Almonds have been appreciated since ancient times as one of the most beloved nuts of mankind. They were popular in the diets of the ancient Egyptians and Indian populations. Ancient Indian Ayurvedic practitioners even believed that almonds were capable of increasing brain capacity, intellectual capacity and longevity. Today, the nutritional benefits of almonds are praised throughout the world, and they are used in many different ways: they are eaten raw as a healthy snack; as a base ingredient in almond butter, almond milk or almond flour; and even in many body lotions and fragrances. Cholesterol reduction is the most celebrated health benefit of these nuts, but there are many other vital health benefits of almond nutrition. They are low in saturated fatty acids, rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and contain filler fiber, unique and protective phytosterial antioxidants, as well as vegetable proteins.
And don’t be afraid of almond fat – almonds are really beneficial when it comes to losing weight, despite their high caloric content. One study even found that almonds consumed as snacks reduce hunger and the desire to eat later in the day, and when dieters eat this daily they reduce their total calorie intake. From a botanical point of view, Badam (scientifically named Prunus dulcis) are actually very small bone fruits of the Amygdalus family and are related to other fruits that contain hard bones, such as cherries, plums and peaches. These are a type of drupa nut, which means that along with other nuts such as macadamias, walnuts and walnuts, they have multiple layers that enclose a single hard seed in the center. Almonds are considered dry drupes, so they must first be extracted (what is called “husked”) before being sold and consumed, so you can see the description “shelled almonds” when you buy ready-to-eat almonds.
In the medical world, the nutrition of this nut is the most praised due to the presence of monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins such as riboflavin, and trace elements such as magnesium. Although almonds are high in calories and considered “energy dense” (as all nuts are), they provide a wide range of critical nutrients and chemical compounds that are often lacking in the standard American diet (sometimes called “SAD”).
¼ cup of almonds nutrition provides about:
- 207 calories
- 5 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fiber
- 7 grams of carbohydrates
- 5 grams of sugar
- 16 milligrams of vitamin E (61 percent DV)
- 4 milligrams of riboflavin (44 percent DV)
- 8 milligrams of manganese (44 percent DV)
- 97 milligrams of magnesium (36 percent DV)
- 172 milligrams phosphorus (29 percent DV)
- 96 milligrams of calcium (9.5 percent DV)
- 33 milligrams of iron (4 percent DV)
9 Proven Benefits of Almonds for Health:
1. Helps Prevent Heart Disease and Heart Attacks:
- Two of the chemical star compounds of almond nutrition are healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (abbreviated as MUFAs, the same type of beneficial fat found in olive oil) and antioxidants that support heart health and prevent heart disease. Cardiovascular disease factors.
- Almonds specifically provide antioxidant flavonoids; plant compounds present in the skin of the nuts that work with vitamin E to improve the health of the arteries and reduce inflammation.
- Almonds also contain key nutrients for heart health, including arginine, magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium and potassium. Studies show that it have a consistent effect of reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol, especially in individuals with high cholesterol and diabetes.
- Almonds help prevent damage from forming inside arterial walls and protect against dangerous plaque buildup.
- The nutritional benefits of this nuts also make them a great food to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, in addition to fighting weight gain and obesity, three of the biggest risk factors associated with heart attacks and strokes..
2. Support Healthy Brain Function:
Almonds are often considered one of the best foods for the brain. The nutrition of almonds is something unique in that almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, two key nutrients capable of positively affecting neurological activity and preventing cognitive decline. This is one of the reasons why adults, especially the elderly, are encouraged to eat nuts several times a week, as they are associated with a reduced risk of inflammation that can cause brain disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer disease.
3. Maintains Skin Health:
- Almonds are a great source of vitamin E and other antioxidants that nourish the skin and reduce the signs of aging.
- Research has found that almond nutrition contains high concentrations of catechin, epicatechin and flavonol antioxidants, including quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetine – compounds that fight skin cancer and damage by reversing the oxidative stress of a poor diet, the Pollution and exposure to ultraviolet light.
- Healthy almond fats, in addition to their ability to improve circulation, also help keep skin hydrated and heal wounds better.
4. Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels and Prevent Diabetes:
- AGMI’s rich supply of almonds helps reduce the rate at which glucose (sugar) is released into the bloodstream. In addition to controlling blood sugar and preventing insulin resistance (which can occur over time when the body becomes less reactive to insulin, the hormone that controls sugar).
- The nutritional benefits of almonds include the ability to reduce other common diabetes risks: insane body weight, inflammation and high levels of oxidative stress.
