Almonds may be small, but their hearts are huge: a study found that participants who added about 1.5 ounces of almonds to their daily diet for six weeks had decreased levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Plus, as little as 15 grams (about 1⁄4 cup) a day can help lower your blood pressure. Almonds are also an excellent source of antioxidants—just be sure to look for raw or dry-roasted varieties. Some oils used in roasted nuts can go rancid faster, says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RDN, a spokesperson for The American Dietetic Association. Soaking nuts overnight and rinsing them well before using will help remove any unwanted flavor.