Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack with plenty of health benefits. Loaded with minerals, they are also among the healthiest of tree nuts. Just a handful of nutrient-rich almonds a day helps promote heart health and prevent weight gain and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's.

Health Benefits of Almonds:

1. They reduce heart attack risk. Those who consume nuts five times a week have about a 50 percent reduction in risk of heart attack according to the Loma Linda School of Public Health.

2. They lower ‘bad’ cholesterol. Almonds added to the diet have a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels, according to a clinical study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center, Inc.

3. They protect artery walls from damage. It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, thus reducing the risk of heart disease (Research at Tufts University).

4. Almonds help build strong bones and teeth. The phosphorus in almonds helps make this possible.

5. Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.

6. They help provide good brain function. Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

7. They nourish the nervous system. According to Ayurveda, almonds help increase high intellectual level and longevity.

8. They alkalize the body. Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming. When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.

Nutrition Facts about Sliced Almonds

An ounce of sliced almonds contain 133 calories. The calorie breakdown in sliced almonds is proteins -15%, carbohydrates -15%, and fats - 81.2%. Sliced almonds are mostly for garnishing desserts.