Do you remember how our mothers always reminded us “to have almonds before exams”? There was a good reason behind it. These wonderful health nuts contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity. And that’s just one of their benefits! Prized since generations, these wonders can transform your life.
Time tested super food:
Much before new- age super foods became a flavour of our plate, almonds were always hailed for having incredible nutrients and potency. Bundled with impressive benefits, these nuts are tasty, make for healthy bites and are a favoured go-to mid-day snack.
Palate Changer…lets’ put what is great on your plate:
Before you second guess almonds, let us show you what makes this popular super nut tick and trump the health card.
1) Fistful of nuts and hunger goes down:
Feeling hungry at 4 pm, right in the middle of a hectic work schedule? Stop before you grab any junk food. Take a fistful of these wonder nuts and keep munching on it.
Rich in nutrient and protein, almonds keep your appetite at bay, while maintaining your heart health (a nibble even your nutritionist and doctor will be pleased about).
2) Counter attack a heart attack:
Almonds are heart-friendly as they reduce the risk of a heart attack. According to a study, those who consume these wonder nuts five times a week, cut down their risk of a heart attack by 50%.
One of the causes of a heart attack is the accumulation of plaque in our coronary arteries. The plaque is due to LDL (bad cholesterol). Adding almonds to your diet lowers LDL and body fat as they have a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels. That is why consuming these nuts protect our artery walls from damage as well. As per the research at Tufts University The flavonoids in almonds skins work in tandem with the vitamin E, thus further reducing the risk of heart disease. It is no wonder that these wonder nuts protect us against UV light damage too.
These super nuts are high in zinc, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin E and folic acid. They are low in saturated fat and contain phytochemicals that protect your heart from cancers and heart diseases.
3) Stronger bones:
Even if your bones are out of sight, keep them in mind for a healthy living.
As we age, we are assaulted by bone weakening ailments like osteoporosis, etc. Being a storehouse of minerals, almonds are a fantastic source of the bone- strengthening minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium.
Among them, manganese helps in the formation of strong bones, regulates blood sugar, and blood pressure. These nuts boast of an incredible amount of biotin, and copper, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and phosphorus all of which is beneficial to us. So, protect your bones from getting brittle and make teeth strong for that bite!
4) Helps in weight loss:
Want to lose weight? Can’t stick to your regular diet, exercise routine? Here is some happy news…go nuts about these wonder nuts as they provide healthy fats and help in weight loss.
An article on Almonds by WHFoods pointed out that those who consumed these super nuts, at least two times per week, were less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom ate them.
Almonds are a rich source of essential fatty acids like the omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3 and contain unsaturated fats. They are needed by our body, unlike saturated fats found in junk and processed foods that lead to various cardiovascular diseases.
Note: Avoid the salted variety as they increase sodium levels.
5) Control blood sugar levels:
Are you diabetic? Don’t worry, almonds help to fight diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and insulin after meals. A study indicates that having a high blood sugar for a long time could cause loss of magnesium in the urine. This puts diabetics at risk for magnesium deficiency. Rich in magnesium, ingesting these health nuts could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
6) Helps in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease:
The nutrients may also help in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A good choice to munch on as almonds contain higher of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, the form of vitamin E that the body absorbs and utilises than any other food.
Almonds nourish the nervous system. According to Ayurveda, almonds help increase high intellectual level and longevity. A real ‘Sanjeevani’ in that sense…
8) Balances your pH:
They alkalize the body thereby regulating your pH balance. When your body’s pH balance tends more towards acidic, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.
9) Mamma Mia: healthy pregnancy:
And what’s more, they help in healthy weight gain during pregnancy. Almonds contain some essential nutrients necessary for the healthy development of your baby. These nuts contain essential healthy fat, nutrients, vitamin and calories that help pregnant women growing needs each trimester. So moms…here is to healthy kicks!
Note: Check for allergies
10) Flat stomach:
How many of us suck in our stomach in front of a mirror? Almond has a high protein content that helps in the developing of lean muscle mass by reducing the fat stored in the abdominal area. Leave your stomach alone, reach out for almonds.
11) Super mid-day snack:
Natural almonds make for tasty and nourishing bites, power- packed with minerals, energy etc. and are considered among the healthiest of tree nuts.
Different ways to enjoy these wonder nuts:
• Missed breakfast? Munch on 4-5 almonds to perk up your energy in a healthy way. If you want your them softer, soak them in water overnight and next morning go for it…Eat your almonds with the skin.
• Carry some in your purse. Whenever you feel the hunger pangs, you can loosen your purse strings.
• Crush them coarsely and mix it in your milk. Make that a double dose of health.
• Simply sprinkle some on your salad or curd whenever you are having your meals. Enjoy the extra crunch.
Trivia on almonds:
• Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums, and peaches.
• California produces more than 70% of world’s supply of almonds.
• They are the most nutrient- dense tree nut.
• From ancient Egypt to modern times, this nut has always been a popular ingredient in lotions and potions.
• Almonds find a mention in the Bible.
Begin munching on these delights and live healthily!