In Italy wedding hosts often gave sugar-coated almonds wrapped in shear fabric to their guests symbolising good health, fertility, romance, fortune and happiness.
Throughout history, almonds have maintained religious, ethnic and social significance. Almonds are appreciated as a staple in the Indian culture not only for their crunch, but also for their nutritional qualities and their health sustaining properties.
A seed from the stone fruit family, almonds are a rich source of nutrients, most notably Vitamin E and protein. A research conducted over the past decade has shown strong links of almond consumption with lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of lifestyle diseases, and overall wellness. Research into nuts has been so extensive that a qualified health claims for certain nuts such as almonds; ability to reduce the risk of heart disease has been approved by the Food and Drug administration in the US.
– Almonds help in fighting diabetes and heart Diseases: The presence of powerful nutrients like proteins, dietary fibre, mono unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and Vitamin E make almond a rich diet source for combating degenerative diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases.
– Almonds are the best source of alpha-tocopherol form of Vitamin-E: Almonds are among the best whole food sources and the bet nut source of alphatocepherol form of Vitamin E. The U.S. National Academy of Science (NAS) recommends consuming 15 milligrams of alpha tocopherol Vitamin E per day. Alpha-tocopherol is one of the form of Vitamin E that is most effeciciently used by the human body.
– Almonds are a great cholestrol lowering food: Nearly 70 percent of the fat in almonds is mono saturated, a suggested substitute to saturated fats, to reduce the cholesterol levels. Research also shows that almond and almond oil have similar cholesterol-lowering effects. Infact eating almonds consistently lowers total and LDL cholesterol respectively by four and five percent. This cholesterol lowering effect is similar to heart healthy foods such as oats and soy.
– Almonds can be consumed in various ways. Their delicious tasty flavour relieves the monotony of the regular diets for diabetic and heart patients. Whereas there are still some myths associated with almonds that part us with the wide range of health benefits that this tiny fruit offers. Some of the common myths and their explanations listed below will help you do away with them.
– Almonds should be soaked and peeled before eating: There is no scientific basis linking the practice of soaking almonds. The almond skin contains fibre, which is good for digestion. This is a misconception that you need to peel almonds before consuming but the fact is that the skin of the almonds contributes to a significant part of the fibre content, a nutrient important for regular bowel movement. The kin also contains anti-oxidants.
– Consumption of almonds results in weight gain: Latest research has shown that a moderate-fat almind-containing diet results in greater satiety and sustained weight loss as compared to a low fat diet containing the same amount of daily calories.
– Almonds can be consumed only in winters: Almonds can be consumed throughout the year. Infact, a nutritious diet consisting of almonds has been shown to be beneficial in combating lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. The common belief that almonds cause body heat has not been verified scientifically. But in peak summers, you can also consume almonds in the form of “Badam Sharbat” or “Thandai”.
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