Almonds-Amazing Benefits Of Almonds (Badam)
In This Article
|What are Almonds?|
|Health Benefits Of Almonds|
The health benefits of almonds are extensive, and they are frequently used as a healthy solution for relief from heart and brain disorders, diabetes, constipation, respiratory disorders, coughs, anemia, and impotence. They also help in hair, skin (psoriasis), and dental care.
Almonds are popularly known as ‘Badam‘ in Hindi, ‘Badamkayi’ in Telugu, ‘Vadhumai’ in Tamil, ‘Badam Parippu’ in Malayalam, ‘Badami’ in Kannada, ‘Badam’ in Gujarati, and ‘Badaam’ in Marathi. Almonds are the healthiest nuts you can get, though it isn’t exactly a nut, but more of a seed. They belong to the group of prunus, a variety of trees and shrubs which also comprise the families of apricots, cherries, plums, and peaches.
What are Almonds?
Almonds are the seeds of the fruits cultivated from the almond tree. The scientific name of these dry fruits is Prunus dulcis and they are native to the Middle East, India, and North Africa. They are now found in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Israel as well. The taste of almonds ranges from sweet to bitter and both are readily available in markets.
Sweet almonds are edible, while bitter ones are used for making oil, a common oil that is used to add flavor to the food. They are usually eaten raw, but many people also add them as ingredients in salads, casseroles, and other dishes. Almond milk is also a delicious beverage and is an alternative to less nutritious cow’s milk. You can eat almonds directly, preferably on an empty stomach to increase and speed up the absorption of their nutrients. You can soak them in water overnight so you can eat them the next morning. Crushed almonds are also a wonderful garnish for a number of dishes.
Almond is a highly nutritional nut and a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium. It also contains zinc, selenium, copper, and niacin. Compared to all other nuts, they are richer in nutrients and beneficial components.
A 1 ounce (28 grams, or small handful) serving of almonds contains:
- Fiber: 3.5 grams.
- Protein: 6 grams.
- Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated).
- Vitamin E: 37% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 32% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 20% of the RDA.
- They also contain a decent amount of copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.
This is all from a small handful, which supplies only 161 calories and 2.5 grams of digestible carbohydrates.
- Lower Your Cholesterol
Almonds are a good resource of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which facilitate in lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol. Eating almonds as part of our regular diet can help raise HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, levels. According to a research done by David Jenkins MD, people who consumed a handful of almonds every day lowered their bad cholesterol level by 4.4%, and those who ate two handfuls every day reduced their bad cholesterol by 9.4%.
"This study is important because it shows that eating almonds can significantly boost levels of vitamin E in the diet and bloodstream. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that defends your cells against damage on a daily basis and prevents artery-clogging oxidation of cholesterol. Eating a handful of almonds a day is a great way to get the vitamin E your body needs to stay healthy."
- Ella Haddad, DrPH, RD, Loma Linda University, CA
Boost Brain Health
Almonds are a rich source of many nutrients which help in the development and health of the human brain.They have been connected to a higher intellectual level and they have long been considered an essential food item for growing children. These dry fruits also contain two vital brain nutrients, riboflavin, and L-carnitine, which have been shown to increase brain activity, resulting in new neural pathways and a decreased occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. 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.
Many mothers give water-soaked almonds to their children every morning. Two or three seeds are enough, and you can also remove the outer layer if it causes allergic reactions, as the majority of the nutrients are not held in it.
Almonds Are Loaded With Antioxidants
Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.
The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin.
For this reason, blanched almonds (skin removed) are not the best choice from a health perspective.
A clinical trial of 60 male smokers found that 84 grams (about 3 ounces) of almonds per day reduced oxidative stress biomarkers by 23-34%, over a 4 week period.
These findings support those of another study, which found that eating almonds with main meals reduced some markers of oxidative damage.
Almonds and heart disease
Almonds, along with nuts and seeds in general, are often associated with improved levels of blood lipids and being good for the heart.
There is some evidence indicating that including almonds in your diet may help ward off heart disease, but overall, the evidence is inconclusive.
