Health Benefits Of Almonds And Nutritional Components Of Almonds

Health Benefits Of Almonds And Nutritional Components Of Almonds


Almonds


The almond that we think of as a nut is technically the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, a glorious medium-size tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers. Like its cousins, the peach, cherry and apricot trees, the almond tree bears fruits with stone-like seeds (or pits) within. The seed of the almond fruit is what we refer to as the almond nut.

Almonds are off-white in color, covered by a thin brownish skin, and encased in a hard shell. Almonds are classified into two categories: sweet (Prunus amygdalu var. dulcis) and bitter (Prunus amygdalu var. amara).

Health Benefits Of Almonds And Nutritional Components Of Almonds
Almonds


Sweet almonds are the type that is eaten. They are oval in shape, usually malleable in texture and wonderfully buttery in taste. They are available in the market either still in their shell or with their shell removed. Shelled almonds are available whole, sliced or slivered in either their natural form, with their skin, or blanched, with their skin removed.

Bitter almonds are used to make almond oil that is used as a flavoring agent for foods and liqueurs such as Amaretto. They are otherwise inedible as they naturally contain toxic substances such as hydrocyanic acid. These compounds are removed in the manufacturing of almond oil.

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Health Benefits And Nutrition Of Almonds


Almonds are a very good source of vitamin E, manganese, biotin, and copper. Almonds are a good source of magnesium, molydenum, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and phosphorus. Fortunately, although one-quarter cup of almonds contains about 11 grams of fat, a sizable portion of it (7 grams) is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

Almond nuts are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals. These nuts compose of well-balanced food principles that are essential for optimum health and wellness.

Almonds are the complete source of energy as well as nutrients. The nuts, especially, are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids that help in lowering LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increasing HDL or "good cholesterol" in the human body. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is excellent in monounsaturated fatty acids, help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.

Almonds are a source of many nutrients which help in the development and health of the human brain. Almonds have been connected to a higher intellectual level and they have long been considered 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.

Almonds are great sources for alkali materials, and this is known to benefit the strength of the immune system, as well as increase the ability to stave off diseases and various health conditions.

Almonds are rich in fiber, energy (good fats), vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and they are calorie dense. The fiber fills the stomach and regulates the speed digestion of the almond’s nutrients, and this helps clam hunger and the need to eat. Studies have shown that eating almonds and almond benefits support weight loss, gastrointestinal health, lowering cholesterol, inflammation reduction, and heart health.

The nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E; hold about 25 g per100 g (about 170% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining cell membrane integrity of mucus membranes and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

The mono-unsaturated fats, protein and potassium contained in almonds are all 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.

Almonds are free in gluten, and therefore, are one of the popular ingredients in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas. Such formula preparations are, in fact, healthy alternatives in people with wheat food allergy, and celiac disease.

Almonds are a fantastic source of many vitamins and minerals, and phosphorous is definitely counted among them! Phosphorous can have a considerable impact on the strength and durability of bones and teeth, while also preventing the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis.

The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Altogether, these vitamins work as co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism.

Protection against diabetes: Almonds also help to reduce the reactionary rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals. This modulation offers protection from the dangerous spikes in blood sugar which diabetics often suffer from following a large meal, or a meal with an unexpectedly high level of sugar in it.

Almonds contain folic acid, which helps reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborn babies. It also stimulates healthy cell growth and tissue formation. Neural tube defects are conditions where the neural tube is either underdeveloped or is partially missing in the fetus. Doctors regularly prescribe folic acid supplements to pregnant women to ensure proper development of the tube, and almonds have enough folic acid to keep mothers and their babies healthy.

Almonds are rich in fiber, and like most other fiber-rich foods, almonds help prevent constipation. However, it is also important to drink a significant amount of water when eating almonds to speed up the digestive process and beneficial effects of the nut.

Use of almond oil is well-known for treating skin problems such as wrinkles, dark circles under eyes, dry skin, black heads, pimples and others. The oil is a prime ingredient in many massage oils. It leaves the skin soft, smooth and refreshed.

Almond oil, extracted from the nuts, can be employed as an emollient. Applied regularly, it helps keep skin well protected from dryness. Additionally, the oil is used in cooking in Iran, and Turkey. It is also used as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.