10 Best Benefits Of Almonds; From Weight Loss To Improved Bone Health And More
Almonds are eaten across the world and are one of the most popular types of dry fruits. Here are the health benefits associated with the consumption of almonds that are linked to its popularity.
Nuts, as most know by now, are superfoods. There are nutrient-dense and pack in a whole lot of nutrition in small quantities. All nuts should find a place in your regular diet, but raw almonds even more so. Almonds, which are high in vitamin E content are amongst the most nutritious nuts nature has given us.
You can consume almonds in any form – raw, soaked, roasted, powdered or even as flour for rotis, pancakes, loaves of bread and more. People (men and women) who are allergic to gluten (gluten-intolerant) find almond flour to be a great baking substitute for refined flour/maida in cookies, cakes and a variety of baked goodies.
For those looking for low-calorie, healthy snack options, a handful of almonds is your best bet. Almonds contain essential nutrients and keep you full for a long time. They also keep your cholesterol levels in check, which prevents from any damage in the heart health. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that help keep inflammation in the body away. This article will point out all the health benefits these nuts have to offer.
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Nutritional Value Of Almonds
Nutritional Value Of Almond Oil
Like every healthy food item, if you want to realize the full health benefits of almonds and their nutrition, you have to be consistent in consuming them. Luckily, almonds are not just healthy but tasty as well and can be enjoyed in a variety of fun, tasty and healthy ways. If you haven’t been eating these nutritious nuts, you have been missing out on some excellent benefits of almonds.
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10 Best Benefits Of Almonds
Here are our favorite health benefits of almonds that you must know. Make sure you include them in your daily diet.
#1 Nutrient-Rich Nuts
If you are looking for a healthy snack to munch on between your regular meals, eating almonds are the perfect choice for you. They are found to be loaded with high amounts of important nutrients such as proteins, fats, and fibers in abundant quantities. For example, from a 1-ounce serving (around 28 grams which may contain approximately 24 small nuts), you can get 37%, 32% and 20% of your daily recommended levels of Vitamin E, Manganese and Magnesium respectively.
This handful of serving will also contain 6 grams of proteins, 14 grams of fats that include 9 grams of monounsaturated fats, 3.5 grams of dietary fiber and small amounts of phosphorous, copper and Vitamin B2. Need we say more on why you should consume these nuts regularly?
#2 Filled With Goodness Of Vitamin E
One of the most important health benefits of almonds is that you get to experience the goodness of Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant. One ounce of almonds can give you a whopping 37% of your daily recommended dose of Vitamin E. Vitamin E component is important for the overall health of cell membranes and keeping them safe from the toxic free radicals.
Many studies have been conducted and shown to prove the role of Vitamin E in maintaining the health of vital organs. Regular consumption of Vitamin E can reduce your risk to cardiac ailments, neurodegenerative ailments, and certain cancers.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is found naturally in various foods including almonds, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds like sunflower seeds, green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli, and some fruits. Vitamin E is known to protect the cells in the body from damage. This fat-soluble vitamin is generally stored in your body, once you have ingested it, and the body uses it up as and when needed. Vitamin E is also responsible for reducing free radical damage, which further slows down the aging process of your cells. (1)
#3 Maintains Blood Pressure Levels
High blood pressure is one of the primary reasons that lead to serious diseases such as cardiac arrests or heart diseases, kidney problems, and strokes. If you want to keep your blood pressure in control and reduce your risk to high BP, you should ensure that your diet contains sufficient levels of magnesium. Almonds contain good amounts of magnesium. You will get 20% of your daily recommended dose of magnesium in just one ounce of almonds. Therefore, when you consume almonds regularly, you can keep your blood pressure under control and prevent your risk to cardiac ailments and kidney diseases.
High blood pressure is a common problem in many people (men and women) across India. In this case, the force of blood against your artery walls is high, so much that it can cause health diseases like heart issues. In order to avoid high blood pressure, you must eat foods including leafy greens, berries, oatmeal, seeds, bananas, almonds, etc. Remember to not have too much salt in your diet, if you wish to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which can further cause problems in your overall health, especially it could cause heart disease.
#4 Loaded With Antioxidants
When your skin and body feels oxidative stress from the toxic free radicals, it leads to cell membrane & molecule damage, inflammation and also other serious diseases such as cardiac arrests, cancers and more. Eating foods that contain good amount of antioxidants can help you prevent damage from oxidative stress. Almonds are one of the most antioxidant-rich nuts that you can ever find.
