Almonds are considered as the healthiest snacks and included in salads, baked foods, and various other dishes. Roasted almond, almond butter, almond oil, or milk give a buttery and creamy taste and dish more palatable. Packed with amino acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, almonds are known to promote good health.
The FDA recommends consuming 1.5 oz of nuts per day, which amounts to about a handful of almonds. When the intake is restricted to this quantity, the benefits are evident. However, if you’re eating too many almonds, you could experience some severe side effects, some of which are as follows.
1. Digestive Issues
The amount of fiber per ounce of almonds is 3.5 g, which is necessary for smooth bowel movements and for the prevention of diarrhea. However, if you consume excess almonds, you could experience constipation and bloating. Your digestive tract will not be accustomed to excess fiber and would need to add extra efforts to eliminate it from the body. Consuming too many almonds can also lead to a decreased appetite.1
2. Weight Gain
One ounce of almonds contains 14 g of fat and 163 calories. Your body breaks it down efficiently when you workout. However, overconsumption of almonds accompanied by inactive lifestyle could lead to fat deposition in the body, resulting in weight gain. So, if you consume 3 oz of almonds per day, without working out, you might gain 1 lbs of weight in a week’s time. Thus, including almonds as a part of your 2000 calories diet is recommended. If you eat an almond too many, make sure you balance it out by eating other low-fat foods.
3. Kidney Stones
Almonds are rich in oxalate, which could cause kidney stones. Oxalates prevent your body from absorbing calcium and cause a calcium-buildup in your kidney instead.2 Moreover, it is believed that the oxalates in almonds is accepted by the body more readily than other forms of dietary almonds. Hence, if you suffer from kidney stones, it’s best to moderate your intake of almonds or avoid them altogether.
4. Impaired Blood Clotting
If your daily intake of vitamin E lies between 25 and 536 mg, your blood clotting mechanism might get impaired in the long run. It could also increase your risk of having a haemorrhagic stroke. So, the next time you eat almonds or have almond milk, make sure you don’t eat more than what your body requires.3
5. Vitamin E Toxicity
Adults require about 15 mg of vitamin E every day. If you eat about 1 oz of almonds per day, your intake of vitamin E would be 7.4 mg, which is exactly half of the nutritional demand. While this might not cause any immediate side effects, it’s important that you don’t consume this amount every day. If you happen to consume over 1 oz of almonds, balance it out by reducing your intake of other foods – like eggs, spinach, whole grains, and fortified cereals – that are rich in vitamin E.4 However, remember that the chances of developing a vitamin E toxicity resulting from almond consumption are low. You would need to eat hundreds of ounces of almonds for it to actually be toxic.
6. Toxicity Of Bitter Almonds
Bitter almonds contain toxic levels of hydrocyanic acid (cyanide), which is a poisonous compound. Though bitter almonds help cure spasms, itch, and pain, overconsumption of these could lead to serious conditions. Some of them include nervous breakdown, choking, and death. It is strictly not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.5 6
7. Nut Allergy
If you have a tree nut allergy, almonds could trigger severe side effects like swelling of mouth, breathlessness, and rashes. In extreme cases, almond ingestion could lead to anaphylaxis, which is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.7 Such people might also have an allergy using almond oil on their skin or hair. There have been cases where the overuse of almond oil for skin or hair has caused adverse effects, however, research in this regard is still in progress.
Care should be taken to consume only dry and roasted almonds or their byproducts. Raw almonds should be avoided as they could have bacterial growth which causes infections. In any case, eat almonds in a moderate quantity to derive its benefits without exposing yourself to its side-effects.
|↑1||Fiber- How Much Is Too Much. Duke University.|
|↑2||Kidney Stones. National Health Services.|
|↑3||Vitamin E. Oregon State University.|
|↑4||Vitamin E. Oregon State University.|
|↑5||Pack, W. K., H. W. Raudonat, and K. Schmidt. “Lethal poisoning with hydrocyanic acid after ingestion of bitter almonds (Prunus amygdalus).” Zeitschrift fur Rechtsmedizin 70, no. 1 (1972): 53-54.|
|↑6||Chaouali, Nadia, Ines Gana, Amira Dorra, Fathia Khelifi, Anouer Nouioui, Wafa Masri, Ines Belwaer, Hayet Ghorbel, and Abderazzek Hedhili. “Potential toxic levels of cyanide in almonds (Prunus amygdalus), apricot kernels (Prunus armeniaca), and almond syrup.” ISRN toxicology 2013 (2013).|
|↑7||Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis Campaign.|