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Health Benefits of Almonds

Almonds and almond oil have cancer-fighting benefits.

You probably have heard that almonds are good for your heart. There's also evidence that almonds are a cancer-fighting food, and have other health benefits as well.(iii.1, 3)

Potential Anticancer Effects of Whole Almonds

Preclinical, population, and pilot clinical studies suggest almonds may help prevent or treat a variety of cancers, including:

Did You Know?

History is full of examples of how almonds were used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. In fact, the chief druggist to the late King Lewis XIV proclaimed almonds as "proper" and "good" treatment against:(iii.2)

  • Asthma
  • Bloody-Flux (dysentery)
  • Cold
  • Consumption
  • Coughs

Ground with barley water, almond was also recommended for fevers. Almond paste (the remnants from oil pressing) was used as a skin-smoothing hand scrub, and bitter almond oil as a skin spot remover.(iii.2)

Cancer-Fighting Compounds in Almonds

Lab, animal, and even clinical studies show that many compounds in almonds may help prevent and/or treat various types of cancers. All of these may contribute to the anticancer effects of almonds.

Almond Compound Cancers It May Prevent or Help Treat

Epicatechin may also protect the heart against the toxic side effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients (without reducing its efficacy).(iii.16)


Eriodictyol may also protect kidneys against the toxic effects of cisplatin, a platinum-based type of chemotherapy drug.(iii.20)



Isorhamnetin also may protect the heart against the toxic side effects of chemotherapy.(iii.29)

  • Erythroleukemia — a type of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)(iii.30, 31)

Animal studies suggest that Kaempferol can protect the heart from damage caused by chemotherapy.(iii.49)


Case studies suggest that magnesium can protect against kidney damage caused by chemotherapy in lung cancer patients.(iii.55)



However, lab tests suggest that pure naringenin (a bitter compound) may promote salivary gland tumors.(iii.67)



  • Improves chemotherapy treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer.(iii.71)



Vanillic acid(iii.8)

  • Endometrial carcinoma (uterine cancer)(iii.94)
  • Colon cancer (preventive)(iii.95)
  • Liver cancer (preventive)(iii.96)
  • Oral cancer (preventive)(iii.97)

Vanillic acid may also protect kidneys against damage caused by certain types of chemotherapy drugs.(iii.98)

Vitamin E(iii.21)


Other Health Benefits of Almonds

According to the USDA, almonds are a nutrient-dense food. Indeed, lab, animal, and clinical studies suggest almonds are chockfull of health benefits.(iii.21)

These include:

Health Condition or Disease Type of Study
Type 2 diabetes(iii.1) Clinical trial in diabetic patients(iii.1)

High blood pressure(iii.101)


Clinical trial in overweight and obese patients(iii.101)


(unhealthy cholesterol levels)

Clinical trials in people with and without type 2 diabetes(iii.1, 102)
Kidney disease(iii.103) Clinical trial in patients with coronary artery disease(iii.103)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)(iii.104) Small randomized clinical trial testing the effects of walnuts and almonds (separately) on metabolic and endocrine markers associated with PCOS(iii.104)
Weight gain(iii.101, 102) Clinical trials in normal weight and overweight or obese people(iii.101, 102)

Several clinical studies suggest that eating whole roasted almonds may be good for gut health. Over the long term, almonds appear to have beneficial prebiotic effects.(iii.21)

Best Ways to Use Almonds

Did you know that California produces the most almonds in the world? Of the varieties grown in California, Sonora has the highest level of beneficial polyphenols. Nonpariel, Mission, and Carmel almond varieties (or cultivars) also have high levels of these antioxidants.(iii.105)

Experts note the following:

  • Choose natural (not blanched) almonds because most of the beneficial antioxidants are in the skins. Almond skins are also loaded with fiber, making almonds one of the most fiber-rich edible nuts.(iii.105, 106)
  • Almond flour is made with blanched almonds. However, almond meal can be made with whole or blanched almonds. Both can be used in place of bread crumbs and in cookies, cakes, waffles, and pancakes.(iii.21)
  • Almond milk is a good source of protein, and lab studies show it significantly suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells.(iii.21, 107)
  • Use almond oil in salad dressings — it's loaded with vitamin E, and studies suggest almond oil is also lined to reduced rates of colon cancer. Topically, almond oil may also reduce the photoaging effects of UV radiation from sun exposure on the skin.(iii.21, 108, 109)
  • Try almond butter in place of peanut butter — clinical research suggests it may help increase "good" HDL cholesterol levels.(iii.110)
  • Eating almonds right before a meal may help lower body fat mass — especially visceral body fat.(iii.102)
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