Jul 31, 2013

Know your Food: Almonds

Almonds! A healthy nut which is loved by all since ages. This nut seed is well known for its health benefits.  The nut is actually a fruit shelled out from a hard cover like other berries as apricots, peach, cherry.
There are various health benefits of eating almonds. How many of them you have tried for you and your loved ones?
·         Control cholesterol and heart diseases: Almonds are good source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Magnesium present in almonds is beneficial for ven and arteries which reduces resistance and improves blood flow. Oxygen and blood supply to the cell is also improved. Potassium is another mineral important to maintain blood pressure thus help in preventing heart diseases.  They are also low in sodium which makes it ideal nut for blood pressure and heart health. 
Manage Diabetes & Heart disease:  consumption of almonds helps in lowering effect of post meal blood sugar and free radical damage at cellular level. Antioxidants coming from almonds help in reducing oxidative damage. Studies suggest that almond taken along with high fiber meals (low glycaemia index foods) helps in managing blood sugar levels. Eg- one can combine almonds with white bread and reduce its glycemic index and get benefits. 

TIP: Do not go for almonds only as a in between meal snack. Add it to your salad, sandwich or use almond spread (without any salt or added fat) to improve blood sugar activity.

 Go for almond skin – do not discard it: it is a big myth that one must soak the almonds remove the skin and have it. Almonds skin is full of vitamin E. Vitamin E and other antioxidants present in almonds makes it perfect for skin health and anti-aging effect. 
     Weight loss effect:  studies suggest that low calorie diet rich in health fat mostly coming from almonds can help in reducing weight, lower the BMI and control your waist size.  At the same time it helps in reducing the risk for further weight gain.
   Feel improved energy:  Almonds are rich I manganese, copper and riboflavin. These micronutrients play important role in energy production. They are helpful for enzymatic reactions and energy generation in the body. Thus handful of nuts will help you in boosting energy. 
     Prevent gallstones: recent studies suggest handful of almonds will help in prevention of gall stones.
  Protein source: they are rich in protein with good quality and absorption in the body.

Amongst all nuts almonds do contain oxalate which are not good for kidneys. If the body liquids are saturated with oxalates it can result in formation of kidney stones. This is the reason person having history for kidney stone must control the consumption of almonds.

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