In one of the studies, 60 male smokers were asked to consume around 3 ounces of almonds every day for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, when they were examined, it was found that the oxidative stress damage indicators had come down by 34%. To get the full health benefits of antioxidants, you should always eat the almonds with their skin on. Did you know, antioxidants are great for your skin also. They keep your skin health in check, so make sure you include antioxidant rich foods in your diet, for nothing but your skin.
#5 Helps To Keep Blood Sugar Levels Under Control
Eating a handful of almonds is essential as they also contain magnesium, fiber, healthy fats and proteins. Therefore, they may reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome and keep your blood sugar levels or diabetes under control. Magnesium also keep your brain health in check. Consuming almonds regularly can reduce your blood sugar levels or diabetes and improve your body’s insulin absorption capacity, further keeping your body healthy and disease free. Close to 38% of diabetic people eat a magnesium-deficient diet. When they start including almonds in their daily diet to meet the recommended daily levels of magnesium, they will witness improvement in their blood sugar levels or diabetes as well.
Magnesium has also been known to be very essential nutrient for the body and brain that protects you from most diseases. Apart from keeping your blood sugar levels or diabetes in check, magnesium helps regulating nerve and muscle function, blood pressure and has been said to further help in fighting depression. So you know why you must ensure taking almonds, which contains magnesium.
#6 Prevents The Risk Of Increasing Cholesterol Levels
Regular consumption of almonds may also make you less risky to metabolic syndrome and further protect you from cholesterol and blood pressure problems. This syndrome covers blood sugar or diabetes, pressure and cholesterol as well. Many studies have proved that eating around 1.5 ounces of almonds a day can reduce the bad cholesterol, LDL, by 5.3 mg/dl, while maintaining the good cholesterol levels, HDL, at the right levels, further keeping your heart health in check.
Apart from lowering the bad cholesterol, almonds may also prevent its risk of oxidation, which protects you from any cardiac ailment or heart disease. However, to enjoy this benefit, you should eat almonds with their brown skin on. The brown skin of the almond is found to be a good source of polyphenol antioxidant, which reduces the risk of cardiac ailments, by preventing oxidation of LDL.
There are two types of cholesterol- LDL- Low density lipoprotein and HDL- high density lipoprotein. LDL is often termed as bad cholesterol and HDL as good cholesterol. If your level of LDL cholesterol is high, it may eventually build up on the walls of the arteries, which could further limit your blood flow, further raising the risk of heart disease or stroke. Therefore, it is important to keep a check on your cholesterol levels and ensure that your good cholesterol levels are up, which further protects you from diseases. You heart health depends upon a good diet, make sure you have one and keep your heart super healthy.
One way to keep cholesterol in check and your heart in a healthy shape is to load up on healthy food products like almonds, dark chocolate, whole grains like oats, fruits and berries, legumes, and fatty fish among others. These foods will help you keep healthy and your heart healthier. Don’t forget to indulge in a lot of exercises to ensure your HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol level is up rather than the LDL cholesterol levels.
So if you wish to remain disease free, a handful of almonds won’t hurt. They will only help improve your overall health.
#7 Keeps You Full For Longer
If you want to eat a snack that makes you feel full, you should start eating almonds right away. Despite being low in calories, almonds are good source of healthy fats, proteins, and fibers – all three ingredients that keep your hunger pangs at bay by helping you stay full. Eating just about 1.5 ounces of almonds per day may be enough to help you cut down your unhealthy snacking habit.
Protein plays a very important role in your building and shaping up your body. Protein is used by your body to build and repair tissues, and further helps in making hormones, enzymes and other essential chemicals. Protein is popularly known as the building block of bones, muscles, blood and skin.
#8 Helps To Lose Weight
Around 15% of the calories in almonds are not absorbed by the human body. They make your system feel full because of the nutrients that they are packed with. Almonds are also known to quicken your metabolism rate. All of these factors prove that almonds do play a vital role in helping you lose weight.
While almonds are low in calories, it is important to see that you don’t consume them in excess. Don’t forget the quote- anything in excess can be harmful. So even a low-calorie snack like almonds could become harmful.
One of the medical studies was conducted on two groups of people, where one group was asked to eat a low-calorie diet along with 3 ounces of almonds per day. The other group was asked to eat foods that were rich in complex carbohydrates. After a few weeks, it was noticed that the number of participants who lost weight in the first group was at least 62% more than the people who lost weight in the second group. Apart from weight loss, almonds also helped in losing belly fat. Belly fat is one of the most stubborn fat in the body, so with the help of exercises and including a healthy diet that includes almonds, you would be able to lose belly fat efficiently.
