Almonds are fantastic and versatile. They smell good, taste good, and make you feel good. You can incorporate almonds into any meal – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and especially snacks.
So what’s go good about them? Where do almonds even come from, anyways? Let’s find out what almonds can do for you and your loved ones!
What Are Almonds?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Almonds?
- 2 Health Benefits of Almonds
- 3 1. Almonds Can Help You In Your Weight Loss Journey
- 4 2. Your Heart Loves Almonds
- 5 3. Almonds Keep Your Skin, Hair And Teeth Beautiful
- 6 4. Your Brain Also Thrives On Almonds
- 7 5. Almonds Can Help Regulate Your Blood Pressure
- 8 6. Almonds Are A Shield Against Diabetes
- 9 7. Having Trouble “Going?” Almonds Battle Constipation
- 10 8. Almonds Give You Energy
- 11 9. Expecting A Baby Or Planning On One? Consider Almonds
- 12 10. Move Over, Apples – Almonds Keep The Doctor Away
- 13 Final Thought
Technically speaking, almonds aren’t true nuts, but drupes. Drupes are “stone fruit,” or fleshy fruits that surround a hard kernel with a seed inside. Peaches and cherries are also drupes, but we do not eat the “flesh” of the almond like we do peaches and cherries.
The fleshy part of almonds is not soft and edible, but more like a tough hide. Once this is removed, the almond comes out encased in a wood-like shell. This must also be removed to reveal the edible “nut,” which is really a seed. The exception to this are very young, green almonds, which can be extracted without removing the wood-like shell, since it hasn’t hardened yet.
Almonds grow on trees in Mediterranean climates, but mankind has been able to transport and grow almonds in many parts of the world. Almonds come in two types: sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are the popular almond that is normally cultivated to eat, since bitter almonds are rather dangerous products since they produce high levels of cyanide.
Bitter almonds must be carefully processed to remove the poison. Almonds are also available blanched, but this removes some of the health properties. Worries aside, this article focuses mostly on the delectable sweet almond, skin on.
Health Benefits of Almonds
1. Almonds Can Help You In Your Weight Loss Journey
To lose weight, you must use up more calories than you take in, and this is where almonds come in. Almonds aren’t viewed as a ‘low-calorie food,’ but they contain lots of fiber – which make you feel full and less likely to overeat, and they provide protein to keep you going. You may find that a handful of almonds is surprisingly satisfying and will help you through the day and between meals, lowering your overall calorie intake.
Also because of their high fiber content, these tasty drupes regulate your digestive system and make it easier for your body to rid itself of toxins. Toxins impede your weight loss goals! Almonds are proven to help trim up stubborn belly fat, as well. In a 2015 study by Pennsylvania State University having to do with almonds and heart health, researchers confirmed that regular snacks of almonds reduced abdominal adipose fat belly fat and leg fat.
A word of caution: Again, while almonds are very good substitutions for snacks high in carbs, these nuts/drupes are high in calories and can actually trigger weight gain if you eat too many of them or do not adjust your diet accordingly. Remove calories from other areas in your diet to accommodate almonds so that they can serve your purposes of weight loss.
2. Your Heart Loves Almonds
Protein, potassium, and mono-unsaturated fats are also very important to heart health and keep LDL cholesterol and heart attacks at bay. Flavonoids in the almonds and Vitamin E also work together to keep the walls of arteries intact and strong. Another component of almonds is phosphorus, which works with B vitamins to help your heart maintain a regular heartbeat. Almonds combat heart disease and keep cholesterol levels in check!
3. Almonds Keep Your Skin, Hair And Teeth Beautiful
The oils from the mono-unsaturated fats in almonds are a source of Vitamin E, which helps your hair, nails, and skin to refresh and stay healthy. These fat soluble antioxidants battle damage inflicted on your hair and skin by building up cell membranes.
These antioxidants also battle ageing because they reduce oxidative stress. Almonds are a very common ingredient in exfoliating scrubs and lotions for these reasons, but also because the nut has power to improve your complexion. Of course, simply eating them will have a strong effects as well.
The mineral phosphorus in almonds helps to build strong teeth, which is definitely a key to beauty.
