Almonds are tree nuts that are popular around the world. In India, it is popularly called a badam.
Almonds are considered to be nuts. But it is a seed. In India, almonds/ badams are used to make dessert. But the uses and health benefits are not limited.
Almonds offer a wide range of health benefits. They are packed with nutrients.
What are the health benefits of almonds?
Reduces cholesterol levels
LDL cholesterol is also known as bad cholesterol as it can cause problems to the heart. If it accumulates in the arteries of the heart, it can cause a stroke.
According to various research, almonds can lead to reductions in LDL cholesterol levels.
Consuming a handful of almonds on a regular basis can be effective.
Good for heart health
When almonds are consumed on a regular basis, it is good for the heart. As mentioned above, it can reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
Due to the antioxidant content present in almonds, the blood pressure and blood flow improve.
These directly contribute to improving heart health.
This is one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet includes a variety of nuts in its foods.
Packed with vitamin E
Almonds are believed to contain a high level of vitamin E.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant compound that protects the cells present in the body against toxicity.
When vitamin E is consumed in adequate amounts, it reduces the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Almonds contain protein. They are also rich in fibre. These properties of almonds include low levels of carbohydrate content and can keep a person full.
This indirectly can control the intake and helps in regulating a person’s body weight.
Good for eye health
Globally people believe that vegetables like carrots are good for eye health.
Similarly, almonds have high amounts of vitamin E, which are beneficial for the eyes.
The antioxidant content in almonds prevents various abnormal changes from happening in the lens.
High in antioxidants
Almonds are an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that protect the cells against free radical damage.
When a person is stressed, the body undergoes molecule cell damage. This, in turn, causes inflammation.
Consuming almonds can help fight against such damages happening inside the body.
A lot of cosmetic products which are sold in the commercial markets have almonds as the main ingredient.
This is because almonds are loaded with various nutrients which are beneficial for the skin.
Apart from protecting the cells from skin damage, almonds have components that nourish the skin and are useful for fighting aging.
Improving brain power
Almonds help in the growth of brain cells. Almonds have riboflavin and L- carnitine. These chemicals help in the growth of brain cells and improve cognitive function.
Doctors advise people to consume almonds regularly in the morning so that they may aid with brainpower.
Amnesia is caused when little oxygen is carried to the brain. Almonds are packed with copper, iron and other vitamins. They help in producing more hemoglobin.
This in turn, would benefit the brain by carrying more oxygen and listen to the chance of developing anemia.
Good for the nervous system
Almonds contain magnesium. Magnesium helps in the development of the metabolic rate. Magnesium also helps in building bone tissues.
The magnesium content in almonds is useful for the nervous system as it keeps the nerves healthy.
Treat acne and blackheads
With the presence of fatty acids in almonds, they are considered to be a fine remedy to prevent or fight acne.
The fatty acids found in almonds control the oil that clouds the pores of the skin.
Helps treat stretch marks
Almonds in oil form are used for treating stretch marks. This is due to the nutrients present in them.
The various nutritional compounds prevent skin tearing.
Prevent grey hair
Almonds in oil form are essential for treating various hair problems. Almond oil is helpful in fighting dandruff and other issues.
Another advantage of applying almond oil to the hair is that it gives a shiny texture.
When the body is in a deficit of magnesium, it tends to cause hair loss.
The magnesium present in almonds helps in hair growth.
Almond oil contains a compound called glycoside amygdalin that can make nerves numb.
If almond oil is applied to the skin, it can make the nerve insensitive. Therefore, almond oil can be used as a natural anesthetic.
Improve mental alertness
Milk and almonds, when combined, are rich in potassium. Potassium Is a mineral that will boost the electrolytes in the body and improve alertness.
Almonds prevent birth defects
The folic acid present in the almonds protects the womb from various birth defects.
Folic acid has an important role in the development of cellular growth and helps in the life cycle of a fetus.
It is always recommended to consume only a handful of almonds every day.
If more than the recommended dose of almonds is consumed it may cause a few risks.
Risk of consuming almonds
Some people may develop allergies if there is excess consumption of almonds.
Some of that may include
- Shortness in breath
- Skin irritation or itching
- Difficulty in swallowing
Apart from that, there are a few drawbacks of consuming too many almonds.
As almonds are fibre rich, they should be consumed in mindful quantities.
The fibre content can cause constipation and other gut issues like
- Gas formation or
- Cramps if it is excessively present.
Reduced nutrient absorption
Due to the high fibre content along with magnesium, calcium, iron, and other essential nutrients in it, the body can find it difficult to absorb in abundance.
As much as it is packed with nutrients, almonds are also full of calories.
One serving of almonds contains approximately 200 cal.
If a person has a physically active lifestyle, it should be negligible, but if the person follows a sedentary lifestyle, they should be mindful of consumption.
Potentially trigger allergies
Almonds can also cause allergies in a few people.
Almonds contain amandine, a protein that can be an allergen. These allergens might cause reactions like
- Tongue swelling
- Itchy throat
- Scratchy lips or
- Other itchy patches on the skin
Possibility of developing kidney stones
Oxalates are present in the almonds. They are intestinal soluble compounds. This means that excess oxalates will contribute to the formation of kidney stones.
Excessive vitamin E
Almonds are full of vitamin E and have numerous skin benefits; however, consuming excessive vitamin E can lead to an overdose.
Bitter almonds are poisoning. They have higher levels of hydrocyanic acid than regular almonds.
Intake of bitter almonds must be regulated as the acid present in them can lead to a nervous breakdown or other issues.
How many almonds can we consume in a day?
There is limited research and data to prove the daily recommendations for almonds.
However, doctors and medical professionals advise people not to eat more than a handful of almonds per day.
Consuming 10 to 15 almonds a day would be more than sufficient for an average healthy human.
To sum up
Almonds are rich in vitamins, protein, fibre, minerals and other micronutrients.
People consume almonds raw or roasted. It is popularly consumed as a snack or used in savoury dishes.
However, excessive consumption must be restricted as there is a potential risk that may be triggered by excessive consumption of almonds.