Top 10 Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds are one of the healthiest foods you will ever find. Although they are very popularly called as nuts, it might surprise you to know that almonds are actually seeds of the plant. Almonds are a complete food packed with all the possible nutrients a body needs for a healthy existence. It is beneficial no matter to person of every age. When consumed regularly at a young age, the problems associated with the old age are lesser prominent. Almonds nourish the cardiovascular, digestive, neurological, musculoskeletal and other systems of the body in a well balanced way. Although every constituent present in almonds have some or the other beneficial effect on the human body, the following are the top 10 most widely accepted and proved health benefits of these magic seeds.
10. Blood pressure.
One of the major reasons for high blood pressure or hypertension in today’s world is obesity. Since almonds are rich in HDL they help regulate the normal blood flow. Almonds also contain necessary minerals like potassium, magnesium which are also essential for normal function and rhythmic pumping of the heart. Having a few almonds each day can help people bring the blood pressure under control. This is probably the safest way to fight back hypertension with absolutely no side effects.
Almonds are well established with regards to their Glycemic Index (GI). Glycemic Index is actually a measure of a substrate’s ability to raise the blood sugar level after its consumption. Almond GI is pretty low which makes it a very safe foodstuff for diabetics. It has also been found that almonds actually prevent blood sugar elevation after consumption of meals. So if a meal is supported with almonds, it can very well control the problematic blood sugar levels. It can not only control diabetes but also prevent it.
Immunity is your body’s ability to fight back diseases. Almond is one of those substances that can boost your immunity significantly. Almond contains around 20+ Flavonoids which is a known anti oxidant. Anti oxidants prevent the free radicals which are very commonly produced in the body from damaging the organs. Flavonoids also have anti inflammatory, antibiotic and several other properties as well. In addition the Flavonoids also enhance the action of Vitamin C which is of immense importance in maintaining the integrity of blood vessels. The effects of Vitamin C are enhanced in presence of Flavonoids. Almonds also contain B2 vitamins, minerals like Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium etc which help in maintaining the strength of bones. Thus having a few almonds each day can assure an overall good health.
7. Power source.
Almonds are a rich source of energy. Almonds supply about 17% of the daily requirement of Vitamin B2 which is responsible of producing energy from the consumed food. In addition to this, almonds contain 26% of carbohydrates and it goes without saying that carbs are body’s first source of energy. Next on the list are proteins which are as abundant as 20% in raw almonds. Almonds also control the fat levels of the body and ensure efficient blood circulation. Thus athletes are always advised to consume almonds. If you are running out of energy just munch in an almond containing product to refill your body.
6. Improve Hb count
Hb i.e. hemoglobin is an iron containing protein found on the red blood cells of all vertebrates including humans. The main function of Hb is to carry oxygen which is transported via blood to all the cells in the body. In anemia, the red blood cell count falls considerably which simultaneously cause a fall in the Hb count. The individual thus fails to fulfill the O2 requirements of his body. Almonds contain a good amount of iron, magnesium and several other vitamins which together help in increasing the production of RBC’s and Hb in the body. Thus almonds are of great value to anemic.
Almonds contain a fair amount of fiber which is of utmost importance when it comes to your digestive system. Fibers are essential to build the intestinal bulk. The fibers in the diet promote easy evacuation of contents from the bowels. This complete cleansing of the gut is very important. Out of the 26% of carbohydrates found in almonds, 12% constitute of dietary fibers. Thus almond consumption assures healthy gut. This prevents the chances of a colon cancer. The improved blood flow also acts as a detoxifying system further helping in cleaning of the internal systems. It has also been reported that the phytochemical, vitamin E and flavonoids present in almond prevent the chances of suffering from a breast cancer.
4. Hair tonic
We live a pretty fast paced life. It is next to impossible to avoid outside food, pollution, travelling, stress etc. Amidst all this, most of us fail to give ourselves the required time and treatment. Hair fall is a very common problem for us. Not only this, the hair gets dry, looks dull and damaged due to over use of shampoo and styling gels and conditioners. Adding to the severity is the persistent occurrence e of dandruff. There is one simple solution to this- almonds. Consumption of almonds supplies a good amount of Vitamin E which is of great importance when it comes to your hair and skin quality. Massaging your scalp and hair with almond oil provides the necessary moisture to your hair and makes them look shiny. The hair looks more manageable. Premature graying can also be taken care off with almonds. Apply almond oil twice a week on a regular basis.
3. Birth defects.
One of the major requirements for a healthy tissue growth and organ development is folic acid. Expecting women often face a deficiency of this essential nutrient and therefore are always on supplements to fulfill their needs. Folic acid plays a very important role in ensuring a healthy development of fetus. Lack of folic acid at this time can cause various birth defects like neural tube defects. Almonds contain a rich amount of folic acid which is readily available for the body. Thus having almonds during pregnancy can ensure that your unborn child gets the correct nutrition from the every start.
2. Brain booster.
Almonds have the ability to trap carnitine and riboflavin which help in improving your brain functions. Almond also contains phenylalanine which is responsible for efficient cognitive functions. Thus consumption of almonds helps you to improve your abilities like learning, memorizing etc. The brain functioning is hampered as a person ages. Almonds can help in controlling these degenerative changes to a large extent.
1. Cholesterol management
The most dangerous form of cholesterol in the body is the LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) accumulates in the body to cause all the possible disastrous effects related to fat. Therefore these are also called as “bad cholesterol”. Almonds contain a generous amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid which lead to production of HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) which are termed as “good cholesterol” due to their beneficial effects. Thus consumption of almonds on a regular basis is a great remedy for managing your blood cholesterol levels. A research has indicated that people consuming a handful of these seeds daily were successful in bringing their bad cholesterol levels by an astounding 4.8% while with 2 handfuls of almonds people were able to suppress their LDL levels by 8.4%.