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Benefits of Almonds

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Benefits of Almonds


Almonds are eaten by every one in almost all the parts of world and it is not entirely without reason that price of almonds is increasing fast as compared to other nuts. This is because of their unsurpassed nutritive value and as well as functional importance in keeping the human body supple, beautiful and healthy, it is one of the most sought species in the nut kingdom.

Nearly cholesterol free and abundant in high quality, highly absorb able protein, almonds provide almost no useless material to the body. Their high monounsaturated fats (that fight bad cholesterol) and dietary fiber content make them easy to digest, provides heat in the body and also ensure no excess oils, like some other nuts.

Almond
The word "almond" comes from old French almande or alemande, derived from the Greek word amygdala and is used to describe objects particularly which have a shape which is part way between a triangle and an ellipse.

The almond that we think of as a nut is technically the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, a 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. Almond is not a "nut" actually it is a drupe belonging to species of Prunus belonging to the sub-family Prunoideae of the family Rosaceae.

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).

Sweet almonds are the type that is eaten. 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.

Almonds are not only delicious, versatile, and portable, but are nutritionally very beneficial. Almond is a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. It also contains zinc, selenium, copper and niacin. Almonds contain the most nutrients in comparison to all other dry fruits & nuts.

Fortunately, the delicately flavored and versatile almond is available throughout the year to make a healthy and tasty addition to both sweet and savory dishes. United States is the largest producer of almond and it is also found in places like Spain, Iran, Italy, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and China.

Besides having great medicinal value it also helps in getting healthy hair, good skin and managing healthy cholesterol levels.

Almonds provide several health benefits that are not known to everyone.

Boosts energy: The presence of manganese, copper and Riboflavin helps in energy production.

Good for brain: Almond is a source of many nutrients which help in development of the brain. Almond induces high intellectual level and has been considered as an essential food item for growing children. Many mothers give almonds soaked in water to their children daily in the morning.

Good for heart: Almonds help reduce C-reactive protein which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Almond is also a source of folic acid. They therefore help to reduce the level of homocystein, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries. Mono-saturated fat, protein and potassium contained in almonds are good for the heart. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart diseases. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to avoid heart attacks.

Good in pregnancy: Almond contains folic acid. Folic acid helps to reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborn babies.

Skin care: The benefits of almond for skin care are well known, and hence a massage with almond oil is often recommended for new born babies. Almond milk is also added in some soaps as almonds help in improving the complexion of the skin.

Regulates blood pressure: Potassium present in almond helps to regulates blood pressure. Almonds are very low in sodium which also helps in containing blood pressure.

Regulates cholesterol: Regular consumption of almonds helps to increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL), thereby effectively controlling cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol.

Prevention of cancer: Almond improves the movement of food through the colon, thereby preventing colon cancer.

Protection against diabetes: Almonds also help in reducing the rise in sugar and insulin levels after meals. This offers protection from diabetes.

Prevention of constipation: Almonds are rich in fibre. Like most other fibre rich food, almonds also help in preventing constipation. Make sure you drink good amount of water after eating almonds.

Weight loss: Unsweetened almond milk helps one to reduce weight. The mono-saturated fat contained in almonds satisfies appetite and prevents over-eating. Studies have revealed that almond rich low calorie diet is good for obese people to assist in shedding their weight.

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