Two recently published studies suggest that a healthy diet that includes almonds can reduce two of the primary risk factors for heart disease: high cholesterol and elevated C-reactive protein (a marker for internal inflammation).

Not only that, but both studies (published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, respectively) show that a diet rich in almonds can accomplish this as well as or better than first-generation statin drugs.

In addition to having heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut. They are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, protein, and fiber.