Are you looking for something that could help you power up your brain, boost your memory, protect you from cardiovascular diseases and also maybe help in your weight loss plans? Then, Almond is your good samaritan. The health benefits of Almonds are like no other food and it has every possible reason to be included in your everyday diet. This nutrient-packed nut is loaded with necessary fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. It also has antioxidants.
The health benefits of Almonds has been recognized and its goodness is being utilized by the people since ancient times. Almonds were popular in the ancient Egyptians’ and Indians’ diets. At at present, all the beliefs the ancient population had about almond have been scientifically proven and almond is being praised all around the world for its health benefits.
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Almond - What is it?
Almond, also called as Badam, is scientifically termed as Prunus dulcis. They are the seeds of the fruits of the almond tree. Botanically, almond belongs to Amygdalus family. They are native of the Middle East, India and North Africa. The other fruits that contain hard pits like Almonds are cherries, plums and peaches. Almonds are also a type of drupe nut i.e., multiple layers enclose a single, hard seed in the centre.
Although Almonds are known to be “calorie-dense”, they are still preferred in the diet as they provide a range of required critical nutrients and chemical compounds that are often lacked in our normal diet.
[Read more: Is It Safe To Eat Almonds During Pregnancy?]
Nutritional Values of Almonds:
The diverse health benefits of almonds are due to its high nutritional value. ¼ Cup of Almonds provides the following:
- Calories: 207
- Protein: 5 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Sugar: 5 g
- Vitamin E: 16 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.4 mg
- Manganese: 0.8 mg
- Magnesium: 97 mg
- Phosphorous: 172 mg
- Calcium: 96 mg
- Iron 33 mg
How to eat Almonds?
The taste of almonds varies from sweet to bitter. Sweet ones are for eating raw while bitter ones are used to produce almond oil - the oil that adds flavour to foods. The wild almonds are also available but they contain powerful toxins.
Calories in Almonds and proteins in almonds are best utilized when eaten raw. Almond milk is one of the delicious beverages and could be consumed as an alternative to cow’s milk. To relish the several health benefits of almonds, the other ways to consume almonds are in the form of almond butter and crushed almond or almond flour.
Soaking almond overnight and eating it on an empty stomach, speeds up the nutrient absorption in your body. Raw almonds could be used as an ingredient in salads, casseroles and other dishes in the form of flakes or powder. Crushed almonds could be used to garnish the dishes. Almond butter could be used as a spread on the bread or Chapatis.
[Read more: Benefits Of Almonds - Soaked And Raw]
Health benefits of Almonds:
Medicinal properties and health benefits of almonds are very well-acclaimed. And those Badam benefits are associated with the calories in almonds, the proteins in almonds and all other nutrients in almonds.
1. Boosts the Body’s Natural Antioxidants: Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the ability of a body to produce free radicals and that to detoxify its harmful effects. Almonds have the ability to fight against this oxidative stress in the body. Almonds could help even the smokers whose body have underwent oxidative stress-linked damage. Consuming almonds also helps to boost the antioxidant defences.
2. Lowers Cardiovascular Disease Risks: Our body is accustomed to the craving for the carb-rich snack. But replacing these kinds of snacks with almonds could do wonders for your cardiovascular health. It reduces LDL cholesterol and abdominal obesity and keeps HDL Cholesterol (Good cholesterol) steady. It also prevents oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Thereby helping in warding off cardiometabolic diseases.
3. Slows down brain damage: The high nutritional value of almonds is the reason why it could be highly beneficial for humans. Almonds are rich in vitamin E - the vitamin which could protect your brain from neurodegenerative diseases. Eating almond daily could help slow cognitive decline and in the patients suffering from Alzheimer's, almonds could slow down the progress of disease.
4. Fights inflammation: Oxidative stress generally causes inflammation in the body. Almonds are known for their ability to fight against oxidative stress with the help of antioxidants present in them. And also, the fatty acids present in the almonds help in fighting the inflammation. The almonds provide protection as well against the oxidative stress.
5. Lowers blood pressure: If your body has the scarcity of Magnesium, blood pressure could be one of the problems you could be encountering. If the low intake of Magnesium is balanced with proper intake, it could keep the blood pressure in check. If you are diabetic, suffering from hypertension and also, deficient in Magnesium, consuming oral magnesium significantly brings down systolic and diastolic blood pressure. And badam/Almonds is definitely your way to provide sufficient magnesium to your body. From every 100 g of almonds, your body could get 270 mg of Magnesium.
6. Controls Glucose in Diabetics: The health benefits of almonds are various. Just as it could help in keeping blood pressure in check, it could also control the glucose level in diabetic patients by improving their lipid profile. Regular almond intake could also reduce the bad cholesterol levels and the ratio between HDL and LDL becomes favourable.
Improving the magnesium level in the body could improve insulin sensitivity and metabolic control. Including almonds in the daily diet could treat non-diabetics with hypomagnesia as well.
7. Helps in weight loss: Along with the various health benefits of almonds, they could also help in reducing the fat around your belly and favours the weight loss. When the almonds are consumed instead of high-carb snacks, the levels of total non-HDL and LDL cholesterol didn’t just drop but also it helped in fat accumulation reduction around the belly or midriff. Almonds offer satiety. The fibre and proteins in almonds are the main contributors to making you feel full for longer. And thereby it stops you from sudden binge eating and helps you to stick on with your regular meal plan.
8. Cares for your bone and teeth health: To maintain good health of your bone and teeth, phosphorus and calcium are needed. And almonds are rich in both the minerals.
9. Helps in digestion: Almonds are rich in fiber. Intake of fiber-rich food such as almond eases constipation, provided the increase in fibre intake is balanced with adequate water intake.
Almonds also have prebiotic properties. This favours the balance of gut flora by stimulating the growth of good bacteria in the gut and thereby helps in digestion.
10. Builds Muscles: To build muscles, your body needs sufficient protein and the protein in the almonds could be your way. Almonds are a great source of proteins - every 100 gm of Almonds contain 21 g of proteins.
Badam benefits don’t end with just the list above. Its benefits are ceaseless. The other health benefits of almonds include boosting your energy, strengthening your immunity, improving sexual health. It could also treat PCOS, take care of your health during pregnancy by providing the essential nutrients, moisturise the skin and protect it from sun damage (almond is one of the main ingredients of body lotions), help you in avoiding stretch marks, ward off acne, blackheads, nourishes hair inside and out. So, include badam in your daily diet and have a healthy lifestyle.