Almonds have been consumed by many cultures for thousands of years and were highly popular in the diets of ancient Egyptian cultures. They have continued to be popular and have become a popular snack food as well as becoming incorporated into milks and flours. On top of being delicious regardless of how you eat them, they bring tons of amazing health benefits for you when you include them at your table.
Reduces Cardiovascular Disease
People who consume nuts on a regular basis can lower their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that clogs their arteries and is the main cause for heart disease. They do these with their high levels of:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3’s are a heart healthy form of unsaturated fat that help you heart and help to prevent heart attacks. While many people turn to fish for their Omega-3’s almonds and other nuts are one of the best sources of Omega-3 that are plant based.
- Unsaturated fats: Unsaturated fats are the “good” fats that have been found to help your body to lower high cholesterol levels.
- Fiber: High levels of fiber help your body to stay full longer, which reduces that chances of obesity induced cardiovascular diseases. Fiber also helps you lower your cholesterol levels and is thought to help your body to prevent diabetes.
- Vitamin E: High levels of LDL (the bad fats) will lead to plaque build-up in your arteries, which effectively narrows them and causes internal problems. This development can lead to heart attacks, chest pain, and coronary heart disease.
- L-arginine: This acid helps to make your artery walls more flexible, reducing the likelihood that your body will form blood clots that will block your blood flow.
Encourages Brain Development
Almonds have been studied for their connection in the development and health of our brains, aiding in memory boosting as well as overall brain function. Its high protein levels will not only provide your body with a boost of energy, it will also help to repair your brain cells while magnesium helps to strengthen your nerves. Both B6 and vitamin E promote overall brain health while slowing down the aging of your cells, helping to preserve your memory for longer as you age.
One of the most important functions for brain health is its high level of antioxidants, which fight free radicals in your body, thus giving your body a greater chance of avoiding brain and other cancers. L-carnitine and riboflavin in almonds will also encourage brain activity and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, while possibly boosting intelligence levels in children when they are young.
Numerous studies have reported that consuming half a cup of almonds a day will reduce your overall cholesterol levels by up to ten percent. The combination of monounsaturated fats with some polyunsaturated fats in almonds have been shown to be the perfect combination of fats to encourage cardiovascular health. However, the benefits of eating almonds will be greatly reduced or outright negated if people simply add them to their diets instead of substituting them for something less healthy in their current diet. It is also recommended to consume dry roasted or natural almonds without added salts and oils to ensure proper body balance.
Increases Bone Health
Calcium is an important factor for bone health, however; it is important to ensure that you are consuming calcium in ways that will allow for high levels of absorption into the bones. Dairy has low rates of magnesium, which is vital for bones to be able to absorb calcium, while fruits, vegetables, and nuts have high levels of magnesium and calcium. It has been found that when humans consume foods with equal amounts of these important elements their bodies will absorb them at a much higher rate than when you drink milk. Almonds have high levels of both of magnesium and calcium to allow for the highest levels of absorption.
In addition, while many people automatically think of calcium when they think about their bone health vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism examined the impact that Vitamin E had on bone density and overall strength and found that increasing vitamin E levels in rats increased their bone density by up to eighty percent.
Controls Blood Pressure
Daily consumption of nuts such as almonds have be shown to lower the risk of hypertension, although it cannot prevent the disease altogether. Its high content of potassium and unsaturated fatty acids play a role in promoting a health body and the low content of sodium in raw almonds makes the benefits even greater. The biggest powerhouse that almonds have over blood pressure are their high magnesium content, a mineral that many people do not consume enough of and is strongly associated with blood pressure concerns regardless of your weight.
Healthy fats and fiber will aid you greatly if you are trying to prevent overeating, as they will help you to stay full for much longer and curbs overeating of unhealthy foods. Studies have shown that almonds have a positive boost on your body’s metabolism and the Nurses’ Health Studies research showed a clear correlation between daily consumption of almonds and healthier body weights. This study was supported in the International Journal of Obesity, which found that those who ate almonds daily had a higher rate of weight loss, waist size, fat mass and systolic blood pressure.
It is clear that incorporating almonds into your daily diet can have significant health benefits for many. Incorporating them into your diet is easy as alternatives become more available for those who have allergies to lactose. For those who are seeking to include more almonds in their diet, you should ensure that they are as un-processed as possible. Many different nuts will go through processing that drastically lowers the almonds nutritional and health value. Look for almonds that have not been subjected to intense heat, sugar, hydrogenated oils or sodium to ensure that you are receiving all of its benefits.