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We use a wide variety of dry-fruits in our traditional sweets, but a lot of these are very high in nutrition and should be consumed by themselves as well. Of these, almonds, which come from the family of stone fruits like cherries, plums and peaches, are renowned for their versatility and health benefits. Although they have a high fat content, this is the good kind of fat. These tree nuts also come with a full variety of nutrients that make them the perfect thing to pop into your mouth first thing in the morning, and to keep munching on throughout the day.
To explore this magical nut, click here.
The almond tree, also known as Prunus dulcis is native to the Middle East region, but today, the United States boasts of being the world’s largest producer of these tree nuts. It is the edible seed of the tree that we eat. Usually, the almonds that we buy are the unshelled seeds.
Almonds are sold either raw or roasted. While you can choose either depending on your taste, raw almonds are more nutritious than their roasted counterparts since some food value is lost during the roasting process.
Following are some of the reasons why almonds should be consumed daily:
Almonds have an impressive nutrient profile comprising of fiber, protein, monounsaturated fats, Vitamins E and B2, Manganese, magnesium, copper and phosphorus. A small handful of these nuts provides a good portion of your required daily amount of these essential elements.
Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants that help protect again cell membrane damage, and slow down aging. It is best to eat almonds unpeeled since the antioxidants are largely concentrated in the skin. Eating almonds also helps combat the effects of smoking on the human system.
Almonds are a good source of Vitamin E, which are fat-soluble antioxidants that protect cells from damage, and also lower risk of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Almonds are high in magnesium, which is actively involved in more than 300 processes in the human system, including blood pressure and blood sugar control. Consumption of almonds sees a major reduction in insulin resistance and blood sugar levels. This applies to both diabetics and non-diabetics, evidence that almonds can be used not just to control Type 2 diabetes, but also to prevent it.
A magnesium deficiency in the body also leads to blood pressure problems, which are in turn responsible for major health issues like heart attacks, strokes and kidney failures. Thus, almonds, rich in magnesium, could help prevent all of these.
Almonds are a good source of phosphorus, which is an essential element in the building and maintaining of strong bones and teeth, preventing osteoporosis and keeping you fit and healthy.
High levels of LDL lipoproteins, which are bad cholesterol, contribute significantly to risk of heart disease. Studies show that eating 1-2 handfuls of almonds everyday lowers bad cholesterol while levels of good cholesterol.
Also, almonds are rich in polyphenol antioxidants, helping prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, protecting your heart.
Almonds, like other nuts, contain nutrients that require the body to use high amounts of energy to break down and digest, increasing the metabolic rate. Also, since almonds are high in protein and fiber, they fill up the stomach quickly and cut hunger pangs, acting as natural appetite suppressants. Thus, though almonds are high in fat, they are an effective aid to any weight loss program.
Almonds are also great for keeping your brain functioning optimally, and ensuring your immune system is up and running effectively keeping you safe from common colds.
So, not only are almonds delicious, but also nutritious and an easily available snacking option.
To read more about this must-have daily source of goodness, click here.
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