You Can Thank Us Later – Complete Guide To Health Benefits Of Almonds

Sweet and Bitter Almonds

Almonds are fruits that are derived from deciduous trees which originally grew in parts of North Africa and Asia.

Today, almond trees are found growing in California, Spain and many other places.

Almond fruits are characterized by leathery coating beneath which there is dark-skinned pit resembling freestone peach.

health benefits of almonds

It is important to note that almonds come in 2 varieties: bitter and sweet almonds.

Sweet almonds are found in many Asian dishes as well as in garnishes and desserts. They are also used to make a European candy base called marzipan made after crushing sweet almond fruits.

Sweet almonds can also be processed into extracts as well as in the making of essential oils. The extract obtained is usually used in the place of vanilla extract in making diabetic safe recipes. Sweet almonds can also be roasted and then turned into chunks or slivers for texture in puddings or ice cream.

On the other hand, bitter almonds are processed in the raw stage after which can be used in cooking.

It is important to note that bitter almonds contain toxic amounts of prussic acid that is further processed to make cyanide. It is, therefore, important to be careful and not to consume unprocessed bitter almonds as a cyanide being a dangerous poison could lead to death.

If bitter almonds are used in cooking, the prussic acid must be removed. Although they are designated bitter almonds, it should be noted that it is not a disagreeable bitterness.

Extracts from these fruits are used to flavor an alcoholic drink referred to as amaretto. Bitter almonds may also be processed to form slivers, casseroles and whole pieces for salads.

Almond trees can be found in many places across the world including Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.

Almonds used for commercial purposes in America are found growing in California. You can buy almonds from grocery shops where they come in the form of raw form for cooking, crushed ones for pastes, roasted form for snacking and also in the chopped form for salads and garnishes.

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Are Almonds Good For You?

health benefits of almonds

 

According to USDA, eating almonds regularly plays a crucial role in reducing cases of heart diseases.

Almonds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is also important to note that almonds have a high content of calories and therefore it is advisable that you eat them in moderation.

Cholesterol – According to Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, a research conducted established that almonds, as well as other nuts, have the capacity to cut body’s bad cholesterol by up to 20 percent.

The fruits are rich in unsaturated fats including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It has been established that one ounce of almonds has 14 grams of fats. The composition of fats includes 1.1grams of saturated fats, 3.4 grams of polyunsaturated fats as well as 8.8 grams of monounsaturated fats. It is worth noting that almonds are free from cholesterol.

Minerals and Vitamins
– it is also worth noting that almonds are a good source of minerals and vitamin elements. One ounce of almond serving has 200 milligrams of potassium, 76 milligrams of magnesium, 0.9 milligrams of zinc, 0.3 milligrams of copper, 75 milligrams of calcium as well as 11 milligrams of iron.

Almonds also very rich in vitamin B. One ounce serving of almonds has 14 mg of folate, 0.3 mg riboflavin as well as 1.0 mg niacin.

Antioxidants – almonds are also a very good source of antioxidants. These phytochemicals include carotenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids and phytosterols.
All these phytochemicals possess anti-viral, antioxidant, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. According to the Journal of Nutrition in the 2008 edition, these phytochemicals plays an important role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Almonds are also rich in vitamin E which is also a very important antioxidant.
Fiber – for every one ounce serving of almonds, there will be 3.5 grams of dietary fiber. Fiber has a very crucial role to play in the body in aiding bowel function.
They also make you full with fewer calories thereby protecting you from taking excess calories that could result in other complications.

A healthy diet that is rich in fiber will help reduce the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, constipation as well as diverticulitis.
It is recommended that adults take about 30 grams of fiber every day. This is according to Harvard School of Public Health. There are many almonds health benefits that we will consider below.

Health Benefits of Almonds

health benefits of almond milk

Good for the brains – it has been established that almonds have many nutrients which are known to stimulate a healthy development of the brain.

Almonds have always been associated with high intellectual capacity and this explains why most parents will give them to their growing children.

Ideally, almonds contain two very crucial nutrients that are required by the body: L-carnitine and riboflavin.

These two nutrients are known to increase brains activity and at the same time reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Various studies have also revealed that including almonds in your diet regularly will improve the functioning of the nervous system and also promote the overall good health of the body.

