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Almond… a seed shaped, brown color, crunchy and tasty dry fruit, is the healthiest known fruit or in fact is a superfood. This is tamed to be healthiest not just like that, but because of the nutritional values it provide. Almonds are packed with high quality protein, vitamin E, magnesium, fibre and many essential amino acids. You can also get copper, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and healthy fats from almonds.
Many debate over almond whether it is a nut or seed, but it hardly matters, all that matters is that it is healthy and also good in taste. Including almonds in your daily diet can make you healthy, healthier and healthiest.
Almonds can be consumed directly, or may be soaked in water overnight and consumed next day by removing its covering or may be mixed with milk to make almond milk shake or can be used as topping in a number of dishes including cakes.
Top 10 benefits of almonds
The health benefits of almonds are extensive. From constipation to cancer and from hair to bone, the list is endless. Here we enlist few of them:
1. Improves Brainpower:
Why I have mentioned this benefit on number one because if you are born and brought up in India then you would have surely heard it since childhood from your parents during exams (son..!! do eat almonds, it will increase your brains capability) and trust me this is not any superstition, this is a scientifically proven fact that almonds actually improve brainpower. Almonds do contain some amino acids like phenylalanine, which increases the production of organic chemicals like adrenaline and dopamine which are used by brain while it is used for learning new things or just learning notes for exam. These chemicals are vital for attention and memory, and improving your problem solving skills. Plus, the vitamin E in almonds helps prevent cognitive decline, boosts alertness and preserves memory functioning.
2. Keeps Heart Healthy:
Almonds contain many nutrients that improve overall health of heart. Like, the magnesium in almonds, improves the blood circulation and movement of oxygen & various nutrients, throughout the body. This in turn can help control blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Also, they have vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps in reducing the artery-damaging inflammation and thus the risk of many heart related problems.
3. Lowers Cholesterol Level:
Eating almonds regularly can help regulate your cholesterol levels. Almonds, as mentioned above are a very good source of polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, which helps in lowering the LDL (bad cholesterol). Not just it helps in lowering LDL, but almonds also help raise good cholesterol (HDL levels). According to a research, having a handful of almonds every day lowers the bad cholesterol levels by 5% approx, and consuming two handfuls every day can reduce the bad cholesterol by up to 10%. Almonds are often mistaken to be a fat filled fruit and are avoided by Blood pressure patients, I would recommend those people to look over this myth and understand the difference between fat and healthy fat and would strongly recommend all such blood pressure patients to have almonds on regular basis.
4. Prevent Diabetes:
Almonds can keep blood sugar levels under control and prevent complications from diabetes. The healthy fats, vitamins, fiber and several minerals in almonds help to regulate absorption and processing of glucose in the body. Thus, keeps a check on the level of blood sugar. In addition to managing the blood sugar the nutritional benefits of almonds also include the ability to lower other common diabetes related problems like: unhealthy body weight, inflammation and high levels of oxidative stress.
5. Weight Loss:
Healthy fats and dietary fibre aid in weight loss because they help you feel full, which curbs overeating and unhealthy snacking, so you’ll have fewer cravings and be less likely to overeat. They are also high on B vitamins and zinc, which help stop sugar cravings. Studies have also shown that almonds support a healthy metabolism. Thus, almonds act is three different ways to give the much desired body shape and weight.
6. Prevents Birth Defects:
Almonds contain folic acid, a confirmed defence against birth defects. Folic acid plays a significant role in healthy cell growth and tissue configuration, and therefore, is very important for the healthy growth of the foetus. Folic acid in almonds helps pregnant women to avoid the risk of Neural tube defects in their babies
7. Dental & Bone Health:
Trace minerals in almonds like, magnesium and phosphorus, are crucial nutrients for building and maintenance of strong teeth and bones in the body. Both Magnesium and Phosphorus present in almonds have the ability to prevent tooth decay, fight cavities, lower the risk for bone fractures and fight osteoporosis. They not only fight all these factors, they also strengthen the bones and teeth, so that such problems do not occur in near future as well.
8. Healthy Skin:
If you want a young and healthy skin, almonds are just the right thing for you. They are also rich in vitamin E, which nourishes the skin and keeps it hydrated. Massaging your skin with almond oil will improve your complexion, reduce the intensity of tanning of your skin and make your skin healthy from within. The non greasy effect of almond oil doesn’t clog the pores of your skin. You can also utilize almond milk to treat sunburns and various other skin problems. Almonds also have anti-aging properties that help in fighting with early signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines and dryness.
9. Healthy Hair:
From strengthening hair to stop hair fall almond does it all. Whether one eats it or applies almond oil both are beneficial. Almonds contain nutrients like polyunsaturated and mono fatty acids as well as vitamin A, D, B1, B2 and B6. These nutrients penetrate into the hair strands and make the hair healthy and lustrous. The combination of fatty acids with fats in almond makes the hairs soft, shiny and strong.
10. Better Sex Life:
Last in the list but not the least; as mentioned above, almonds are good source of a type of amino acid called arginine, which helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood circulation. This blood circulation lets the blood drive to the genitals, hence help provide the required rigidness, strength and endurance and thus eliminates the chances of erectile dysfunction and rejuvenates the organ like never before. Not just it, it has also been found that almonds also improves the vitality of sperm, thus increases the chances of conception. So I would recommend the couple to have a few almonds daily if you are planning to start a family.
Apart from all the above mentioned benefits almond has numerous benefits like it increases immunity so it reduces the chances of getting ill, prevents constipation, increases eyesight, provides required protein so it is also good for building muscles. From head to toe, almond is good for each and every part of our body, so if you want to live a healthy, disease free life, do add almonds into your diet.
Now, before I end this topic a word of caution: Looking at the benefits of it, you must not eat them in excess, specially in summers, since almonds are high in monounsaturated fats.
Eat Natural…!! Stay Healthy…!!