While the almond is often eaten on its own, raw or toasted, it is also a component of various dishes. Almonds are available in many forms, such as whole, slivered, and ground into flour. Almond pieces around 2–3 millimetres in size, called “nibs”, are used for special purposes such as decoration.
Almonds are 4% water, 22% carbohydrates, 21% protein, and 50% fat. In a 100-gram reference amount, almonds supply 2,420 kilojoules (579 kilocalories) of food energy. The almond is a nutritionally dense food (table), providing a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, vitamin E, and the essential minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Almonds are a moderate source (10–19% DV) of the B vitamins thiamine, vitamin B6, and folate, choline, and the essential mineral potassium. They also contain substantial dietary fiber, the monounsaturated fat, oleic acid, and the polyunsaturated fat, linoleic acid. Typical of nuts and seeds, almonds are a source of phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, sitostanol, and campestanol.
Almonds are included as a good source of protein among recommended healthy foods by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). A 2016 review of clinical research indicated that regular consumption of almonds may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood levels of LDL cholesterol.