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The Mental Health Benefits of Almonds


Almonds are a superfood that can do wonders for your mental health. These crunchy, nutrient-packed nuts offer an array of benefits that can help boost your mood and reduce stress. Almonds are not just a delicious snack; they are a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with essential nutrients, they provide a wide range of benefits for both physical and mental health. Here's why almonds should be your go-to convenient snack for a happier, healthier mind:


Raw Almonds
Almonds

1. **Rich in Magnesium**: Almonds are one of the best sources of magnesium, a mineral crucial for brain function and mood regulation. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency is linked to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Just a small handful (about 30g) of almonds provides around 80 mg of magnesium, which is 20% of your daily recommended intake.



2. **Omega-3 Fatty Acids**: Almonds contain healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to support cognitive function and reduce the risk of mood disorders. Consuming almonds regularly can contribute to better mental well-being.


3. **Protein and Fiber**: Almonds are a source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber, which help stabilise blood sugar levels. This, in turn, can help regulate mood swings and reduce the risk of mental health issues.


4. **Antioxidants**: Almonds are rich in antioxidants, which protect brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, factors that can contribute to mental health conditions.


**Almond Recipes for Mental Health**


1. **Almond and Banana Smoothie**


*Ingredients*:

- 30g of almonds (about a handful)

- 1 ripe banana

- 1 cup of almond milk

- 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)

- A pinch of cinnamon (for added flavor)


*Instructions*:

- Blend all the ingredients until smooth.

- Enjoy this delicious and nutritious smoothie as a morning or afternoon pick-me-up.


2. **Dark Chocolate Almond Bark**


*Ingredients*:

- 200g of dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)

- 100g of almonds (roughly chopped)

- A pinch of sea salt


*Instructions*:

- Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave.

- Stir in the chopped almonds.

- Pour the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and spread it evenly.

- Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top for an extra kick.

- Let it cool and harden, then break it into pieces.


**Book Your Appointment**


Improving your mental health can be a combination of diet, exercise, and professional guidance. If you're looking for personalized advice on how to incorporate almonds and other mood-boosting foods into your diet, consider booking an appointment with Julie Lorente (Nutritionist & Counsellor) in the Miranda office or by Telehealth.





*Disclaimer*: While almonds can be a valuable addition to your diet, they are not a substitute for professional mental health care. If you are experiencing mental health issues, consult with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.


**References**


1. "Magnesium in major depression." Neuropharmacology. 2012 Oct;62(1):304-9.

2. "Omega-3 fatty acids: a comprehensive review of their role in health and disease." Postgraduate Medicine. 2009 Nov;121(6):25-49.

3. "Plant-based diets and depression: A scientific review." Iranian Journal of Public Health. 2014 Dec;43(12):1463-75.

4. "Antioxidants and cognitive function." Nutrients. 2015 Mar;7(3):2047-61.



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