Almonds are one of the most popular nuts. Remember, your mother used to give you almonds in exam time, telling you that it will make your brain sharp.
Almonds grow on trees in a pale, green-yellow perforated shell. When an almond is attached to the tree, it is known as the drupe. They are native to the Middle Eastern, Indian subcontinental and North African regions. They were used from olden times because of their medicinal values and great taste.
There are two types of almonds- sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are edible and can be eaten raw or with other dishes. Almond oils are made from bitter almonds, which is used for cooking purposes or for health purposes.
Almonds are rich in dietary fibers, proteins, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus. It also contains zinc, selenium, folate, and niacin.
Almonds help to get relief from stomach disorders, respiratory problems, coughs, heart problems, anemia, skin problems, dental problems, makes bone strong, boosts immunity, aids in losing weight and also makes brain stronger.
Nutritional value per 100g
- Energy 2408KJ
- Carbohydrates 21.69g
- Sugars 3.89g
- Dietary fiber 12.2g
- Fats 49.42g
- Protein 21.22g
- Vitamin A 1μg
- Riboflavin 1.014mg
- Niacin 3.385mg
- Pantothenic acid 0.469mg
- Folate 50 μg
- Choline 52.1mg
- Vitamin E 26.2mg
- Calcium 264mg
- Iron 3.72mg
- Magnesium 268mg
- Manganese 2.285mg
- Phosphorus 484mg
- Potassium 705mg
- Sodium 1mg
- Zinc 3.08mg
- Water 4.70mg
Almonds also contain phytosterols such as stigmasterol, sitostanol, beta- sitosterol. They are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
1. Strong brain
Almonds help in the development of the human brain. Almonds from the ancient times have been considered to be connected to a higher intellectual level. They also serve as highly nutritious and essential for the growing children. Almonds contain two important nutrients which enhance brain functioning. Riboflavin and L-carnitine, help to increase brain activity, helping nervous system to work efficiently and also decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Almond diet is beneficial for overall health and performance.
2. Reduce bad cholesterol levels
Almonds help to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol, increasing the levels of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein). This reduces the risk of heart strokes and heart attacks.
3. Strong and healthy bones
Almonds are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Calcium and phosphorous both work to strengthen the bones and teeth making them stronger. These also help to prevent age-related diseases like osteoporosis.
4. Happy heart
Almonds are the wonder nuts in heart conditions. The regulated level of mono-unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals present in almonds all help to maintain heart health. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart diseases. Magnesium also helps to avoid heart attacks. The artery-damaging inflammation caused by C-reactive proteins is also reduced by almonds. Folic acid present in almonds does not allow building up of plaque in arteries, which is due to increased levels of homocysteine. Flavonoids in almonds protect the artery wall.
5. Strong immune system
Almonds are known to be a good source for alkali materials. These strengthen the immune system, also increase the ability to ward off diseases. Almonds also have a good amount of Vitamin E, which is an excellent antioxidant. It degrades all the damaging free radicals in the body that promote chronic diseases.
Omega 3 fatty acids in almonds make skin glowing, clears skin pores and nourishes it. Almond oil also removes the puffiness and dark circles around eyes. Massaging almond oil on the body gives you a younger, bright skin and also improves blood circulation.
7. Regulating blood pressure
Almonds are rich in potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure. Moreover, almonds are very low in sodium content, which helps to control fluctuations in blood pressure. The balance of minerals and vitamins in almonds maintains entire health.
8. Energy promoter
Almonds contain manganese, copper, and Riboflavin that helps in energy production and also enhance metabolic rate.
9. Blocks tumor growth
Almond contains Vitamin E, Phytochemical, and flavonoids that help the body to fight breast cancer. Folate prevents colorectal cancer. Vitamin B17 is very effective in fighting cancer and also relieves the pain of tumors inside the body. This property is found in bitter almonds.
10. Protecting from diabetes
Almonds help in the reduction of the rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals. This regulation protects from the dangerous hikes in blood sugar which diabetics generally suffer from following a large meal.
11. Good for pregnant ladies
Folic acid present in almonds helps to reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborn babies. It also promotes healthy cell growth and tissue formation. Doctors recommend folic acid supplements to pregnant women to ensure proper development of the neural tube and boosting the health of baby and mother.
12. Aids in losing weight
Almond milk without sugar can help you lose weight. The mono-unsaturated fat and dietary fibers in almonds fulfill appetite and also prevents over-eating. Oleic oil in the almond reduces your craving for food.
13. Easy digestion
Almonds are rich in fiber. Fiber-rich foods, help prevent constipation and so does almonds. You must also drink water when eating almonds in order to speed up the digestion process.
14. Good hairs
Almond oil help prevents Hair damage and also reduce hair loss when used regularly and rejuvenate new hair follicles as well. It makes your hairs look shiny and thick.
15. Relieving from arthritis
Vitamin E, a powerful vitamin and an antioxidant, is very helpful in treating arthritis. Magnesium further reduces chronic inflammation, thus relieving from joint inflammation.
Tips to incorporate almonds in diet
Well, you can eat almonds raw or soak them overnight in water and then have them. This is generally done in summers. Let’s see what other options we have for eating almonds.
1. If you buy flavored yogurts then just leave them. Take low-fat Greek yogurt and add powdered chocolate and almonds with any fruits you wish to. You’ll be away from extra sugars.
2. Let’s make oatmeal interesting. Add almonds, almond milk, cherries and chia seeds to your oats and refrigerate them overnight. Enjoy your morning breakfast.
3. You can also add almond milk to your fruit smoothie, giving it a wonder taste.
4. Grate almonds and sprinkle them on your dessert. Enjoy the crunchy taste.
5. Make your boring salad tasty. Add almonds to your salad, and enjoy crunchy taste with every bite.
1. It is better to keep away from bitter almonds during pregnancy. It might not suit your health.
2. Bitter almonds may slow down the nervous system. If you are under medication better to be away from bitter almonds.
3. Consuming almonds in excessive amount can lead to constipation and bloat as they are high in fiber content.
4. Some people are allergic to almonds. Better to test the oil first on your skin.