Almonds are considered as king in nut family for their nutrition and health benefits. The use of almonds as food ingredient has its mention even in biblical texts. Believed to be native of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and Israel, almond tree is now cultivated in many parts of the world.
Almond nut that we eat is actually a seed of the fruit of almond tree. The health benefits of almonds are attributed to its rich content of essential nutrients. It is one of the natural sources of vitamin E. Besides it is densely packed with iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus. Eating few almonds daily can suffice the daily requirement of minerals such as selenium, zinc and copper.
There are two varieties of almonds, sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds can be eaten raw or added to many culinary dishes and milkshakes, pastries and ice-cream.
Health Benefits Of Eating Almonds Everyday
Here are some of the important health benefits of almonds:
- Almonds as brain tonic: This miracle nut contains L-carnitine, a chemical which accelerates the release of acetylcholine, which essentially plays an important role to boost memory. Eating 2 to 3 almond nuts regularly helps to keep your memory sharp. Phenylalanine, a chemical present in almond is supposed to elevate mood elevating hormones adrenaline, dopamine and noradrenalin. People suffering from depression, senile dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease should eat almonds regularly.
- Almonds for cholesterol control: Eating almonds daily help in elevating HDL cholesterol and simultaneously reduces LDL cholesterol.
- Almonds for heart: The presence of Vitamin E (an anti oxidant), Mono unsaturated fats, magnesium and potassium in almonds effectively lowers cholesterol and thus protects from the heart from Coronary artery diseases, and heart attacks.
- Almond for Skin: Almond oil massage is the surest way to keep your skin smooth and silky. Baby oils mostly contain Almond oil. The milk extracted from almond is used in soaps and cosmetic products for enhancing the complexion of the skin. Sweet almond oil acts as an emollient and all purpose oil which gets absorbed quickly. It is excellent for dry skin. It can be applied on dry eczema and psoriasis for relieving itching.
- Almonds for prevention of colon cancer: presence of antioxidants help in controlling fast multiplication of cancer cells. Its effective value in relieving constipation helps to prevent colon cancer.
- Almonds for blood pressure control: Potassium present in almonds aids in keeping the arteries free from atherosclerosis which is one of the main reason for Hypertension. Besides, almond contains very less amount of sodium. Excess of sodium is unhealthy for people having high blood pressure.
- Almonds for pregnancy: Almonds are packed with folic acid. Adequate folic acid is essential during pregnancy for preventing birth defects in the growing fetus. Eat 10 to 12 almonds daily during pregnancy.
- Almonds as energizer: eating almonds help to keep you energized all throughout the day. This quality is attributed to riboflavin, manganese and copper present in almonds.
- Almonds for weight loss: the unsaturated fats present in almonds help helps to keep you satiated. Thus it prevents overeating and weight gain. Diet with low calorie and enriched with almonds helps the obese patient to lose weight.
Soaked And Roasted Almonds Benefits
Soaked almond benefits: Many experts believe, almonds should be soaked overnight before it is consumed in the morning. Soaking removes the outer brown skin. It is believed the skin of almond prevents easy digestion of almonds in the stomach. It inhibits the enzymatic action and thus the nutrients present in almonds are not sufficiently absorbed. Besides after soaking the nut in water or milk, it becomes soft and easy to eat. Even the child will find easy to chew soaked almonds. Soaking also decreases phytic acid present in almonds which prevents easy absorption of iron, magnesium and Zinc.
Benefits Of Roasted Almonds
It helps to enhance the taste of almonds. One cup, about 140gms of roasted almonds gives about 850 calories. With roasting, the amount of vitamin B decreases while the rest of the nutritive value remains the same. Commercially available roasted almonds are costlier than raw almonds. Eating roasted almonds helps to control abrupt elevation of sugar level. Hence it is beneficial for diabetes patients for a better glycemic control.