In a study, published in 2014, scientists found that almonds significantly increased the amount of antioxidants in the bloodstream, reduced blood pressure, and improved blood flow. Their findings add weight to the theory that Mediterranean diets with lots of nuts have big health benefits.
Improve Bone Health
Almonds are a fantastic source of many vitamins and minerals, and phosphorus is definitely counted among them! Phosphorus 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.
Almonds and vitamin E
Almonds contain relatively high levels of vitamin E, an antioxidant. In fact, they are one of the best natural sources of vitamin E, providing 37 percent of the recommended daily intake in just 1 ounce. Vitamin E helps protect cells from oxidative damage.
Also, higher vitamin E intake has been tentatively associated with a reduced risk of certain diseases, such as Alzheimer's, some cancers, and heart disease.
However, some studies have found a slight increase in prostate cancer risk with higher intakes of vitamin E; and a paper published by the American Heart Association in 2014 reported no significant benefits of vitamin E against heart disease or stroke.
Almonds help manage weight
Because almonds are lower in carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber, they can help people feel fuller for longer; this has the potential to reduce the number of calories taken in overall.
There have been numerous studies on almonds and a variety of nuts that demonstrate their ability to keep people feeling full.
Protect Against Diabetes
Almonds have a stumpy glycemic index (GI). Studies demonstrate that almonds have the ability to decrease the after-meal escalation in blood sugar. Therefore, they assist in stabilizing blood sugar levels and offer protection from diabetes.
Strengthen Immune System
Your body has many components that add to overall health, including the alkalinity of the systems.  Almonds are great sources of 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. Along with almonds’ contribution to alkaline levels, they also have a high content of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. It seeks out all the damaging free radicals in the body and eliminates them since they promote chronic diseases and can be horribly hazardous to the body’s organs. Antioxidants like the vitamin E found in almonds affect all major diseases, including cancer and heart diseases. Research has actually shown that people who ingest high levels of vitamin E are actually 30-40% less likely to contract heart diseases.
Prevent Birth Defects
Almonds contain folic acid, a confirmed defense against birth defects. Folic acid plays a big function in healthy cell growth and tissue configuration, and therefore, it is very important for the healthy growth of the fetus. Women who intake folic acid – by eating almonds – during their pregnancies are likely to give birth to babies without NTDs (Neural tube defects).
Improve Your Brain Power
Scientific readings for almond benefits showed that they contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that help in the growth of the brain cells. Almonds also contain phenylalanine, a brain-boosting chemical that aids our cognitive functions. Ayurveda advises having five almonds soaked in water first thing in the morning every day for maximum brain strength.
The benefits of almonds with regards to skin health are well known, and almond oil massages are often recommended for newborn babies. Almond milk is also added to some soaps, because of their well-established reputation for improving the complexion of skin.
Remedy For Anemia
Anemia is caused when red blood cells carry less quantities of oxygen. Almonds contain copper, iron and vitamins, which work as a catalyst in the synthesizing of hemoglobin. Therefore, almonds can be used as a preventive measure for anemia.
Almonds and blood sugar
There is some evidence that almonds may help keep blood sugar under control.
This ability is thought to be due to their high levels of magnesium — containing almost half the daily recommended amount in just 2 ounces of almonds.
In around one-third of people with type 2 diabetes, magnesium levels are low.
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes and low magnesium levels took magnesium supplements. The researchers measured an increase in their magnesium levels, and they also saw improvements in insulin resistance.
Nerves And Muscles
The magnesium present in almond butter offers a host of benefits to the nervous system and muscle contraction, as the mineral plays a role in both functions. It also contributes to healthy metabolism and bone tissue. This is something that peanut butter cannot offer.
Magnesium Also Has Benefits For Blood Pressure Levels
The magnesium in almonds may also help to lower blood pressure levels.
High blood pressure is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
A deficiency in magnesium is strongly linked to blood pressure problems, regardless of whether you are overweight or not.
Studies have shown that correcting a magnesium deficiency can lead to major reductions in blood pressure.
Given that the majority of US adults do not meet the dietary recommendations for magnesium, the addition of almonds to the diet could have a huge impact.
This is another advantage that almond butter has over peanut butter. Almond butter, with its Vitamin E, has significant antioxidant properties that protect the tissues from oxidative damage. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals. A single spoon of almond butter will take care of nearly 30% of your daily Vitamin E requirement.
