Almonds are the most popular tree nuts of the world. They are the edible seeds of Prunus dulcis called the almond tree. They are native to the Middle East but the US is the world’s largest producer of almonds. Almonds are sold either raw or roasted. They are also used to produce almond milk, oil, butter, flour or a paste known as Marzipan. They are truly nutritious and rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
One ounce(28 gms)of almond has:-
They also have a good amount of copper, vitamin B12(riboflavin) and phosphorus.
Facts about almonds
1.Almonds are a rich source of proteins, fibre and nutrients.
2.Almond trees are the oldest domesticated trees dating back to 3000 to 2000 BC in Jordan.
3.Almonds reduce the risk of cholesterol.
4.Almonds regulate blood sugar.
5.Excess consumption of almonds can cause nausea, diarrhoea, shortness in breath, problems in swallowing.
6.Almond is not a nut, it is a seed of a fruit.
7.Almonds can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 years because of it’s high content of vitamin E.
8.Almond is considered as a major brain food for children.
Benefits of almonds
1.Almond has a lot of proteins–Almond has selenium to fight depression and anxiety.There are fatty acids in almonds which are essential to produce male hormones which regulate sex drive.
2.Almond lowers LDL(bad)cholesterol–Almond is packed with magnesium and potassium which helps oxygen and nutrients flow more freely through the blood. Consuming almonds increases the levels of vitamin E in the red blood cells and reduces risk of cholesterol. When there is a high level of vitamin E in the bloodstream, antioxidants are formed which prevent the cells from clogging and developing cholesterol.
3.Almond builds bones too–One ounce of almond has calcium equal to ¼ cup of milk. It also has phosphorus to keep the skeleton healthy, lowering the risk of fractures and breaks. Almond also has phytic acid, a substance that binds certain minerals and stops them from getting absorbed.
4.Almonds have a lot of antioxidants-Antioxidants help protect against oxidative stress which can damage molecules in the cells and contribute to inflammation, aging and diseases like cancer. The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely present in the brown layer of the skin. So blanched almonds with their skins removed are not the best choice from the health perspective.
5.Almonds are rich in vitamin E-Almonds protect the cells from getting toxic because they have vitamin E. Vitamin E is a family of fat-soluble antioxidants. These antioxidants build up in cell membranes in the body protecting cells from oxidative damage. Almonds are the world’s best source of vit E. Higher amount of vit E intake helps to lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. But care has to be taken to consume almonds moderately as an excessive intake of this nut can lead to prostate cancer.
6.Almonds help to lower blood sugar-Almonds help to regulate blood sugar and stabilize it. These nuts are low in carbohydrates but high in healthy fats, protein and fibers. It is a perfect choice for diabetics. It contains a high amount of magnesium which is a mineral associated with more than 300 body processes and which develops insulin resistance in the body thereby stabilizing diabetes.
7.Almonds help to reduce blood pressure levels–Magnesium in almonds also helps to lower blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. If one has a deficiency in magnesium then he/she must have high blood pressure whether the person is fit or fat.
8.Almonds help to lower cholesterol levels–The high levels of LDL lipoproteins in your blood, also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol is a known factor causing heart disease. Our diet has many effects on LDL levels. Almonds help to reduce LDL levels.
9.Almonds prevent harmful oxidation of LDL Cholesterol-Almonds do more than just lower LDL levels in the blood. They also protect LDL from oxidation which if not prevented can lead to the development of heart disease. Almond skin is rich in polyphenol antioxidants which prevents oxidation of cholesterol in test tubes and animal studies.
10.Almonds reduce hunger pangs and lower overall intake of calories–Almonds are low in carbs and high in proteins and fiber. Eating proteins and fiber helps to give a feeling of fullness which helps to eat fewer calories.
11.Almonds also help to reduce weight loss– These nuts have certain nutrients which the body struggles to break down and digest. Our body does not absorb about 10/15% of the calories in nuts. Eating nuts can help to boost metabolism. Almonds have high content of protein and fiber and low levels of carbohydrates that curb one’s appetite and reduces the number of calories on a daily basis.
12.Almonds are good for the heart–When almonds are consumed with other nuts, it is good for the heart. People who ate almonds had more antioxidants in their bloodstream which also helped to reduce blood pressure and improved blood flow in various parts of the body.
13.Almonds are good for the eyes–Almonds have a lot of vitamin E that protects the eyes and prevents abnormal changes to the lens.
14.Almond nourishes skin–Almonds are an important ingredient in many skin products which is because of the fact that almond contains flavonoid which is similar to the one found in green tea and broccoli. This component nourishes the skin and has an anti-ageing property for the skin.
15.Almonds prevent cancer-Almonds have a certain amount of fibre that helps in detoxifying the body. Eating almonds helps the food to move through the digestive system more easily. The fibres in it reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. It also has loads of vitamin E and flavonoids that regulate breast cancer.
16.Almonds improve brain capacity–Almonds contain L-carnitine and riboflavin that helps in the growth of brain cells. A major chemical that assists the brain in cognitive function is Phenylalanine which is found in almonds. Consuming 5 pieces of almonds can help to boost brain power.
17.Almonds are best for treating anaemia-Anaemia is caused when red blood cells carry very less oxygen to the brain. Almonds contain copper, iron and vitamins which help in producing more haemoglobin and thus almonds help to control anaemia.
18.Almonds are good for the nerves-Almonds have magnesium in them which helps the nervous system. It also helps to develop a healthy metabolic rate. Magnesium also helps in the development of better bone tissue.
19.Almonds treat acne and blackheads-Almonds prevent acne, blackheads, whiteheads because of the fatty acids found in them. These fatty acids control the oil which gets clogged in the skin pores and when applied to the skin it helps to reduce skin rashes.
20.Almonds treat stretch marks-Almond oil treats stretch marks by nourishing the skin and prevents skin tear.
21.Almonds prevent grey hair–Almond oil is good to treat many kinds of hair problems from hair fall to hair turning grey. Almond oil helps to cure dandruff and gives a silky and shiny texture to the hair.
22.Almonds help in hair growth-The lack of magnesium in the body leads to loss of hair and the high amount of magnesium in it helps the hair to grow fast and develop strong strands.
23.Almonds are natural anaesthetics–Almond oil has a toxic compound called Glycoside Amygdalin which makes your nerves insensitive which makes the area of application numb. This bitter almond oil can be used only as an anaesthetic and not for any other purpose.
24.Almonds increase mental alertness-Almonds when mixed with milk become rich in potassium. It is one of the main minerals that boost the number of electrolytes in the body providing the body with more energy. When there is a boost in electrolytes the flow of memory increases.
25.Almonds prevent birth defects–Almonds contain folic acid that protects the mother from any sort of birth defects. Folic acid helps in the healthy development of cells and helps further in the life cycle of a growing foetus.
Risks of consuming almonds
Almonds though are good for the health but there are certain drawbacks of it too. Some people may develop allergies due to over consumption of it. Some risks associated with the consumption of almonds are:-
3.Difficulty in swallowing
5.Shortness in breath
Almonds boost a healthy profile.They provide a range of essential nutrients, are versatile and can be incorporated in the diet in a multitude of ways.Though it has many advantages but people allergic to almonds should avoid them. Almonds are a great source of healthy food and they should be taken in the required amount to stay fab, fit and always fine.