Is almond skin good for you? Unraveling the truth

It almond skin edible? (Image via Unsplash/Hayley Maxwell)
Is almond skin edible? (Image via Unsplash/Hayley Maxwell)

Almond skin is consumed by many, while some prefer to remove the skin before eating. Almonds are low-carb nuts and can help in weight loss. They're extremely popular with fitness enthusiasts and are amazing for muscle gain too. However, what's the right way to consume these wonder nuts? Peeled or with skin?

Some people soak almonds overnight and remove the skin in the morning before consumption, while others roast almonds with skin and have them as a snack. In this article, we will discuss whether almond skin is edible or not along with its benefits.

Can I eat almonds with skin?

This question has been debated for a long time, and it's time we understand that almonds can be consumed without skin and pose no health risks. Skins of various fruits, vegetables and nuts contain anti-nutrients and should be avoided for health reasons. However, almond skin is comparatively safer than other foods. Almonds along with their skin can also be used to prepare almond milk.

Raw almonds might not be digested well, so it's advised to have almonds after soaking them in water overnight or roast them before eating. That increases the digestibility of almonds and makes them easier to chew. Roasting and soaking also decreases the number of anti-nutrients present in the skin, which can help with digestion and absorption of essential nutrients.

Nutritional value of almond skin

Trail mixes can be prepared along with almond skin, (Image via Unsplash/Maksim Shutov)
Trail mixes can be prepared along with almond skin, (Image via Unsplash/Maksim Shutov)

Hundred grams of almonds, along with their skin, usually contain the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 15 kcal
  • Carbs: 0.3 grams
  • Fiber: 0.3 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Fat: 1.2 grams
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

The skin of almonds also contains the aforementioned nutrients and contains more amounts of certain vitamins and minerals than the inner part. Almond skin is calorie and nutrient-dense, as it's a protective layer of the nut inside.

Health benefits of almond skin

Almonds can protect the heart. (Image via Unsplash/Dhanya Purohit)
Almonds can protect the heart. (Image via Unsplash/Dhanya Purohit)

The skin of all nuts, including almonds, contains good amounts of dietary fiber, which makes them good for the gut and prevents constipation. Having almonds daily may lower your LDL cholesterol level due to their fiber content.

Dietary fiber present in the skin of almonds prevents the rise in blood glucose and insulin levels. That can help in reversal of insulin resistance in people suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus. Insulin resistance is the inability of cells to utilize glucos, and a high-fiber diet helps reverse the symptoms.

Almonds are excellent sources of vitamin E. Also known as tocopherol, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and is also present in almond skin. The health benefits of vitamin E include its potential anti-cancer properties.

Almonds are vegan-friendly and have a lower impact on the environment. Almonds along with their skin are allowed on the keto diet, paleo and Mediterranean diets due to their low-carb nature. Plants do not contain lactose, and hence almonds along with their skin can be used to make almond milk, and the skin must be strained after blending them.

Almond skin is gluten-free and is among the foods that can be consumed on a gluten-free diet. Polyphenols present in almonds and most prominently in the skin can help improve heart health. It can also nourish the skin and improve brain health.

Soaked almonds vs roasted almonds

Almonds can be consumed in both ways. Soaking and roasting increases digestibility of almonds.

Heating and soaking deactivate the anti-nutrients present in almond skin, so you can consume them both ways. Have them as per your preference and convenience to get all the benefits. Roasted almonds with skin are often used to make almond butter.

Indranil Biswas is a nutritionist and personal trainer with a diploma in dietetics and personal training with a specialization in sports nutrition and strength training.

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Edited by Bhargav