5. Help with Weight Loss and Overfeeding Prevention:
- Healthy fats and dietary fiber help you lose weight because they help you feel full, which slows down overeating and unhealthy snacks.
- Although nuts are high in fat and calories, they prolong the feeling of satisfaction after eating and keep your blood sugar level more stable than low-fat foods.
- Therefore, you are less likely to experience a roller coaster of energy breaks and food cravings.
- Studies, such as the Nurses’ Health Study, even show that almonds support a healthy metabolism.
- In addition, people who frequently eat almonds and other nuts retain healthier body weights and lower rates of obesity over time compared to those who avoid nuts.
- Other studies show that when dieters eat almonds daily, they are less likely to consume excess carbohydrates and more likely to achieve and maintain a healthier body weight.
- For example, an article published in 2003 in the International Journal of Obesity found that when women consumed almonds for a period of six months, compared to other women who did not eat almonds, they experienced greater reductions in weight and body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, fat mass and systolic blood pressure.
6. Increase the Absorption of Nutrients:
- The body needs adequate amounts of fat in the diet to properly absorb the fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A and D.
- Almonds are also considered one of the few nuts that help alkalize the digestive tract, reducing the accumulation of acid and balancing the body’s pH.
- A healthy pH level is crucial for proper digestion, immunity and disease prevention. In addition, the nutrients present in almonds can help regulate the digestive enzymes involved in nutrient extraction, cholesterol synthesis and bile acid production.
7. Increase Digestive Health:
- In addition to healthy fats and alkaline molecules, almonds (especially almond skin) contain probiotic components that help digestion, detoxification and healthy bacterial growth within the intestinal flora – a key to actually utilizing nutrients from Food and prevent nutrient deficiencies.
- Studies suggest that almonds and almond shells can improve the “gut microbiota profile”, which means that the bacterial activities of the intestine improve and promote numerous health benefits due to the presence of prebiotic properties, precursors of The probiotics.
- A 2014 study by the Institute of Food Science and Technology of China found that when women ate a daily dose of 56 grams of almonds over an eight-week period, significant increases were observed in healthy bacterial populations called Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.
8. Can Help Fight Cancer and Inflammation:
- Almonds contain gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E that acts as a powerful antioxidant, combating free radical damage and oxidative stress that are related to cancer.
- Many studies find a relationship between nut consumption and cancer prevention, including a lower risk of colon, prostate and breast cancer.
9. Helps Maintain Dental and Bone Health:
- Almonds are a good source of trace elements, including magnesium and phosphorus, which is a crucial nutrient for building and maintaining strong teeth and bones.
- The nutritional benefits of almonds include the ability to help prevent tooth decay, fight tooth decay, decrease the risk of bone fractures and fight osteoporosis.
Would you believe that today the almond industry is estimated at 4.3 billion dollars annually and more than 2,000 million pounds of almonds are produced worldwide every year? Unlike many other nuts and fruits, the United States – specifically California, which is actually the only state that produces almonds commercially – is the largest producer of almonds, producing about 80 percent of the world’s almonds. Almonds may be growing in popularity each year as research reveals more about the nutritional benefits of almonds, but the consumption of almonds actually dates back thousands of years to about 4,000 BC. The almond species is native to Middle East and South Asia. Tall tree, with pink and white flowers, grows in warm and dry climates, so it spread throughout the Mediterranean region and became a staple food. Wild almonds are actually bitter and naturally contain toxic substances such as the deadly cyanide, so humans first had to find a certain type of “sweet” almond among the many different species of almond trees before tameing them. In India and Pakistan, almonds have been an important part of the diet for centuries, where they are called badam. Almonds were first scattered by humans in ancient times along the shores of the Mediterranean towards northern Africa, Asia and southern Europe, finally reaching the US. Along the way, the word “almond” was given to the nut, which comes from the old French word almande.
Historically, almonds have meant many things to various cultures. The Hebrew literature of the year 2000 BC mentions almonds, as does the early literature of Turkey, Romania and the Baltic Peninsula. The Bible also makes numerous references to almonds, describing them as an object of value and a symbol of hope, for example, in Genesis 43:11. King Tut also took several handfuls of almonds dating from 1352 BC to the grave, and years later it was believed that almond trees grew near trade routes such as the famous Silk Road that connected central China with the Mediterranean.
How to Buy and Use Almonds?
