Almonds are native to Middle East and South Asia. Generally almonds are categorized as nuts, but an almond is not a nut. It is a drupe. An almond’s seed is covered by a hard shell. Almonds can be consumed either raw or roasted. They are very tasty. They have been part of various mouth watering dishes all over the world from many centuries. Fortunately they are available throughout the year.
Health benefits of Almonds:
Almonds contain essential nutrients like manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, calcium, tryptophan (essential amino acid), iron, copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorous. They offer immense health benefits. Almonds are rich in monosaturated fat, which are necessary for the human body. They help in lowering dangerous LDL cholesterol. A research study showed that 73 grams of almonds in the daily diet reduced LDL cholesterol by as much as 9.4 per cent. Due to this property they reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Vitamin E in almonds is a fat soluble antioxidant. It is proved to be good for skin and for general immunity. Magnesium in almonds are good for veins and arteries. Calcium and phosphorous in almonds promote healthy teeth and bones. The promote healthy blood circulation. Iron in almonds is an essential mineral which helps carry oxygen to all the cells. Almonds are generally known to improve complexion. They facilitate movement of food through the colon. They prevent various types of cancers.
Almonds are rich in dietary fiber. Fiber prevents heart disease and diabetes and is good for the digestive system. Experts in Ayurveda are of the opinion that almonds are good for brain and nervous system. Almonds also contain flavanoids which are well known for their anti tumor properties. Research has proved that almonds are good for people suffering from diabetes. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders suggest that almonds help in losing weight.
Manganese and copper in almonds keep up the energy levels of the human body. Almonds are known to prevent gallstones. Zinc in almonds aids in healthy development of reproductory system. Almonds are rich in proteins. Almonds are rich in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals promote a healthy immune system and positively affect hormones. They also act as antibacterial and antiviral agents. They prevent heart disease and cancer. Almonds contain folic acid, which are necessary, especially for pregnant women. Folic acid reduces birth defects.
With so many health benefits, almonds should definitely be a part of daily diet.