9 Health Benefits of Almonds
Do you know how beneficial almonds are for your health?
Almonds are my favorite nut. Most mornings I add a handful to my breakfast, since they are tasty and nutritious.
9 Health Benefits of Almonds:
1. They reduce heart attack risk.
Those who consume nuts five times a week have about a 50 percent reduction in risk of heart attack according to the Loma Linda School of Public Health.
2. They lower “bad” cholesterol.
Almonds added to the diet have a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels, according to a clinical study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center, Inc.
3. They protects artery walls from damage.
It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, thus reducing the risk of heart disease (Research at Tufts University).
4. Almonds help build strong bones and teeth.
The phosphorus in almonds helps make this possible.
5. They provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss:
- Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts. (Data from the Nurses’ Health Study)
- Those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom ate them in a study involving 8,865 adults. (WHFood’s article on almonds)
6. Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.
7. They help provide good brain function.
Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
8. They nourish the nervous system.
According to Ayurveda, almonds help increase high intellectual level and longevity.
9. They alkalize the body.
Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming. When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.
Did you know?
- Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums and peaches.
- 2.51 million tons of almonds were produced in 2010 according to Food and Agriculture Organization.
- United States is the largest producer of almonds. Unfortunately, the U.S. demands that almonds are pasteurized or irradiated. Read more at: The Killing of California Almonds
- From ancient Egypt to modern times, almonds have always been a popular ingredient in lotions and potions.
- Almonds are 13 percent protein.
- One ounce (or about 23 almonds) is an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and protein.
- Almonds are filled with minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron, and also B vitamins.
- A one-ounce serving of almonds contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a serving of broccoli.
- Almonds are one of the best whole food sources of vitamin E, with about one third of the daily value per ounce.
- Heart-healthy with monounsaturated fat, almonds are also cholesterol-free.
- One-quarter cup of almonds contains about 18 grams of fat, of which 11 grams are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
- 20-25 almonds contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk.
Almonds are thought to have originated in western Asia and North Africa. They have been written about in many historical texts, including the Bible.
The almond tree is one of the earliest domesticated tree nuts, because wild almonds produce cyanide; even eating a few dozen at one time can be fatal.
How to Store:
Keep them in an airtight container so the oil does not go rancid. Almonds keep best in a dark, cool environment such as your refrigerator, where they can stay good for up to two years, according to the Almond Board of California.
If you want them to last up to four years, freeze them in airtight containers.
Wild almond varieties are toxic, while domesticated almonds are not.
It is estimated that one to two percent of the population is allergic to tree nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts), peanuts or both.
Wait until children are at least one year old before feeding them any kind of nuts.
8 Tips for eating or cooking:
Let’s get these tasty almonds into our diet.
1. How to get the nutrition from almonds: Almonds can be difficult to digest and may stress your pancreas. Like all nuts they contain phytate which makes them difficult to digest. To get maximum nutrition it is best to soak them before they are eaten, or roast them. Almonds are one of only a few nuts that will actually sprout when soaked. When you soak them it neutralizes the phytate, allowing the nutrients from the nut to be released. Watch a video explaining more about sprouting nuts and seeds here: Sprouting Nuts and Seeds video
2. Almond flour is great in gluten-free cooking and baking.
3. Almond Milk with its mild flavor and light color is a very good alternative for those who need to be dairy free, soy free or vegan.
4. Green almonds are dipped in sea salt and eaten as snacks on Iran street markets.
5. Eat almonds with the skin, as it contains more than 20 antioxidant flavanoids.
6. Almond oil is good for cooking at high temperatures; it has a high smoke point.
7. Use almond oil on the skin and in hair: It’s so gentle and moisturizing that it is great for baby massage.
8. Eat your almonds in this delicious Nutritious Nut Loaf.