What are the Health Benefits of Almonds?
These rich brown, crunchy nuts are not just good in taste, but are a great ingredient to add to your diet as they are highly nutritious and extremely healthy. Garnish food with almonds, have them as a snack, or use them in recipes – they are one of the most loved nuts and commonly consumed. Almonds are the seeds of the fruit of the almond tree. Native to the Middle East, India, and Africa, they are now cultivated in many other countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and many more.
There are many varieties of Almonds, namely California Almonds which includes Sonora and Carmel almonds; Nonpareil almonds -- which are characterised by a thin outer shell and smooth, light-skinned kernels; and Mission almonds -- with dark wrinkled skin. These are flavored almonds. Their taste ranges from sweet to bitter and can be used in both consuming and cooking.
Almond is a highly nutritional nut and a rich source of vitamin E. Apart from that, it also contains all the essentials minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron.
So, what are the health benefits of almonds? Let us discuss them in detail and know what your favourite food bloggers have to say about them.
1. Helps Improving Digestive Disorders
Almonds are effective in facilitating smooth digestion, as they can help remove toxins from the body. They are a rich source of fibre, which prevents constipation and thus eases up the entire digestion process.
One should drink enough water along with the consumption of almonds to speed up digestion and keep bowel movements regular.
Anupriya, fitness blogger who is always on the run, strictly eats a portion of almonds in her breakfast daily, as they are a rich source of omega-3. Why should you miss out then?
2. Regulates Cholesterol
Regular intake of almonds has found to be beneficial on LDL lipoproteins levels.
Almonds increase the level of high-density lipoproteins which results in the reduced level of low density lipoproteins (LDL). Having high levels of LDL lipoproteins (called bad cholesterol) in the blood is a well-known risk factor for heart disease.
Dr. Sarah Brewer, a medical nutritionist has good things to say about almonds. She mentioned in one of her articles that eating almonds in amounts ranging from 25 g to 168 g per day can significantly lower total cholesterol (by -6.95 mg/dL or -0.18 mmol/L).
Eating 1-2 handfuls of almonds per day can lead to 5% reductions in LDL cholesterol levels.
3. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Being a rich source of all kinds of minerals, almonds not only reduce the chances of heart attacks, but also help in repairing damaged artery walls. Short-term almond-enriched diet can help improve vascular functions. Neha Ghosh, who is a fitness enthusiast and a certified diet therapist, has to say the same thing about the nuts. She says almonds are an extremely rich source of protein, contain heart-healthy fats, and high fibre.
Almond has antioxidant properties which reduce the risk of heart disease while magnesium help prevents heart attacks. These crunchy and tasty almonds contain monosaturated fats, potassium, and proteins which plays a significant role in keeping your heart healthy.
These crunchy nuts contain monosaturated fats, protein, and potassium, which play an important role in keeping your heart healthy. Almonds contain the vital nutrient called magnesium which helps avoid the risk of heart attacks.
Dr. Busha Nausheen, an avid blogger and gynecologist also believes that almonds plays a great protective role of the heart and are excellent for our brains and skin health, as they are rich in monosaturated fatty acid.
4. Assists in Blood Sugar Control
Almonds have the power to control the reactionary rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals. This makes them the perfect choice for those with diabetes.
Consuming a large meal especially those rich in carbohydrate foods, can spike your blood sugar level uncontrollably. Almonds can help regulate the absorption and processing of glucose, thus keeping the blood sugar level under control.
Regular intake of almonds can help improve insulin insensitivity, helping to prevent diabetes. Its richness in magnesium may be beneficial for prevention of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, both of which are massive health problems today.
WellBeing Grow Magazine dedicated towards a fresh approach to corporate health and wellbeing wants people to swap unhealthy snacks with almonds. Almonds make a great snack in and outside the office.
5. Effective for Weight Loss
Almonds for weight loss is highly effective. They have high protein content and a high fibre content that fills you up and curb your appetite. They are often criticised for containing fat but almonds contain healthy monounsaturated fats which satisfy the appetite and prevent overeating. These prevent you from binge-eating and thus assist in shedding excess weight.
Eating almonds regularly can help you maintain an ideal weight; it contains polyphenols that can help to suppress fat storage and boost metabolism. Several research studies have shown that those who eat almonds regularly tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI), less visceral fat, and a lower waist circumference, than those who eat less or none at all.
Lucy Mountain, fashion fitness foodie, has mentioned in one of her Instagram posts that she keeps a big pot of almonds at work in her snack drawer and has about 28 g - roughly 23 almonds mid-morning with a cup of tea at work.
We bet you will never feel guilty about snacking on almonds after reading this.
6. Improves Brain Health
We all grew up munching on a handful of soaked almonds every morning because it is known for improving our memory. Mothers would religiously soak almonds, grind, and blend it to feed the toddlers in a glass of milk.
Did you know why? Almonds are a great source of essential nutrients that contribute to the health and development of the human brain. Almonds are among the world's best sources of vitamin E, providing 37% of the recommended daily intake in just one ounce.
Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble antioxidants that tend to build up in cell membranes in the body, protecting the cells from oxidative damage. They have two important brain nutrients known as L-carnitine and riboflavin which increase brain activity and create new neural pathways that reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Now that you know the magic of almonds, we are sure you would be eager to add them in your daily diet. But how do you eat almonds? Skinny chef, Jennifer Iserloh, in her article ‘Almonds: Superfood from Nature’, tells us how -
- Have a handful of unsalted, raw or roasted almonds (including skins) as a healthy snack.
- Slice almonds in salads: toss in any green salad, chicken salad, or fruit salad.
- Dark chocolate dipped strawberries with sliced almonds: three great, heart-healthy foods, in one decadent treat.
- As a topping for pasta: try tossing with your favorite pasta for added flavour and texture.
- Make almond butter: simply grind almonds in a food processor with a little bit of salt (optional) until smooth.
The benefits of almonds are many. They are not just good for health; they work magically for hair, skin, and dental care too. All of this in a single nut. Almonds are a healthy food source, worthy of being incorporated into your diet.
Next time people warn you about gorging on almonds, you know what to do. Tell them the health benefits of these nuts and they will join you for in snacking on them.
Do let us know what you think about this blog. We would love to hear from you!
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