Of all the nuts to consume for optimal health, you’ll definitely get the most health benefits from almonds. Who doesn’t like the idea of snacking on a handful of nuts that help get in a great variety of vitamins and minerals?
Almonds, along with almond milk and butter, are incredibly popular these days and for a reason. Organic, raw almonds are fortified with a great number of nutrients that are vitally important for your health. Read on to find out some of the best health benefits of almonds and a few tips on how to eat them.
1.Enhance your brain power
One of the most popular reasons to munch on almonds each day is to boost your brain function and increase your energy level. Almonds are an excellent source of two key nutrients that prevent cognitive decline and positively affect neurological activity. L-carnitine and riboflavin found in almonds help to improve your cognitive function as well as fight inflammation that can trigger serious brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Moreover, almonds are rich in lean protein that keeps the brain cells healthy, improves memory, and gives your body extra energy.
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2.Keep your heart healthy
Almonds have been recognized by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food that can help you reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Almonds are over-brimming with monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants that boost your immune system, maintain heart health, and ward off cardiovascular diseases.
Additionally, almonds are chock-full of potassium, calcium, manganese, copper, magnesium, and arginine. These are all key nutrients that support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that regular almond consumption promotes the “bad” LDL cholesterol-decreasing effect, especially in people with diabetes and instable cholesterol.
3.Maintain your healthy skin
Almonds are a wonderful source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that plays a critical role in how healthy your skin is. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals, combats inflammation, and delays the aging process.
Almonds are also rich in catechin, epicatechin, flavonol, quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin, which are all potent antioxidants that have scientifically been proven to reduce the skin cancer risk. Eating 5 to 7 almonds daily will also help you prevent oxidative stress caused by air pollution, UV light exposure, alcohol, and poor diet.
4.Reduce the common diabetes risks
Almonds aren’t capable of healing diabetes, but thanks to their astonishing nutrient content, they can prevent the most common diabetes risks. They aid in preventing insulin resistance and managing blood sugar. The monounsaturated fatty acids found in almonds helps to slow the rate at which glucose is released into the blood stream. This, in turn, eliminates inflammation, oxidative stress, and diabetes.
A number of studies have found that people with type 2 diabetes can reap some great benefits from almonds, too. Magnesium in the kernel helps to control insulin sensitivity and prevent blood sugar spikes.
5.Maintain your strong teeth and bones
You need to consume phosphorus and magnesium to build strong bones and healthy teeth. Almonds are chock full of these two trace minerals thus eating them on a regular basis can help you avoid cavities and tooth decay, as well as prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. Aim to eat raw almonds in moderation and avoid salty and flavored versions that contain a lot of sodium, sugar, and additives that on the contrary ruin your tooth and bone health.
6.Improve your digestive health
If you have any digestive woes, consider incorporating whole almonds into your daily diet. Apart from alkaline-forming molecules and monounsaturated fatty acids, almonds are plentiful in prebiotic components, which are particularly high in the skin of these nut-like seeds. These components aid in the whole body detoxification, improving digestion, and enhancing healthy bacterial growth in your gut flora. Almond skins are also fortified with fiber that helps to speed up your metabolism, relieve common digestive issues, and lose weight.
7.Drop weight and keep it off
Whether you’re trying to drop unwanted pounds or just stay fit, almonds will do the trick. Having the rich contents of dietary fiber and healthy fats, almonds prevent overeating, help you feel full faster, and help you feel satisfied longer after each meal.
A cup of whole almonds contains 17 grams of dietary fiber and 30 grams of protein – the two key nutrients that ward off cravings. Additionally, a cup of almonds provides your body with 95% of recommended daily intake of magnesium – the nutrient that helps to handle intense hunger cravings associated with mood swings. Of course, you don’t have to eat a cup per day, but even 10 almonds per day can boost your weight loss results.
8.Reduce or relieve whole body inflammation
Almonds are overflowing with linoleic and linolenic acids, the two powerful anti-inflammatory fatty acids that aid in the whole body inflammation treatment and prevention. These two acids are also known to fight an abundance of illnesses and diseases, including high blood pressure, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
9.Lower your cancer risk
Almonds belong to the category of foods that possess some potent and partially proven anti-cancer properties. That’s mostly due to their high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating almonds regularly helps to decrease free radical damage, boost your immune system, and lower the oxidative stress. When combined with other superfoods like chia seeds and quinoa, almonds can really add years to your life.
Are Soaked Almonds Healthier Than Raw Ones?
Both soaked and raw almonds provide your body with essential nutrients, but soaked ones release more nutrients. While the skin of almonds is healthy it also contains tannin that restrains nutrient absorption. Soak almonds overnight for a better nutrient absorption and thus getting more nutrients needed for your body.
Should You Eat a Serving of Almonds Each Day?
The recommended serving is 20 to 23 almonds per day, but it doesn’t mean you should make yourself eat the whole serving. Almonds are high in calories – 1 serving contains up to 160 calories – so if you’re on a weight loss diet, cut the serving in half. If you simply want to improve your health, consuming at least 5 almonds per day will contribute to your well-being.
Watch: How to make almond milk
Is There a Wrong Way to Eat Almonds?
Unfortunately, yes. Despite having a bunch of fabulous health benefits, almonds can harm your digestive system if eaten in a wrong way. First of all, they must be consumed in moderation – too much of a good thing is always harmful. Secondly, avoid eating roasted, flavored, and colored almonds.
Almond milk is an excellent way to reap all the health benefits of these nut-like seeds. You can also make homemade almond butter. Or soak half a serving overnight and add to your morning meal or midday yogurt parfait.
If you bake a lot, try using almond flour instead of regular one. Or chop some almond and add them to your veggie sauté, fruit or vegetable salad, omelet, pizza, or granola bars. The sky is the limit here.
The Final Word
Almonds are small nutritional powerhouses that are able to change the way you look and feel in a jiffy. The key is to learn to consume them correctly and of course opt for organic and raw varieties, which contain the most nutrients and antioxidants.