4. Your Brain Also Thrives On Almonds
Riboflavin and L-carnitine are nutrients that bolster the brain’s activity and new neural pathways, which promotes durability of intelligence and can also help fend off Alzheimer’s disease. Higher intelligence has been connected with eating almonds as well.
The nervous system also benefits from almonds because of the presence of riboflavin and L-carnitine.
5. Almonds Can Help Regulate Your Blood Pressure
Blood pressure issues are very common, but almonds can help you in the struggle. Almonds are very low in sodium, which is helpful in keeping blood pressure under control. They also contain lots of potassium, which also calms unstable blood pressure and helps to regulate it.
Since almonds are generally a very healthy food that regulates and maintains good health on several levels, they help to reduce stress on your body. Reduced stress also helps to lower blood pressure and keep it steady.
6. Almonds Are A Shield Against Diabetes
People with diabetes may find almonds useful because they inhibit the burst of insulin and blood sugar after a meal. Magnesium (found in almonds) is an important factor here, because it pairs up with over 100 enzymes involved in controlling what happens to glucose and blood sugar levels.
Experimental studies are suggesting that eating almonds because of their magnesium can even help prevent Type II diabetes!
7. Having Trouble “Going?” Almonds Battle Constipation
Like lots of other fiber-rich foods, almonds well help regulate your bowel movements and relieve constipation. And also like other fibrous snacks, you need to accompany them with lots of water to reap the whole benefit.
A mere handful of almonds will help keep your tummy in check, but don’t eat too many, or you’ll end up constipated again. Almonds also help keep diarrhea and bloating away, but again, don’t eat too many or you’ll worsen the problem. Moderation is always key, even with wonderful almonds.
8. Almonds Give You Energy
It’s easy to feel sluggish when you’re busy and trying to maintain good nutrition, and almonds can help you be more alert.
The phosphorus in them helps your body make ATP, a molecule that stores energy. Magnesium found in almonds also helps you defeat fatigue, since it plays an important role in energy production. If you’re feeling sleepy, you may have a magnesium deficiency.
9. Expecting A Baby Or Planning On One? Consider Almonds
Folic acid is an extremely important part of a pregnant woman’s diet. Almonds can help you here. Folic acid found in almonds will help your baby develop tissue and healthy cells, but most importantly it prevents neural tube birth defects. Without enough folic acid in the mother’s diet, the baby will be missing or partially missing parts of the neural tube, which later develops into the spinal cord and brain.
This process is vital, especially in the first two months of pregnancy, often before the mother is even aware that she is pregnant. Therefore it is good to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy, and maintaining your intake of vitamins and minerals is a good start. See a doctor for that!
They will prescribe prenatal vitamins and other goodies that will make your baby a happy one, and folic acid will no doubt be part of the menu. On another note, the zinc in almonds also helps unborn babies to develop the sense of smell and taste.
10. Move Over, Apples – Almonds Keep The Doctor Away
Generally speaking, almonds battle disease on a broad spectrum. These feisty little drupes have the power to help protects you against: cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, respiratory disorders, coughs, heart disorders, anemia, impotency, and psoriasis. This is because Vitamin E in almonds is a big bully to all kinds of diseases, even the scary ones.
Almonds also help alkalize your body because of the zinc the nuts contain. Keeping the PH in your system under control is important in keeping you safe from disease – even the common cold! Keeping your body alkalized fends off issues like osteoporosis, fatigue, and weight gain. The zinc in almonds also helps wounds heal and maintains healthy cell growth and division, which keeps problems like cancer away.
Almonds are a great, natural way to improve your health. The benefits of eating almonds extend to all kinds of people with all kinds of health concerns – it seems that if you have an issue and are searching for a natural solution, almonds can probably aid you.
From prenatal health, beauty concerns, feeling tired, bowel regulation, diabetes issues, blood pressure concerns, weight loss, and brain function improvement, almonds can do it all. This powerful, little “nut” can be a powerful contribution to your nutrition.
What’s your favorite way to eat almonds, and what positive changes have you noticed since eating them? Share with us in the comments below!