Jan 26, 2011


Almond is a very nutritious nut. Almonds contain the most nutrients in comparison to all other nuts, which is why they are regarded as the king of nuts. Almonds are high in protein, dietary fiber and healthy fats. It is a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. It also contains zinc, selenium, copper and niacin. 

You can eat almonds directly as a quick and healthy snack, or put it in your milk shakes or mix it with fresh fruits and vegetables to make a detoxifying drink, preferably eat it empty stomach to ensure absorption of their nutrients. You can soak them in water overnight and eat in the morning. You can also garnish various dishes with crushed almonds.

Almonds health benefits include the fact that they are rich in all the elements which are essential for the human body. 

PROTECTION AGAINST DIABETES: Normally, the levels of sugar in the blood tend to rise after eating high glycemic foods such as potatoes. However, eating almonds along with such foods controls the spike of blood sugar that occurs after eating carbs. 

PREGNANCY: Almond nutrition includes folic acid or folate, a B-vitamin that can reduce the chances of birth defects in babies and is also good for making red blood cells. Folate also protects the heart from cardiac problems like stroke and heart attacks.

WEIGHT LOSS: Studies indicate that people who eat almonds regularly are at a lower risk for gaining weight, in spite of the fact that almonds are quite high in calories. Munching on almonds in lieu of unhealthy snacks can help reduce fat in the abdominal area thereby reducing the size of the waist. Moreover, because almonds are very high in fiber, protein and mono-saturated fat, they can help you feel full for a longer time. This is one of the most well known soaked almonds health benefits. 

GOOD FOR BRAIN: Almond helps in development of the brain and enhancement of memory. Phenylalanine, a brain-boosting chemical present in almond, aids healthy development of our cognitive functions. Almond induces high intellectual level and has been considered as an essential food item for school children to senior citizens. 

REGULATES CHOLESTEROL: Almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fats and some polyunsaturated fats which help to lower the low-density lipoprotein ( LDL or "bad" cholesterol). A handful of almonds every day can lower your bad cholesterol level by 8 to 12 percent.

KEEPS THE HEART HEALTHY: Mono-saturated fat, protein and potassium contained in almonds are good for the heart. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart diseases. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to avoid heart attacks. Almonds help reduce C-reactive protein which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Almond is also a source of folic acid. They therefore help to reduce the level of homocystein, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries.

SKIN AND HAIR CARE: The benefits of almond for skin care are well known, and hence a massage with almond oil is often recommended for new born babies. Almond milk is also added in some soap as almonds help in improving the complexion of the skin. Almond oil for hair also works wonders as it provides best of nutrients required for the growth of hair. 

IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION:  Almonds are high in potassium and low in sodium, both are factors that regulate blood pressure. The high level of magnesium in almonds has a very positive effect on our arteries and veins and helps to improve the overall flow of nutrients through our bodies. It also contains iron, which helps carry oxygen to all of the body's cells and organs.

PREVENTION OF CANCER: One of the other almond health benefits is that it contains laetrile or amygdaline which is known to be an anti cancer nutrient. Being high in natural fiber, it improves the movement of food through the colon, thereby preventing colon cancer. It is an excellent source of vitamin E, phytochemicals and flavonoids which suppress the growth of breast cancer cells. It is also rich source of boron which helps to prevent prostate cancer.

PREVENTION OF CONSTIPATION: Almonds are rich in fiber. Like most other fiber rich food, almonds also help in preventing constipation. Make sure you drink good amount of water after eating almonds.

BOOSTS ENERGY: The presence of manganese, copper and Riboflavin helps in energy production. 

STRENGTHEN OUR BONES: They are a very good source of calcium which prevents osteoporosis and strengthens the bones, teeth and muscles. Also rich in phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and calcium, these minerals maintain bone density. 

Almond is a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which can reduce the chances of cataract, cardiac diseases and cancers. Vitamin E is also good for building healthy tissues and blood cells.

Almonds contain iron, which helps to carry oxygen to the organs and cells.

The zinc in almonds helps to heal wounds and is good for the protein metabolism. It is believed that zinc is beneficial for the development of the reproductive system.

The copper content in almonds can oxygenate various parts of the body and can keep the nerves, blood vessels and bones healthy. Copper can reduce the chances of cardiac diseases.

Magnesium in almonds is good for the bones, muscles and for maintaining the balance of potassium and calcium in the body. They also regulate the body temperature.

NOTE: But just like any other food, even almonds have their cons. They contain oxalates and excessive oxalates can cause crystallization. So people having kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating almonds.

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