#9 Helps In Overall Bone Health
A 1-ounce cup of almond contains as much as calcium that you would find in a ¼ cup of milk. The combination of calcium and phosphorus in almonds helps to keep your bones strong and healthy in the long run. These nuts reduce your risk to bone brittleness, degeneration of bones and fractures.
Calcium is a very important nutrient for your bones and teeth. In fact, it also helps enabling blood to clot. Did you know the maximum amount of calcium is present in our bones and teeth. Therefore, it is very important to load up on calcium in the form of almonds.
#10 Keeps You Relaxed
As per the medical research and advice, high magnesium and protein (both of which are important nutrients) content level of almonds is good and also helps to fight the stress that has been building inside you, further helping reduce it. Crunching almonds regularly may also help you feel more relaxed and calm than before. This will have a very positive impact on your sleeping patterns as well.
Did you know?
Almonds contain omega-9 fatty acids, of which 32% of it is monounsaturated oleic acid, 13% is linoleic acid, and 10% is saturated fatty acid as per the USDA.
Almonds are said to contain twice as much potassium as a banana. So if you do not like bananas, might as well just pick up a few almonds to get your daily dose of potassium.
But how do you eat almonds in your daily diet? The best way to consume almonds is in their natural, raw state. In summers, you could even soak them in water for a few hours and peel the brown skin before consuming them. Reduce the consumption of flavored almonds as much as possible, they add unnecessary calories and are to be avoided especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Quick Facts About Almonds
- If almonds are consumed in mid-morning, they can regulate the level of sugar in the blood throughout the day.
- Intake of almonds slow down the level of absorption of sugar and carbohydrates in the body.
- There are 8 varieties of almonds, out of which, nonpareil almonds are the most valued types of almonds and should be consumed accordingly.
- Green almonds can be preserved and pickled.
- Many people who grow almonds, rent bees for pollination.
- Almonds only grow in extremely hot conditions or cool winters.
Healthy Ways To Enjoy Benefits of Almonds
Here are the 4 quick ways to enjoy almonds while getting its nutritional value.
#1 As an alternative to dairy- make almond milk
For those who are lactose-intolerant, almond milk is an excellent and healthy alternative to dairy. Cow’s milk that is popularly consumed also contains lots of fats, even in the skimmed version. If you love milk and want to do without the fats that are associated with it, you can use almond milk recipe regularly. Almond milk is not only healthy, but it is delicious too.
#2 As a snack
Always remember to use the unsweetened version only, if you want to enjoy the maximum health benefits of almonds. Learn a few recipes to enjoy almonds any time in the best way possible.
#3 As a spread
Butter contains a lot of fats and too much of it is not recommended for anybody, even kids. You can make tasty and healthy almond butter recipe at home, instead! Your kids will love the crunchy and creamy flavor of the new butter spread that they find on their sandwiches.
#4 As a trail-mix
Make use of your creativity and make your own homemade mix of healthy nuts and seeds recipe to eat on the go. Chopped up almonds can be a wonderful addition to this.
Side Effects Of Almonds
Excessive consumption of almonds can cause temporary to serious issues. Make sure to consume it within daily limits.
#1 Leads To Stomach Upset
Consuming a lot of almonds can lead to constipation, bloating and can upset your stomach as well. Therefore, it is important to reduce the consumption of excess amount of almonds.
#2 May lead to Blurred Vision
Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, and their excess consumption may lead to diarrhea, blurred vision and weakness. Always remember to have limited quantity of vitamin E so you don’t have to suffer from its side effects.
#3 Promote Weight Gain
Almonds are also rich in fats and calories which may also promote gain in weight.
#4 May Promote Toxicity
Excess consumption of bitter or lethal almonds may promote toxicity in the body, which causes a problem in breathing, choking and nervous breakdown.
If there is one healthy habit that you have may have to imbibe in your lives now, it is to include almonds in your and your family’s diet every day. These small nuts are powerhouse performers as they are packed with loads of nutrients that you will need for your healthy living.
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Frequently Asked Questions
We answered few interesting FAQs about almonds
#1 How many almonds should you eat per day?
It is said that you can eat about 8-10 almonds a day. it is best to eat soaked almonds, especially during summers.
#2 Is eating almond paste more beneficial than eating it whole?
No. You can eat almonds in any form and extract its benefits. One of the best ways to eat almonds is to soak them overnight and have peel the brown skin off and have them first thing in the morning.
#3 Will eating almonds make you fat?
While nuts are generally high in fats and calories, they are super healthy. In fact, nuts are known to help lose weight rather than gain some. Having said that, it does not give you the access to consume almonds in excess.