Regulating the cholesterol in the body – this is one of the many almond health benefits. It has been observed that eating almonds regularly will help to boost the levels of high intensity lipoproteins and also reduces the levels of Low density lipoproteins.
Maintaining this balance is crucial in ensuring that the body has healthy cholesterol levels.  Also not that keeping the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) as low as possible is very healthy to the body.
Bone health – we have established that almonds have high levels of minerals and vitamins. Phosphorus which is among the minerals present plays an important role in strengthening the teeth and bones. It also helps to prevent aging related conditions such as teeth loss and osteoporosis.
Heart health – there are a number of nutrients in almonds which makes the fruit important in overall heart health.
Proteins, potassium and monounsaturated fats are all crucial for the good health of the heart. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant which helps to prevent heart diseases.
Magnesium helps to prevent heart attacks.Almonds have been found to inhibit the activity of C-reactive proteins which are known to cause the inflammation of the arteries. The fruits also have a high level of folic acid that helps to reduce homocysteine which is known to cause fat plague build up in the arteries.
The wall of the fruit is rich in flavonoids. These flavonoids, when combined with vitamin E, help to strengthen the artery walls thereby preventing their damage. There is also a research that has established that including almonds in your diet could help in improving vascular functioning.
Boosts Immunity – One other major benefit of consuming almonds is their capacity to boost body’s immunity. Almonds have been found to contain a good number of alkali materials which helps to boost the immunity of the body as well as fight many health conditions from the body.
On top of the alkali materials, almonds also have high levels of antioxidants such as vitamin E which helps to fight major diseases including heart disease and cancer. Research has also established that people who have enough levels of Vitamin E in the body are 40% less likely to suffer from heart disease.
Skin care – consuming almonds will result in a healthy skin. That is the reason why you will see almond oil is used for massage. There is also almond milk which may be added to soaps to achieve the same effect.
Anti-inflammation – it is important to note that not all fats are bad for the body.Essential fatty acids play a very crucial role in the body more so in improving the overall wellbeing. Of worth to note is that the body does not have the capacity to manufacture these essential fatty acids and therefore they must be provided in a mean.
It has been established that almonds have two very crucial fatty acids that are linolenic and linoleic acids. These fatty acids play a very crucial role in preventing inflammation of any body parts. It is also known that these fats help to reduce the level of LDL (bad cholesterol). They also help to promote healthy hair and skin.
Regulating blood pressure – the presence of potassium in almonds helps to enhance blood pressure. It is also worth noting that almonds have low levels of sodium that helps to prevent fluctuations in the blood pressure.
The other nutrients and minerals help to prevent any other form of deficiency in the body. Having balanced vitamins and minerals in the body allows you to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. If any of the element is neglected in the diet, the body will be exposed to myriads of other conditions including stress, inevitability and anxiety among many other conditions.

Prevention of cancer
– almonds consumption helps to foster the movement of food materials throughout the colon thereby reducing the incidences of cancer. E.g. colon cancer.
The fiber on almonds is the one at the center of this role. A number of research activities have been conducted in relation to the link between high fiber diet and the reduced risks of conditions such as colon cancer.
Boosts energy – there are a number of elements in almonds that play a crucial role in increasing metabolism rates as well as fostering energy production.
Such elements include copper, manganese and riboflavin. Taking a handful of almonds will make you feel full and energized without having to eat more frequently which could result in excessive calories intake.
Prevents diabetes – it has been proved that consuming almonds help to prevent the reactionary rise in insulin and glucose levels after a meal as would occur normally after taking a meal.
This modulation is essential in protecting diabetic patients from the dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels that usually occurs when they take a high calorie meal. Almonds will also regulate the processing and absorption of glucose thus making the entire process flawless and smooth.
almonds health benefits

Health Benefits of Almond Milk For Weight Loss

Are you looking to shed some weight? Consuming unsweetened almond milk could help you achieve your mission. The monounsaturated contained in almonds helps to suppress appetite thereby preventing overeating.

Also, the presence of dietary fiber in almonds will create the feeling of fullness after eating a small meal thereby preventing you from over intake of calories.

Various studies have established a low calorie diet containing almonds is good for obese people who are desperately trying to shed some weight.

It has also been established that those who consume almonds regularly are able to maintain their ideal weight without having to endure weight fluctuations.

The presence of fiber helps in smoothening the bowel movements which will not only help you lose weight but also will improve your overall body health through efficient removal of toxins.

Prevents constipation – constipation is a common condition which affects many people. Due to the high fiber content in almonds, those who consume almonds regularly are less likely to encounter constipation.

However, consuming almonds will require you to take plenty of water to speed up digestion.

Prevents Alzheimer’s disease – consuming almonds has been found to have been found to have a positive impact in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. The fruit is known to stimulate new passage ways for neurals and this may help to prevent neural degeneration that could develop.

Possible Side Effects of Consuming Almonds

Although almonds are famous for all the good reasons, there are some risks that may arise as a result of over consumption of the fruits.

These risks includes;

Weight gain – eating too much of almonds may result in weight gain.

Medical interactions – it must be noted that almonds are high in manganese levels. Too much manganese in the blood may cause interactions with certain medications especially antipsychotic drugs, laxatives, certain antibiotics, blood pressure medications as well as antiacids.

An overdose of vitamin E
– although vitamin E is a very important antioxidant in the body, too much of it can trigger lethargy, headaches, flatulence, diarrhea and blurred vision.

Gastrointestinal problems – one ounce of almond serving has all the fiber required by the body to prevent constipation.

However, taking too much of almonds could actually result in constipation and other abdominal problems. If you realize that you have taken a little bit more of almonds, you should take plenty of water to counter the possible side effects.


Researches and references

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