Almonds are the edible seeds that grow on the almond tree. Prunus dulcis is the scientific name of this tree and they are native to Mediterranean climate regions of the Middle East, from Syria and Turkey westwards to Pakistan, but the United States is now the world’s largest producer. The taste of almonds ranges from sweet to bitter. Sweet almonds are used for eating purpose, while bitter ones are used for making oil and medicines. The bitter almond is slightly broader and shorter than the sweet almond and contains about 50% of the fixed oil that occurs in sweet almonds. Here are Almonds Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.
Almonds Nutrition Facts
Almonds are nutritionally dense food, high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fibre, protein, various important nutrients like vitamin B (riboflavin and niacin), vitamin E, and the essential minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.
How to Eat Almonds
Eating almonds the right way allows your body to reap the benefits of this concentrated power food. Prefer whole organic almonds to buy, which contain most of the natural nutrition. Almonds are usually difficult for most people to digest because of its brown skin. So it is important to know how to eat them.
By soaking or sprouting the almonds, you are able to reduce the number of tannins and acids present in the skin of the nut, which can inhibit nutrient absorption by the body. Brown layer of skin contains antioxidants which help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer. Soaked almonds also help with digestion. It releases the enzyme lipase, which is beneficial for fat digestion. It can be used in various culinary preparations. While almonds are healthy, they are high in calories so overindulging can lead to weight gain.
What are Soaked Almonds?
Soaked almonds are almonds that have been soaked overnight in water
How To Soak Almonds?
To soak them, simply cover them with purified water in a glass or stainless steel container overnight for 12 hours. Drain the water after 12 hours.!
Health Benefits Of Almonds
Despite being high in fat, Almonds are highly nutritious and extremely healthy. The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss. These are the main reasons why so many people proactively add them to their diet. Some of the health benefits of almonds are given below.
Regulate Cholesterol Level
Regular consumption of 1-2 handfuls of almonds per day helps increase the level of good cholesterol i.e. high-density lipoproteins(HDL) and reduce the level of bad cholesterol i.e. low-density lipoproteins(LDL)
Almonds are often considered as one of the best brain foods which support healthy brain function. These nuts contain two vital brain nutrients, riboflavin, and L-carnitine, two key nutrients capable of positively affecting neurological activity and preventing cognitive decline.
Almonds are among the world’s best sources of vitamin E. It helps to prevent cognitive decline, boosts alertness and preserves memory longer. In addition to that almonds are moderately rich in lean protein. Protein not only gives a boost of energy but also helps repair brain cells. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in almonds help increase intellectual levels and the magnesium in them help strengthen the nerves in the brain.
In India, many mothers give soaked almonds to their children every morning to boost brain health.
Researchers have found that including almonds in your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy. Almonds contain mono-unsaturated fats, protein, and potassium which are instrumental in maintaining heart health. They are rich in magnesium, which is critical in preventing heart attacks and hypertension. Vitamin E present in almonds is an effective antioxidant and also reduces the risk of heart diseases. Almonds help reduce the presence of C-reactive proteins (CRP) which causes artery-damaging inflammation while folic acid present in them. It helps to reduce the level of homocysteine, which causes fatty plaque build-up in arteries.
Almonds are a fantastic source of many vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and phosphorus which are crucial nutrients for building and maintaining strong bones and prevent tooth decay. Phosphorus has the ability to strengthen bones, fight cavities and to prevent age-related conditions like osteoporosis.
As a good source of vitamin E and antioxidants, almonds nourish the skin and reduce signs of ageing. Research finds that almonds contain high concentrations of catechin, epicatechin and flavonol antioxidants, including quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin — compounds that help to fight skin cancer and damage by reversing oxidative stress from a poor diet, pollution and UV light exposure. Almond oil is often recommended for massage of newborn babies. Almond milk keeps skin hydrated and known for improving the complexion of skin.
Strengthen Immune System
Almonds contain a host of healthy nutrients that not only benefits overall health but is also known to strengthen the immune system. Free radicals are capable of irreparable damage to healthy cells and can promote carcinogens. As a source of vitamin E(antioxidant) and alkali materials, it seeks out all the damaging free radicals in the body and eliminates them.
If you are attempting to lose weight, include almonds in your diet plan as healthy fats and dietary fibre present in them help you feel full despite eating only a small amount, which curbs overeating and unhealthy snacking. This dietary fibre contributes to consistent bowel movements, which helps in weight loss and the general health of the body through the elimination of toxins.
Almonds support a healthy metabolism and keep blood sugar more stable than low-fat meals do which results in less experience of food cravings.
Help Prevent Diabetes
Almonds help to reduce the rate at which glucose (sugar) is released into the bloodstream after meals. It also prevents insulin resistance when the body becomes less reactive to insulin over time.
Good for Pregnancy
Almonds contain folic acid, which plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and helps your baby’s neural tube develop into her brain and spinal cord. Doctors often prescribe folic acid supplements to pregnant women to ensure proper development of the neural tube. Neural tube defects (NTDs) are serious birth defects of the spinal cord and the brain, where the neural tube is either underdeveloped or is partially missing in the fetus. Almonds have enough folic acid to keep mothers and their babies healthy.
They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss. All things considered, almonds are a fantastic source of healthy nutrients.