Almonds provide numerous health benefits . Almond is the fruit of the almond tree, a tree that belongs to the family of rosacea, as well as apricots, peaches or cherries. There are two kinds of almonds: sweets , much appreciated for their numerous nutritional properties; And bitter , not to be consumed, as they contain prussic acid, a very toxic component.
There are many studies that relate their regular consumption with good cardiovascular health , with the prevention of osteoporosis (thanks to their contribution of calcium), with adequate levels of blood sugar (since it also prevents diabetes ) and with a correct Balance of HDL and LDL cholesterol. Let’s review its main features and why it is a food we should always have in the pantry.
Nutritional properties of almonds
Almonds, besides being a magnificent source of energy, contain very little water and all its components are very concentrated, reason why they have important quantities of the main nutrients :
Almonds are exceptionally rich in protein . In fact, they contain more protein than meat at the same amount of ingested food. The problem is that we never eat as much almonds as meat or eggs (in fact, they would be indigestible) but they are an important source of protein in any case that we should not neglect, especially if we follow a vegetarian diet . Remember, however, that vegetable protein is of low biological value, that is, each vegetable independently does not contain all the essential amino acids and therefore it is necessary to combine different types of vegetables ( legumes , cereals, Nuts and seeds) to obtain all the amino acids that we need to our body.
Almonds are rich in essential fatty acids very beneficial to health. They contain a high percentage of monounsaturated fats, protectors of the cardiovascular system , and polyunsaturated fats, which are those fatty acids that the body can not synthesize from other substances and that we must ingest necessarily from the diet. Finally, a minimal part (about 3%) of your fats is composed of saturated fatty acids . Regular consumption of raw almonds is associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular or heart disease such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, hypertension, etc.
The kernel is also a rich nut in carbohydrates , most of which are slowly absorbed, ie, those that the body can store and use when required without unbalancing sugar levels, unlike what happens With foods rich in simple sugars (such as honey , fruit , industrial pastries, etc.). That is why almonds are especially advisable for people with diabetes , since they are an important source of energy but contain a low glycemic index. The almonds also provide a good amount of fiber Soluble, essential for maintaining good health of the intestine and colon.
The kernel contains significant amounts of vitamins of group B, but which is especially highlighted in the input vitamin E , making it a powerful ally antioxidant to combat the effect of free radicals.
Some of the minerals found in almonds are zinc, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and iron . But where almond stands out especially is in its contribution of calcium . The almond is one of the main sources of calcium that can be found in the plant kingdom, along with sesame seeds . However, we should try to look for different sources of calcium in the diet, since the different minerals included in foods counterbalance or balance each other.
This is a table with the amounts of nutrients per 100 grams:
|Vitamin B1||0.21 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.14 mg|
|Vitamin B3||3.3 mg|
Benefits of almonds
Most experts and epidemiological studies agree that regular consumption of 7 to 15 almonds a day can develop all these virtues in body:
Numerous investigations, such as that presented in Experimental Biology of San Diego, California, relate the regular consumption of almonds with a lower incidence when suffering cardiovascular diseases . The reason has to do, mainly, with the benefits that their polyunsaturated fats contribute to the cholesterol balanceDHL and LHL and to a lower oxidation of LHL cholesterol. These fats greatly benefit the health of the arteries and prevent all kinds of affections related to the heart. In addition, researchers at King’s College London in the UK claim that the fats contained in almonds are released slowly in the body thus reducing the rise in triglyceride levels. In fact, not only this study but countless of them corroborate that populations that usually eat nuts are less likely to suffer from heart disease.
Almonds do not get you fat
Studies such as the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey or the Nurse Health Study II , among others, reveal that regular consumption of almonds is associated with a lower incidence of overweight or obesity . What’s more, the International Obesity Review or Obesity magazine say that almonds actually help to lose weight.
Prevents alcohol poisoning
Numerous publications claim that eating about five almonds before drinking increases tolerance to it and prevents intoxication. What’s more, it reduces the effects of the hangover. We have not found scientific references about it, but perhaps it is a grandmother’s remedy corroborated by historical experience. So, before a company dinner or a birthday, it may be a good idea to have some almonds. At least we will incorporate rich nutrients into our body.
Almonds against diabetes
Numerous studies, such as the one conducted by the American College of Nutrition, indicate that regular consumption of almonds prevents and improves type II diabetes mainly because it regulates the sensitivity of patients to insulin, necessary to balance glucose levels.
How to eat almonds ?
To take advantage of the many benefits of regular almond consumption , here are some easy-to-carry tips:
- The almonds should be eaten raw and with skin , this way you retain their properties. In addition, those that come bare are usually treated with chemical elements and additives to keep them longer.
- Try to consume them organically to avoid pesticides that have been used in their cultivation.
- Avoid bitter almonds completely , as they are toxic .
- Include a few almonds at breakfast (with muesli, for example) and at lunch (on any stew or salad). The almonds will offer a delicious texture and a very pleasant flavor to all your dishes. In addition, this versatile dry fruit combines well with both sweet and savory dishes.
- Another way to benefit from the properties of almonds is by making homemade almond milk . Simply beat some almonds with water, strain the mixture and add a bit of agave syrup or whole sugar cane, cinnamon and a sprig of vanilla … delicious!
Nuts such as almonds or walnuts are a staple and very nutritious of the Mediterranean diet . Take advantage of its many properties by incorporating them into the diet on a regular basis in the different meals of the day to enjoy good cardiovascular health.