Many people think that the word “fat” means something negative, but in fact, certain fatty acids are essential and can be very beneficial for overall health. The body can’t create its own fatty acids, which is why we need to get them from dietary sources. Almonds have two very important fatty acids, both linoleic and linolenic acids. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation all around the body, which is a general condition that many people suffer from. Fatty acids also help reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol, and they promote healthy skin and hair! All in all, these nuts pack a powerful, healthy punch.
Increase Digestion And Metabolism
Almond milk contains secret traces of fiber. fiber is known for its digestion-enhancing benefits. Thus, almond milk eases the problem of indigestion largely. Increased digestion flushes unwanted and unhealthy toxins out of the human body system. This further increases the metabolic rate of the human body.
Increase Physical Alertness
Almond milk is rich in muscle building proteins. Proteins improve muscle health by repairing damaged ligaments and tissues. Thus, it is also a very valuable and nutritional drink for athletes. Improved muscle health reduces body fatigue to a large extent. Thus, almond milk increases the physical alertness of human body.
Good for Pregnancy
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.
If you are suffering from high body temperature, then applying bitter almond oil essentials on the body can decrease the temperature quite a bit. The reason? Bitter almond is said to contain alkaline elements that have toxicity in them. This nature puts an obstacle in front of the fungus, viruses or bacteria to spread out fever in a human body. But the deeper reason has not been discovered so far.
Detoxification is a crucial process, especially if you have recently gone through a binge-eating and partying phase. These events will definitely lead to a toxic formation in your body at an excessive rate, thus leading to a dwindling mood, stress, dull skin, lackluster hair and so on. As stated above, the toxic compounds of bitter almond oil will relieve your inner system from toxins. So, injecting bitter almond oil in a small dosage can bring greater results.
Aromatherapy Massage Oil
The oil extracted from almonds is also used as an aromatherapy oil for massaging the body. Almond oil is suitable for all skin types as it gets easily absorbed into the skin and gives off a wonderful and calming aroma. It nourishes the skin and makes it healthy from within.
Treat Acne, Blackheads, & Whiteheads
Skin problems like acne, blackhead and whiteheads are often caused by dirt and oil trapped in the pores of the skin. The essential fatty acids found in almonds control the amount of oil secreted by the sebaceous glands and prevent breakouts. When applied regularly, you will definitely notice a reduction in your acne. Almond oil applied on skin soothes inflammation and reduces rashes.
Reduce Dark Circles & Puffy Eyes
Almond oil and paste are very effective for treating under eye dark circles. Soak almonds in water and grind it to make a smooth paste. Apply it around the eyes and leave it overnight. Almond’s moisturizing properties will soften the pesky line and reduce dark circles and puffy eyes. This will surely work better than your readymade eye creams.
Treat Stretch Marks
The emollient qualities of almond oil make it very effective for treating stretch marks. It strengthens and nourishes the skin by creating a natural resistance to tearing. Heat the oil slightly and apply it on the stretch marks. Massage the area using your hands in a circular motion for a few minutes. Apply it twice a day to observe optimum benefits.
Suffering from dandruff problem? Mix almond oil and neem oil in equal quantities and massage it onto your scalp. Leave it overnight and then wash it off the next morning to get rid of dandruff. Almond oil nourishes and moisturizes the scalp to remove flakiness, while neem oil’s antibacterial properties treat dandruff and inflammation.
Treat Scalp Inflammation
Regular exposure to dust, heat, pollution and application of hair styling products like hair gel and styling tools takes a toll on our hair, leaving it damaged and brittle. Almond oil penetrates deep into the hair shaft and softens scalp tissue to treat scalp inflammation.
Prevents Graying Of Hair
Almond oil is also very useful in treating all kinds of hair troubles. It helps to curb hair fall and dandruff and prevents graying of hair. It makes your hair silky and shiny too.
There are potential risks associated with the consumption of almonds. Allergy to almonds is actually quite common. Symptoms of almond allergy can include:
- stomach pain or cramps
- nausea and vomiting
- problems swallowing
- shortness of breath
- difficulty breathing