Almonds would be most popular nuts across globe. A unique combo of protein, fats, vitamins and minerals make almond nuts a healthy snack. For quite long time almonds are believed to food for brain and heart. Today it has also become popular nut for skin nutrition and care.
Almond like its cousins peach, apricot and cherry contain hard pits which bear seed inside; we call them almond nut. Almond nuts are delicacies and can be eaten as raw almond nut or used in various recipes. It blends well with milk and milk products. Almond oil is commonly used as stable and nutrition rich natural oil in cosmetic products. Almond milk is becoming popular milk substitute amongst vegans and people with lactose intolerance.
Did you know? The United States — primarily California — produces four fifth of world's almonds.
Almonds nutrition facts
Each nut of almond offers around 5-7 calories. Three quarters of these calories comes from fats. These fats contain good amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Almond nut offer good source of Vitamin E, riboflavin, biotin, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and molybdenum. Apart from these nutritional value, it offers a number of phytonutrients and dietary fibers.
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Are almonds good for you?
Apart from the healthy nutrients, almonds offer good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it good for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory disorders and immunity. Health benefits of almond are extensive and are listed under:
Almonds for healthy heart
Though being a fat rich nut, almonds are good for your heart health. It contains mono-saturated fats which are helpful in reducing risk of heart disorders. Apart from this, almonds offer body with heart friendly antioxidant Vitamin E and minerals like Magnesium and potassium.
Almonds, loaded with mono-saturated fat, help increase level of good cholesterol (HDL) and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels in body. A fast home cholesterol test can help you monitor your cholesterol levels in case you are in the risk group. Vitamin E offers antioxidant properties in protecting heart from oxidative stress and thereby reduces risks of heart disorders including heart attack, stroke and others. High potassium in almonds helps regulate blood pressure and heart function. Magnesium helps elasticity of arteries and vein and improves blood circulation. Best to enjoy almonds for heart is raw or soaked them overnight. Avoid roasted and salted almonds, which ruin their benefits for heart.
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Brain food – Almonds
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, riboflavin and other minerals help for development and health of our brain. It offers antioxidant properties which protects brain cells from oxidative stress and reduces risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. As mothers you may want to offer your kids 2-3 soaked almond nuts each morning to promote their brain development. It aids brain activity, functioning of nervous system, improves memory and retention power.
Almonds aids digestion
Almond contributes to body with good amount of dietary fibers which are helpful smooth bowel movements and especially for people suffering from constipation. Fibers also facilitate digestion.
Are soaked almonds better than raw nut? Soaking makes the nut easily digestible. It release fat breaking enzyme when soaked and helps aids in digestion.
Almonds for diabetes
Antioxidant property of Almonds helps regulate blood sugar and lipid profile. It also offers dietary fibers which helps lower glycemic index of food and helps avoid sugar surges post meal. Almonds can be enjoyed as snack between meals.
Almonds for sexual health
Almonds contain amino acid arginine which is believed to enhance male libido. It helps treat erectile dysfunction and enhance sperm counts. Antioxidant nutrients in almonds help protect reproductive system, enhance blood circulation to private parts and treat infertility. Drinking milk with almond and saffron at night is good way of promoting sexual health.
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Almonds and cancer
Dietary fibers in almonds blocks absorption of harmful toxins in colons and reduce risk of colon cancer. Another study shows that high consumption of almonds protects against breast cancer. Almonds with its antioxidant properties protects body cells from oxidative action of free radicals which may even cause cancer.
Almonds and pregnancy
Almonds offer folic acid which is essential during pregnancy. It promotes healthy growth of newborn and reduces risks of birth disorders. Often soaked almonds are ground with saffron and taken with honey or milk at night by pregnant women.
Are almonds fattening
Almonds are rich in fatty acids which provide impression that almonds are fattening. However taken in small quantities, almonds are nutrient dense and can offer properties to prevent weight gain. It offers essential nutrients and vitamins for encouraging metabolism. Soaked almonds is best way to enjoy their benefits without weight gain. Almonds are far less fattening than complex carbohydrate, as per this study.
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Almonds for teeth and bones
Almonds are good source of minerals like phosphorus, calcium and magnesium which are essential for bone and teeth strength and durability. This is also important for women in preventing early onset of osteoporosis.
Hair benefits of almond
Almonds offer necessary nutrients for hair growth. It nourishes hair to make them strong and prevent hair fall. Almonds contain vitamin E and magnesium whose deficiency may lead to hair fall. Apart from snacking almond nut, one may try using almond oil for hair. Almond oil is moisturizing in nature. It moisturizes scalp and reduce hair fall. Massaging with almond oil is considered remedy over split ends.
Try this almond hair mask – Soak almonds overnight, grind in morning and mix this with olive oil and honey. Apply this to scalp for 15-20 minutes before washing hair.
Sweet almond oil is relaxing and with aromatic effect helps lift mood and reduce anxiety. Almond oil is used as massage oil. Almond oil is often used in pedicure and manicure therapies for treatment of damages nails and cuticles.
Almond benefits for skin
Almonds offer various minerals and vitamins essential for health of the skin. It is rich in vitamin E which is “beauty vitamin for skin”. It is antioxidant in nature and helps protect skin from oxidative stress of pollution, ultraviolet light and others. It helps prevent aging of skin and reduces wrinkles, dark circles, fine line while making the skin younger and smooth. Below are some ways in which you can enjoy benefits of almonds for your skin –
- Apply paste of grounded soaked almonds and saffron to your face. It helps lighten skin tone.
- Apply paste made from almond powder, chironji and milk to your face. Wash after 15 minutes. It will offer clean, glowing and moisturized skin.
- Apply paste made from grinding almond with milk and honey to your face. It offers equally moisturized radiant skin
- Grind soaked raw almonds crudely. Mix them with yogurt and use as face scrub. It helps remove dead skin, black heads and acne scar.
- Blend almond powder, dried lemon peel powder and yogurt. Use this as face mask.
What is the best way to eat almonds? Is it raw, roasted or soaked? Soaking almonds helps reduce harmful substance in them. Further it makes them easily digestible. It also releases fat digesting enzyme when soaked. Due to fat content, almonds can be dry roasted. This will make them crunchy and tasty. Almond seed peel has many essential nutrients and should be consumed along with peel.
Did you know? Almonds are called Badam in many parts of the Asia
Almonds are super foods with high nutrient density. It offers effective solution in treating various health disorders. Just consume them raw or use them as ingredient in various recipes to enjoy almond benefits.