Almonds, once produced chiefly in the Middle East, are now produced in huge quantities in the US. Almonds are the seeds of the almond tree, and it’s scientific name is prunus dulcis. These seeds are powerhouses of nutrition, and eating a handful of them can provide you with your recommended daily nutritional intake for various minerals, vitamins, antioxidants etc., and help you stay healthy and keep illnesses at bay. Let’s see what these nutrients are and how they help your body.
- Antioxidants: Almonds are loaded with antioxidants which help in preventing cell damage from oxidation, thus delaying the onset of aging, and also help minimize or prevent inflammation, and may also help to fight cancer. Antioxidants protect LDL (the bad cholesterol) from oxidation, and can help reduce the possibility of heart disease.
- Vitamin E: An ounce of almonds, or roughly 43 grams, can provide you with 37% of the Vitamin E you need every day. This helps to maintain healthy skin, making it supple and glowing, and looking young. Several studies have also suggested that a higher intake of Vitamin E may help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.
- Magnesium: As this helps to regulate several body functions, it has many benefits, namely:
- Diabetes Management: A one-ounce serving of almonds contains about 20% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium – a mineral which helps regulate blood sugar levels, among other body functions. Most diabetics are found to be deficient in magnesium, and eating almonds can help. It can also help people with metabolic syndrome to improve their health: Almonds are also high in dietary fiber, proteins and healthy fats; this too helps in maintaining blood glucose.
- Lowers blood pressure: Magnesium deficiency can lead to elevated blood pressure regardless of your weight. Hypertension can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and cause your kidneys to fail as well.
- Healthy fats: Almonds are rich in HDL – the good cholesterol; having a high intake of HDL-rich foods like almonds may help to lower the levels of harmful cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. High cholesterol levels are linked to heart disease and heart attacks, and fatty liver.
- High Protein: Almonds, being protein -rich, help the body in muscle building and tissue repair, and can help bring down elevated blood glucose levels. They are also rich in fiber; this aids digestion and increases metabolism, and helps you to feel ‘full’ for longer. This means you won’t feel like snacking, and gorge on calories. Fiber helps to solve fats and remove them from the body – so eating almonds may help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
- Manganese: This mineral helps promote bone health, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, regulate blood sugar, and help reduce the incidence of epileptic seizures. 30 grams of almonds contain about 32% of the RDI for manganese.
Almonds are a healthy snack, and a delicious food to lose weight, keep off the pounds, and stay healthy. Keep a bag of almonds healthy with you – you can have them anywhere, anytime.