree’s ability to manufacture amygdalin — the substance that gives bitter almonds their bitter flavor — bitter almonds were the most common species grown.

What are the potential dangers of consuming raw almonds?

Depending on the variety, some almonds may be dangerous to eat raw:

Glycoside amygdalin is a toxin found in bitter almonds. When this toxin is consumed, it breaks down into various chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous substance that can cause death. 

Bitter almonds can cause your nervous system to shut down, respiratory problems, and even death if consumed in large quantities.

According to case studies, swallowing 6–10 raw bitter almonds is enough to cause serious poisoning in an ordinary adult, whereas consuming 50 or more can result in death. In children and young adults, smaller numbers are likely to have the same negative consequences.

Interestingly, during heat processing, hydrogen cyanide appears to seep out of the almonds. Baking, microwaving, and boiling bitter almonds, for example, reduce the cyanide concentration by 79 percent, 87 percent, and 98 percent, respectively.

More research is needed to confirm these findings and to discover the exact amount of heat-processed bitter almonds that can be consumed safely.

Are sweet almonds safe to eat?

Although sweet almonds contain some amygdalin, their levels are up to 1,000 times lower than bitter almonds. The amount of amygdalin required to produce lethal levels of hydrogen cyanide is insufficient.

As a result, sweet almonds are generally regarded as safe to consume.

What are the health benefits of almonds?

Almonds are one of the most popular tree nuts in the world. 

Here are nine of almonds’ most significant health advantages:

Almonds are nutrient dense

They are high in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and are quite nutritious.

A delightful approach to fill up on critical vitamins and minerals that your body needs is to eat only one crisp handful of almonds.

Almonds are a good source of fiber, copper, phosphorus, and riboflavin, as well as an outstanding source of vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese.

A one-ounce portion has 13 grams of “healthy” unsaturated fats, 1 gram of saturated fat, and no cholesterol.

Almonds have the highest protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin, and niacin content of any tree nut.

Almonds are high in antioxidants

Almonds are high in antioxidants.

Antioxidants help to protect your cells from oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in your cells and cause inflammation, aging, and diseases like cancer.

Almonds’ potent antioxidants are mostly concentrated in the skin’s brown layer.

Almonds are a good source of vitamin E

Vitamin E belongs to the fat-soluble antioxidant class. These antioxidants accumulate in your body’s cell membranes, protecting your cells from oxidative damage.

Almonds are one of the greatest sources of vitamin E in the world, with just one ounce supplying 37% of the RDI.

A higher vitamin E intake has been related to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease in several studies.

Almonds can help control blood sugar levels

Almonds are high in healthful fats, protein, and fiber but low in carbohydrates. This makes them an excellent alternative for diabetics.

Another advantage of almonds is their high magnesium content. Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in over 300 biological functions, including blood sugar regulation.

Magnesium’s current RDI is 310–420 mg. 2 ounces of almonds supply nearly half of that – 150 milligrams of this essential mineral.

Magnesium also helps to lower blood pressure

Almonds’ magnesium content may also assist to decrease blood pressure. Heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure are all caused by high blood pressure.

Whether or not you are overweight, a magnesium shortage is closely connected to high blood pressure.

Almonds Can Help Lower Cholesterol

High blood levels of LDL lipoproteins, generally known as “bad” cholesterol, are a known risk factor for heart disease.

LDL levels can be influenced significantly by your diet. Almonds have been demonstrated in several trials to effectively decrease LDL cholesterol.

Almonds Protect LDL Cholesterol From Harmful Oxidation

Almonds do more than only lower blood LDL levels. They also prevent LDL from oxidizing, which is an important stage in the progression of heart disease.

Polyphenol antioxidants found in almond skin reduce cholesterol oxidation in test tubes and animal studies.

Almonds lower your overall calorie intake

Almonds are high in protein and fiber and low in carbohydrates. Protein and fiber have been shown to boost feelings of satiety. This can assist you in consuming less calories.

A four-week study of 137 people found that eating 1.5 ounces (43 grams) of almonds per day reduced hunger and the urge to eat.

Almonds Have Weight-Loss Potential

Almonds include a number of nutrients that your body finds difficult to absorb.

Approximately 10%–15% of the calories in nuts are not absorbed by the body. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that consuming nuts may marginally increase metabolism.

Nuts are an excellent complement to a successful weight-loss diet because of their satiating characteristics.

How to add almonds in your diet?

Almonds are a versatile nut that can be used in a variety of ways. They’re great in baked products as well as savory dishes. Here are a few tasty ways to include them in your diet: 

  • Top your morning cereal with sliced or slivered almonds.
  • Sprinkle chopped almonds on top of your yogurt.
  • Toss slivered almonds into a rice dish.
  • Bake your homemade muffins with almonds.
  • Toss the chicken salad with chopped almonds.
  • The next time you prepare an omelet, throw in some almonds.
  • Add a handful of almonds to your salad.
  • When you’re craving a crispy snack, try roasted almonds instead of chips.
  • Add almonds to cookies or brownies to boost their nutritious aspect.
  • Keep a baggie full of raw almonds in your desk or purse in case you get hungry in the afternoon.

Other FAQs about Almonds that you may be interested in.

Can you freeze almonds?

How to counteract too much almond extract?

Are bitter almonds safe to eat?

Conclusion

In this article, I answered the question: “Can you eat raw almonds?” and I provided useful information on the health benefits of these nuts as well as smart ideas to include them as part of a healthy diet.

Please feel free to contact me for any further questions related to this subject.

References

[1] Are Almonds Poisonous? Different Varieties Explained 

[2] What Are Bitter or Lethal Almonds? 

[3] The Benefits of Eating Raw Almonds – Tropical Foods 

[4] The World’s Perfect Healthy Snack | Eat Almonds 

[5] 16 Ways to Incorporate Almonds into a Healthy Diet 

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.