Not all almonds are the same – you definitely want to avoid almonds and sugar-coated nuts, hydrogenated oils and tons of sodium. Many nuts undergo a process that reduces the health benefits of the nut. For example, by heating nuts at very high temperatures, some of their antioxidants can be destroyed. A disadvantage of consuming almonds produced in the United States is that United States law requires that all raw almonds be pasteurized or irradiated before being sold to consumers. According to the Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are several mandatory pasteurization treatment processes to reduce the level of potential contamination of almonds “without diminishing the quality, nutritional value or sensory qualities (taste and crunch) of the product.” (9) These include oil roasting, dry roasting and blanching, and steam treatment.
Almonds contain natural fatty acids and oils that are sensitive to high temperatures, so when they are highly processed it is possible to return these “rancid” oils. For example, when almonds are roasted, they are usually soaked in hydrogenated or transgenic oils, a fat that is harmful and promotes heart disease. As a general rule, the less almonds are processed, the better.
“Pre-packaged and roasted almonds are probably less beneficial than raw almonds that are still in their natural gut”.
One step that can really increase the nutrient content of almonds is to soak and germinate them. Soaking and sprouting almonds removes some of its natural antinutrients that prevent the body from absorbing some minerals. I like to soak mine during the night for 12-24 hours in a large bowl, covering it with water and rinsing it the next morning. Almonds come in two varieties: sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are used in many recipes in Asia, the United States and the Mediterranean. A popular use in Italy is the crushing of almonds in marzipan, which is used as a sweet ingredient in baked goods. They are also added to the sofritos, used to make almond oil for cooking and produce almond extract that is a good substitute for vanilla extract. In addition, sweet almond oils are extracted to form almond essential oil, beneficial oil with many healing uses for the body and home.
How About Almond Butter or Almond Flour?
Both are great options to add more almond nutrition to your diet. Almond butter is simply ground almonds, but look for butters that do not contain added oils or sugar. Your best bet? Make the almonds yourself by grinding them in a blender or high-speed food processor until they are smooth. When it comes to almond flour (also called almond flour), look again for simple and direct ingredients, usually only almonds. Use almond flour to replace breadcrumbs and combine it with other gluten-free flours or coconut flour to make baked goods.
Recipes with Almonds:
Banana Protein Bars with Almond Butter
Total time: 25 minutes
- 2 cups oatmeal cut in steel
- 4 tablespoons vanilla whey protein powder (1 cup)
- ¼ cup oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 cup sprouted almond butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 ripe bananas
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease the 8 × 8 pan with coconut oil.
- Mix oats, buttermilk, oatmeal and flax seed. Once mixed, add the almond butter, applesauce, vanilla and honey.
- Crush the bananas in the mixture and mix.
- Spread the dough in the pan and bake about 15 minutes.
You can also Take Advantage of Almond Nutrition by Making Some of these Healthy and Easy Recipes:
- Almond and berry cereal recipe: Conventional cereal may be full of refined sugar. Instead, try this almond cereal recipe. It is full of healthy fats to help maintain hormonal health and give energy throughout the day.
- Black Chocolate Almond Butter Recipe: This recipe is an amazing addition to any snack. Try this fun twist on a classic and enjoy.
- Coconut Almond Joy Recipe: Coconut is another of the healthiest foods you can eat. Coconut is a medium-chain fatty acid that is easily digested and converted into energy instead of being stored as fat. Therefore, coconuts can help in weight loss, help stimulate metabolism and have amazing antimicrobial properties.
Possible Side Effects of Consuming Almonds:
- As with all nuts, allergies can be a problem for some people when it comes to almonds. Children are more susceptible to nut allergies and should avoid almonds if they have a known allergy.
- For those who are not allergic to almonds, there are other potential disadvantages of almonds when consumed in large quantities – mainly that they provide a high amount of calories and too much vitamin E in some cases.
- Eating too many nuts can trigger weight gain, cause certain drug interactions (such as vitamin E overdose) and can lead to gastrointestinal problems in some people, but this is usually only a risk if you consume a very high amount.
- As with all sources of healthy fats, they should be a substantial part of your diet, but portion control is important.
- A final note is that raw almonds have the potential to transport bacteria, so the USDA requires them to be processed. In rare cases, salmonella and e-coli have been transported by raw almonds, so as of 2007; untreated raw California almonds are not technically available in the US. – Although most people have no problem eating raw almonds.
- When it comes to bitter almonds, according to the FDA, bitter almonds are considered “poisonous” because they contain certain acids that can cause problems in rare cases, so they are not recommended for consumption – although some alternative doctors disagree with this.
- Don’t let the side effects scare you. Almond nutrition is extremely beneficial for your health. And there are so many uses for tasty treats and a healthy diet. Incorporate almond nutrition into your diet today and see the benefits first hand.