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Almonds, also popularly known as Badam are a treasure trove of nutrients. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietetic fibre, and monounsaturated fat, which improves the health of the heart. In fact, this list can go on and on.
Almonds (Prunus dulcis) or Badam, a very famous, nutritious nut is actually an edible seed. It is widely grown in California.
Almonds are whitish in colour, covered by a thin brown skin and lastly enclosed in a hard shell. They are oval in shape and have a sweet, nutty smell. Almonds are rich in calories as well as nutrients.
Almonds Nutritional Value
Almonds contain carbohydrates (22%), proteins (21%) and fats (50%). Almonds are rich in B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, vitamin E and minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. They also contain dietary fibre, monounsaturated fat (oleic acid), polyunsaturated fat (linoleic acid) and many phytosterols.
9 Health Benefits of Eating Almonds Are:
- Energy Booster:
Almonds are rich in magnesium and Vitamin E and also contain a good amount (21%) of proteins. This helps in maintaining our energy levels throughout the day and keeping us active. Almonds are a very good choice for quick snacks.
- Improves Memory:
Almonds are known as ‘Food for the Brain’. Vitamin E content in almonds makes us alert and improves memory retention.
As per research, soaking almonds overnight and having them in the morning, on an empty stomach increases Vitamin E and improves memory.
- Good for our Heart & People with Diabetes:
Magnesium in almonds lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Thus, almonds help in the management of diabetes and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Almonds also lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent oxidation, thus protecting our heart.
Almonds help to lower blood sugar also due to their magnesium content, this mineral is involved in hundreds of bodily processes including glucose control. Additionally, the mix of nutrients like proteins, fibre and healthy fats ensure that diabetic patients don’t face sudden sugar spikes when they eat a handful of almonds. For people with diabetes, the health benefits of almonds as a snack may be a part of your glucose management routine.
- Reduces the Risk of Cancer & Alzheimer’s Disease:
Almonds are rich in antioxidants. Vitamin E present in almonds is also an antioxidant and protects our cells from oxidative damage, largely reducing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Anti-ageing Effects:
The rich antioxidant content of almonds protects us from the varied effects of ageing and age-related diseases.
Massaging our face with almond oil fights early signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles. Regular usage keeps our skin looking youthful.
The antioxidant effect of almonds helps to reduce oxidative stress and cell damage. This results in not only slower ageing and a lower risk of cancer but also helps to curtail inflammation in the body. Inflammation occurs when the body reacts to damage and infection and results in aches, pains, swelling apart from other issues. The anti-inflammation benefits of almonds have been seen to reduce oxidative markers in clinical studies (when almonds were consumed regularly over a period of time).
- Treatment of Anaemia:
Anaemia is a dangerous condition in which the red blood cells in our body, carry very less oxygen to the brain. This results due to a deficiency of haemoglobin. Almonds contain iron, copper, and vitamins. So they help in boosting the haemoglobin levels in our body and are useful in the active treatment of Anaemia.
- Reduces Hunger & Promotes Weight Loss:
Almonds are rich in fibre and proteins. So, consumption of almonds makes us feel full for longer periods, thus reducing our hunger and calorie intake.
Almonds thus lead to a reduction in weight.
- Improves Digestion:
Consumption of almonds increases the beneficial bacteria in our gut, thus promoting gut health and improving digestion.
- Promotes Bone Health:
High levels of calcium in almonds, keep our musculoskeletal system healthy and prevents the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Other uses of Almonds:
- Skincare: Almond oil is an excellent moisturizer. It keeps our skin glowing, acne-free and wrinkle-free when used on our body on a regular basis.
- Haircare: Almond is known to reduce hair fall. Regular massage with almond oil in our hair prevents early greying.
- Prevents stretch marks: Regular application of almond oil to the affected area, effectively reduces stretch marks.
- Make-up Remover: Almond oil is a natural make-up remover.
- Eye-Care: Almond oil reduces dark circles and puffiness under the eyes.
Best Way to Eat almonds:
To ensure maximum health benefits, soak almonds overnight (around 8 hours) and have them empty stomach in the morning, preferably with the brown skin intact.
The Ideal Dose of Almonds:
There is no such ideal dose but eating a handful (around 15-25) almonds per day could be beneficial to our body, as a part of a balanced diet.
Different Forms in Which Almonds are Available:
- Whole almonds
- Sliced almonds
- Blanched almonds
- Almond oil
- Almond milk
- Almond butter
- Almond flour