Do almonds contain arsenic?

Almonds are considered a healthy snack as they contain a variety of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. They also contain healthy fats and are high in protein and fibre.

Many people are not aware that you can also find some harmful substances in almonds, for example, glycoside amygdalin. This is a toxin that can cause poisoning when ingested but it’s more concentrated in raw bitter almonds which you should avoid. In sweet almonds, amygdalin is only present in very small amounts, making this type of almonds safe to eat.

Now, this brings us to the following question: Are there any other harmful substances in almonds? What about arsenic? Arsenic is a heavy metal found in many foods we eat today but is there arsenic in almonds?

What does the research say about arsenic in almonds?

There have been several studies done analysing the contents of heavy metals found in almonds but not all studies checked the levels of arsenic.

The study in 1989 analysed almonds (and other nuts) for heavy metals cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, iron and manganese. They found almonds contained higher levels of lead (1.02 µg/g) and cadmium (0.24 µg/g) than other nuts and dry fruits.

Another study looked at the levels of heavy metals in certified organic nuts, including almonds. This study discovered that nuts in general, (including almonds) do contain some arsenic (in the range of 1.24-3.14 ppb) but the levels were within safety limits.

Another source online confirms that almonds contain arsenic but its levels are relatively low.

Final thoughts

There is little research on arsenic in almonds but in general nuts are known to contain only very low concentrations of most toxic elements. The studies that have analysed arsenic in almonds show that its levels are very low and within safe levels for consumption.