Almonds are one of the most nutritious nuts in the world—rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Originally, they were native to the Middle East, but now the US has become a large producer of these nuts. Almonds are the seeds of a type of tree called Punus dulcis, and need the shell to be removed to reveal the nut.
However, even the shell of these nuts is beneficial and used in many herbal products and scrubs. Other derivatives of almonds include almond milk, almond flour, almond paste, butter and almond oil.
They should be incorporated in the diet to obtain maximum health benefits. The impressive nutritional portfolio that almonds boast includes essential nutrients like fibre, fat, proteins, copper, vitamin B2, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium and vitamin E. Moreover, a handful of almonds has only 161 calories with about 2.5 grams of digestible carbs.
Here are a few reasons why you should think about the daily intake of almonds:
1- Loaded with antioxidants:
Almonds give the most gorgeous glow to the skin. This is because almonds are rich in antioxidants, and reduce the oxidative stress that damage the cellular structures. They fight the agents that age the skin and cause inflammation.
Moreover, clinical trials have found that consumption of 3 ounces (84 grams) of almonds a day reduces the stress biomarkers by 23-34% over a period of one month. These antioxidants are concentrated in the brown layer of the almond skin. Therefore, from a health perspective, blanched almonds are not as good as those with freshly removed skin.
2- Good source of vitamin E:
Another reason why almonds are good for skin is that they are a rich source of vitamin E. This fat-soluble vitamin helps to maintain the membrane of the cells and protect them from damage. Furthermore, higher intake of vitamin E has been linked to improved cases of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Almonds are amongst the world’s best source of vitamin E, with only an ounce providing 37 percent of recommended daily intake (RDI).
3- High-fat content:
Not all fat is bad. There are certain fatty acids that are essential for growth—like the omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds are rich in these ‘good’ kinds of fats like the omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9. Not only are these fatty acids essential for cellular growth, but they are also good for weight loss. So now go for a binge on almonds instead of trans-fat and junk food.
4- Almonds lower cholesterol:
Almonds are a nutritionist’s favourite because they help in reducing the ‘bad cholesterol’ as well. Heart diseases occur due to the presence of high LDLs and low HDLs in the blood. Almonds decrease risk of heart attack by lowering LDLs, and providing a good source of HDLs. Studies found that over a span of 4 months, almonds decreased cholesterol by an average of 12.4 mg/dl.
5- Fibre content:
Fiber not only is great for your bowel but in weight loss, it also helps to feel fuller quicker and for longer. They slow digestion down so that the food stays in the stomach for longer and cravings are reduced. Moreover, fiber keeps the gut healthy and reduces the risk for colorectal cancer. Fiber also helps to normalize the gut flora.
6- Almonds can help normalize blood sugar level:
Due to their high fiber and low carb content, almonds are great for diabetics. Moreover, the healthy fat content in almonds makes them beneficial for diabetics as they are cardio-protective. Almonds also help improve the glycemic control in diabetics because they have high magnesium content.
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 body processes and half the recommended daily intake of it can be fulfilled with only 2 ounces. Studies show that 25-38 percent of diabetics are deficient in magnesium and this could have an impact on lowering blood sugar. If this deficiency is corrected, there could be much improvement in dealing with hyperglycemia. Furthermore, magnesium in almonds can also help reduce insulin resistance in pre-diabetics.
7- Almonds can help with hypertension:
Almonds have a great cardio-protective effect. Because of their high vitamin E level and magnesium, they help to prevent oxidative damage in vessels and also help lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart attacks, and lowering this risk factor can go a long way in preventing heart and kidney disease.
8- High protein content:
Proteins in almonds can help in the development of lean muscle mass. Lean muscles can help to reduce body weight and increase the metabolic rate. Mono-saturated fats contained in proteins also reduce BMI. Incorporating almonds pre- and post-workout help in burning abdominal area fat.
Almonds should be incorporated into the diet for better overall health. Get professional help to design a healthy menu for yourself and your family to mitigate your risk of disease.
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