Almonds which are popularly known as ‘Badam’ in Hindi are teardrop shaped edible seeds that are commonly referred to as nuts. They are actually the fruit of the almond tree. Almond trees are believed to have been one of the earliest trees to have been domesticated. Evidence of domesticated almond trees dating to 3000-2000 BC have been unearthed in Jordan.
Due to its nutritional value and health benefits, almonds receive the due praise worldwide and should be included in your diet. According to ancient Ayurvedic practitioners almonds have the capacity to boost brain memory and intellectual ability. They are mostly found in India, the Middle East and North America.
The taste of almonds varies, from bitter to sweet and both can be found in the market easily. The scientific name of these dry fruits is Prunus dulcis. Almonds may be eaten on their own, raw, or toasted; they are available sliced, flaked, slivered, as flour, oil, butter, or almond milk.
The benefits of almonds have been known since centuries and modern researches have further backed up such claims. Here are some of the health benefits of almonds.
#1. Almonds Lower Cholesterol
Having high levels of LDL lipoproteins (the "bad" cholesterol) in the blood is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. Research has shown that consuming almonds increases Levels of Vitamins E levels in the plasma and red blood cells, and also lowers cholesterol levels. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that defends your cells against damage on a daily basis and prevents artery-clogging oxidation of cholesterol.
Eating a handful of almonds a day is a great way to get the vitamin E your body needs to stay healthy. Eating a handful of almonds every day lowered their bad cholesterol level by 4.4%, and those who ate two handfuls every day reduced their bad cholesterol by 9.4%.
Next Up: Improves Brain Efficiency
#2. Improves Brain Efficiency
Almonds are a good source of nutrients that are important for brain health, including vitamin E, folate and unsaturated fatty acids, as well as l-carnitine which is known for its neuroprotective benefits. Almonds also contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that help in the growth of the brain cells.
They have been long considered as an essential food item for growing children. Studies have shown that almonds in the diet, as well as almond oil, is nutritive to the overall health and functioning of the nervous system. Having five almonds in the morning everyday leads to maximum brain strength according to popular Ayurveda.
Next Up: Prevents Heart Diseases
#3. Prevents Heart Diseases
The mono-unsaturated fats, protein, and potassium contained in almonds are instrumental in heart health. Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant and also reduces the risk of heart diseases, while the presence of magnesium in almonds can help avoid heart attacks. They help reduce the presence and impact of C-reactive proteins (CRP) which causes artery-damaging inflammation.
They are also a great source of folic acid. Therefore, they help to reduce the level of homocysteine, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries. Furthermore, the flavonoids in the skin of almonds combine with vitamin E to form a powerful shield against artery wall damage. Research suggests that a short-term almond-enriched diet may improve vascular function in asymptomatic healthy men aged between 20 and 70 years without any effect on markers of oxidative stress. It help prevent damage from taking place within artery walls and shield them against the harmful build-up of plaque.
Next Up: Helps in Weight Maintenance
#4 Helps in Weight Maintenance
Almonds contain a lot of mono-unsaturated fats, which is what satiates your hunger pangs, helping you not to over eat no matter what. The dietary fiber in almonds also makes you feel fuller for long periods of time, despite consuming only a small quantity. Research suggests that a diet that is low calorie and also rich in almonds is excellent for obese people since it helps them shed excess weight faster.
The magnesium in almonds helps regulate blood sugar, which is key in reducing food cravings. Almonds may even be able to block the body’s absorption of calories, making them the ultimate weight-loss-friendly snack.
Next Up: Strengthens The Immune System
#5 Strengthens The Immune System
Almonds are an excellent source of alkali materials, which are known to boost the strength of the immune system, and also enhance the ability to keep various health issues and diseases at bay. Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant that helps eliminate free radicals in the body, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
The key component is manganese. In conjunction with vitamin E, manganese supports a strong and efficient immune system. A component of super oxide dismutase enzyme, manganese is a naturally occurring mineral and powerful antioxidant that seeks out free radicals to neutralize their abuse on healthy cells.
Manganese regulates the body’s metabolism and helps balance cholesterol, amino acids and carbohydrates. It also helps the body fully absorb essential vitamins like B and E which support healthy enzymes in bones and muscle tissue. Research has discovered the skin of almonds as particularly potent in boosting the body’s immunity to common viruses like the cold or flu.