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This highly nutritional nut is a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. It also contains zinc, selenium, copper and niacin. Compared to all other nuts, almonds are the most packed with nutrients and beneficial components.
Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack with plenty of health benefits. Loaded with minerals, they are also among the healthiest of tree nuts. Just a handful of nutrient-rich almonds a day helps promote heart health and prevent weight gain, and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's.
Almonds are known to have great medicinal value, which, along with their good taste, is the main reason that so many people proactively add almonds to their diet. Some of the researched and verified benefits of almonds are given below.
Health Benefits
Eating about 23 almonds a day is an easy way to incorporate many crucial nutrients into your diet. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, almonds are a significant source of protein and fiber, while being naturally low in sugar. One 23-almond serving packs 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fats, 1 gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol or salt. Of all tree nuts, almonds rank highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin content by weight. There are 160 calories in 23 almonds. While many of these calories come from fat, it is primarily the healthy unsaturated fats and not the unhealthy saturated kind.
Good for Your Brain:
Almonds are a source of many nutrients which help in the development and health of the human brain. Almonds have been connected to a higher intellectual level and they have long been considered an essential food item for growing children. Almonds also contain two vital brain nutrients, riboflavin and L-carnitine, which have been shown to increase brain activity, resulting in new neural pathways and a decreased occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that almonds in the diet, as well as almond oil, is nutritive to the overall health and functioning of the nervous system. Many mothers give almonds soaked in water to their children every morning. Two or three pieces of soaked almonds are enough, and you can also remove the outer shell if it causes allergic reactions, as the majority of the nutrients are not held in the shell.
Prevents Cancer:
Almonds are found to prevent prostate and colon cancer. Phytochemicals in almonds help in reducing the multiplication of cancer cells in the body. A compound called laetrile is also found in almond which kills cancer cells. Almond is also rich in Vitamin-E and fiber which prevents the growth of cancer. Vitamin-E in almond is in the form of alpha- tocopherol which is known to prevent the metabolism of cancer cells. Breast and rectal cancer have been found to be curbed by almonds.
Strengthens Bones:
Almonds are rich in phosphorus and calcium, the two most essential nutrients for maintaining bone health. They also have magnesium, manganese and potassium, which are important for healthy and strong bones. Plus, almonds help reduce the number of free radicals in the body, which in turn helps prevent age-related osteoporosis. Try to eat nutrient-rich almonds, almond milk or almond butter to strengthen your bones and reduce the risk of bone disease like osteoporosis. A massage with warm almond oil also helps maintain strong bones in babies.
Good for Your Heart:
The mono-unsaturated fats, protein and potassium contained in almonds are all instrumental in heart health. Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant and also reduces the risk of heart diseases, while the presence of magnesium in almonds can help avoid heart attacks. Almonds help reduce the presence and impact of C-reactive proteins which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Almonds are also a great source of folic acid. Therefore, they help to reduce the level of homocysteine, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries. Furthermore, the flavonoids in the skin of almonds combines with Vitamin E to form a powerful shield against artery wall damage. Research suggests that short-term almond-enriched diet may improve vascular function in asymptomatic healthy men aged between 20 and 70 years without any effect on markers of oxidative stress.
Lowering LDL Cholesterol:
One of the most important health benefits of eating almonds is taking care of the 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol in the body. Almonds are high-fat food, but containing monounsaturated fats, which are health-promoting fats. These fats are associated with reduced risk of heart diseases. In certain studies, it was revealed that when almonds were combined with a healthy diet, the benefits were additive.
Muscle Relaxation & Aromatherapy:
Typically found in massage spas (commonly used by massage therapist because of its natural ability to blend well with other oils), almond oil can be used to provide almost immediate relief to sore and stiff muscles. Often used to treat muscular pain because it is easily absorbed into the skin, it also provides a sweet fragrance that soothes and relaxes.
Almonds Regulates Blood Sugar Levels:
One research study on a group of fifteen healthy people tested different meals and their effects on the subjects. The members were given five different meals – three test meals and two control meals. Blood samples were taken from the subjects before the meals and four hours after the meals. One of the test meals consisted of almonds. It was found that there was an increase in the level of antioxidants and a decrease in blood sugar levels after the almond meal.
Regulation of Blood Pressure:
The potassium present in almonds helps to regulates blood pressure, and almonds are very low in sodium, which helps to control fluctuating blood pressure. The other nutrients also keep the body balanced in terms of other essential needs, which can prevents any other deficiencies. Balanced vitamins and minerals are essential for a healthy lifestyle, but if certain elements are neglected, the entire body can be affected, including anxiety, overall stress, and inevitably, increased blood pressure.
Pregnant women who include almond in their diet may help to save their babies from birth defects. This is mainly because almonds contain folic acid that is essential for brain development. It also plays an essential role in healthy tissue and cell formation. Neural tube defects, anencephaly and spina bifida are the most common conditions that result from an insufficient folic acid supply while babies are inside their mother’s womb. Almond is a delicious folic acid source.
For Weight Loss:
One smart way for weight loss is to include almonds in your daily diet. These nuts are high in fiber and protein, and help to keep you feel fuller for a longer time. So till it is lunch or dinner time, you would not feel the need or temptation of munching on those unhealthy 'fast foods'. So, keep some of these healthy nuts at your workplace and enjoy eating them instead of any fries or cookies. Medical experts say that a diet including almonds or other nuts is less likely to cause weight gain than one without nuts.
Prevention of Constipation:
Almonds are rich in fiber, and like most other fiber-rich foods, almonds help prevent constipation. However, it is also important to drink a significant amount of water when eating almonds to speed up the digestive process and beneficial effects of the nut. You don’t even need to eat an excessive amount, the amount of fiber in 4 or 5 almonds is enough to keep your digestion and bowel movements regular.