Top 10 Health Benefits of Almonds
Since ancient times almonds have been prized as one of mankind’s beloved nuts. Their historic evidence can be traced by the fact that they were even used as dietary contemporaries by the ancient Indian and Egyptian populations. They contain a unique plethora of various kinds of vitamins and minerals. They are a rich source of monosaturated fats and dietary fiber which can play an important role in maintaining the body-weight. Health benefits of almonds include maintaining cholesterol level, preventing diabetes, aiding digestion and also prevention of cancer. The fats present in almonds are quite useful in maintaining our body-weight which may surprise us. They also act as an energy booster and help in increasing the metabolic rate. Almonds are particularly good for the hair and also help in regrowth of hair. They contain vitamins like riboflavin and trace minerals like magnesium which is highly appreciated in the medical world. Some of the health benefits of almonds are as follows:
Almonds – A Powerhouse of Nutrients
Almonds are considered as wonder nuts as they contain monosaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins like riboflavin and trace minerals like magnesium. Although almonds are rich in calories (247 kcal) and considered energy dense, the whole range of essential nutrients and chemical compounds present in them make them a valuable addition to one’s dietary regime. Health benefits of almonds are heavily appreciated in the medical world. Almonds also contain phytic acid which binds the minerals and prevents their absorption so that we can reap the benefits from them. Almonds Nutrition Facts – One-fourth cup of almonds nutrition provides about:
Protein – 5gm
Sugar – 5gm
Vitamin E -16mg (61% DV)
Riboflavin – 0.4mg (44%DV)
Calcium – 96mg (9.5%DV)
Almonds Maintains Cholesterol Level
There are two types of cholesterol in our body- LDL or “Bad cholesterol” and HDL or “Good Cholesterol.” LDL is very harmful to our health as it can reduce the rate of blood flow and even cause heart-attack. The health benefits of almonds include reduction of LDL cholesterol level as it is a very rich source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The addition of almonds to our daily diet can also help raise our “Good Cholesterol” levels or HDL. A research conducted by David Jenkins MD had shown that a group of people who had a handful of almonds daily over a period of time were able to reduce their cholesterol levels by 4.4% and another group who had two handfuls of almonds over that same time-frame was seen to reduce their cholesterol by 9.4%. By his research, he had scientifically proven that almonds can go a long way in maintaining our cholesterol level.
In the 21st-century diabetes is firming its grip in almost every household. In every household, someone falls prey to this menace. Diabetes if not controlled can have very complicated side-effects as they can harm every major organ in the body. Almonds taken daily can not only reduce diabetes but can also protect us from its complications. The healthy content of almonds which include fats, vitamins, fiber and several other unique nutrients can help control and regulate the absorption of glucose in our body. People prone to diabetes are often detected with a sudden spike in blood-sugar levels after a heavy meal, such abnormalities can be avoided by daily intake of almonds. The benefits of almonds include prevention of Type-2 diabetes in men and post-menopausal women. Intake of an ounce of almonds before a heavy meal can prove to be very beneficial in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. Moreover, Glucose has a very low glycemic index (GI).
Prevention of Cancer
Almonds being rich in fiber ensure the passage of food through the digestive tract and colon easily which helps detoxify the body. This itself reduces the risk of colon cancer substantially. They also contain gamma-tocopherol which is a type of Vitamin E and is anti-oxidant in nature. Being powerful anti-oxidants, they can prevent the oxidative damage from free radicals which is one of the primary reasons for cancer development. Studies have also show that intake of almonds on a regular basis is super-effective in preventing breast cancer.
Good For The Hair
Almonds have been found to be a natural product which can prevent hair loss. Intake of 4-8 almond nuts is considered very beneficial to stimulate new hair growth. Almond is rich in Vitamins D and E and minerals like magnesium and calcium which can counteract the various causes of hair fall. Moreover being a natural moisturizer it makes the hair smooth and helps in the treatment of brittle hair. Applying almond oil on the scalp after heating can produce magical results within a week of application. Almond also gives great results in getting rid of excess dandruff. A hair pack made out of the combination of almond powder, fenugreek seed powder, yogurt and egg-white is an exceptional solution for individuals suffering from excess dandruff. Along with dandruff, all the other impurities are also be eliminated from the scalp with the application of the above-mentioned solution.
Good For The Skin
Health benefits of almonds are not only numerous but also unique in nature. They are found to be very beneficial for the skin. As already mentioned they are particularly rich in vitamin E and are natural antioxidants. Free-radicals bring out aging in an individual due to their oxidative effect where skin degradation is obtained as a byproduct. Almonds help prevention from this kind of damages. The healthy fats obtained from almonds help in improved blood circulation which helps in keeping the skin hydrated and better equipped in order to heal wounds faster. Studies have revealed that the nutritional content of almonds has high concentrations of compounds like catechin, epicatechin and flavonol antioxidants, including quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin that can fight the main reasons of skin cancer like poor diet, radiation, and UV-light exposure. Almond oil also helps in the removal of dark circles from our eye-pits. They also find their use in treating acne and removal of dark-heads and white-heads from our skin.
Almonds Aids in Digestion
The presence of probiotic components in almonds help in digestion, detoxification and healthy bacterial growth within the gut flora which is the key factor in utilizing nutrients from the food and avoiding nutritional deficiencies. Studies have suggested that almonds and almond skin is particularly helpful in promoting intestinal bacterial movement which promotes numerous benefits related to the health. A research conducted by the Institute of Food science and technology in China had shown that women who had a daily dose of 56gms of almonds over an eight-week period were seen to significantly increase the number of healthy bacteria Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus which can play an efficient role in easing the process of digestion.
Helps in Maintaining Weight
The benefits of almonds also include maintaining a weight of the body. Though almond nuts are rich in calories they also contain a substantial amount of fiber which gives us a feeling of fullness and prolong the time-period during which we feel no requirement of snacking. They also help in maintaining proper body-weights and helps in preventing obesity. It has also been scientifically proven that individuals taking almonds are less prone to overconsumption of carbohydrates which indirectly result in body-weight control. They also help in maintaining the healthy metabolism of the body. In the International Journal of obesity, an article was published in 2003 where it was mentioned that women who had taken almonds over a six-month period experienced reductions in body-weight, waist circumference, fat mass and systolic blood pressure.
Almonds Maintain Dental and Bone Health
Trace minerals like calcium and phosphorous which are quite crucial in maintaining healthy bones and teeth are present in almonds in optimum amounts. Almonds have the ability to fight tooth decay and cavities. Consumption of almonds can help prevent the chances of osteoporosis. Being rich in calcium they help suffice for the loss of calcium from one’s bones during old age. Overall the benefits of almonds for bone and tooth health can be considered quite vital.
Almonds are considered to be a great source of energy. The presence of manganese, copper, and riboflavin goes to a large extent in improving energy production and metabolic rate. It would not be a bad idea to start your day with ten pieces of soaked almonds as they contain a variety of anti-oxidants, fats, and fats which help in maintaining cholesterol levels.