Discover the 14 shocking health benefits of almonds.
The health benefits of almonds for physical and mental health are multiple: they protect the heart, help to lose weight , prevent premature aging, stimulate the immune system, prevent cancer, increase energy and others that I will explain below.
Almonds (Prunus Dulcis) are one of the most versatile and nutritious foods that we can find throughout the year and are used to accompany sweet and savory dishes, as snacks throughout the day and even to prepare vegetable drinks as a substitute for dairy. .
They have different varieties – some are sweet or bitter – with the sweet ones being the ones consumed all over the world.
They can be found whole in pieces, in flour, in butter and as part of other dishes, decorated in cakes and added to granola and muesli for breakfast.
In addition, almonds are the raw material of some famous sweets such as marzipan, nougat and nougat.
Almonds are not true nuts, they are the seeds of the fruit of the almond tree, called almendruco. The fruit is not consumed, but it is its seed that surprises us with its multiple properties.
The health benefits of almonds
1.- They protect the heart
Almonds are protective of the heart as they are rich in antioxidants, which reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
Each time we consume almonds in the week, the risk of heart problems is reduced by more than 8%. The correct consumption is a handful of these nuts at least four times a week.
To obtain all these benefits, it is recommended to consume almonds in the shell, since that is where the beneficial components for the heart are found: twenty different types of flavonoids and vitamin E.
2.- They have essential minerals
Some of the most important essential minerals for the body such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and phosphorus are present in almonds.
They are an excellent source of copper and manganese, two fundamental minerals that naturally support the reduction of free radicals within the body. This helps prevent premature aging of both the skin and the organs of our body.
They are also rich in magnesium, an essential mineral that acts as a regulator of the nervous system , improving the quality of sleep and reducing the symptoms of depression and anguish, stimulating relaxation and restful sleep.
3.- They help you lose weight
Almonds are rich in monosaturated fats, therefore a hypocaloric diet that includes almonds would allow overweight people to lose pounds faster than a hypocaloric diet based only on complex carbohydrates.
In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, it was shown that if individuals consume 30% of the calories in their diet in the form of monosaturated fats, weight loss is more significant, reducing not only kilos but also
Also waist inches, body fat, and systolic blood pressure. In this way, they lost 62% more fat and weight than those in the group that only consumed a low-calorie diet rich in simple carbohydrates.
Although many people are afraid of consuming almonds for fear of gaining weight, it has been shown that those who eat almonds at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who never eat nuts.
In addition to this, the regular consumption of almonds increases the amount of “good” fats within the body, vegetable proteins, fiber and essential minerals such as copper and magnesium. And on the other hand, they reduce the levels of animal fats and proteins, cholesterol, sodium and sugars.
The linoleic acid present in almonds favors the lipolysis process, which is the destruction of fats in the body, therefore it helps to reduce the percentage of fat in the body, by transporting them to the mitochondria to use them as energy.
This also allows an increase in muscle mass, since fat is swept into the cell that transforms it for its functions.
There is a close relationship between this process and physical activity, which is why consuming almonds and exercising is important.
3.- They prevent aging
Almonds not only have essential minerals such as copper and manganese that reduce the presence of free radicals in the body.
They also have riboflavin (Vitamin B2), an essential vitamin in the body, especially in processes that require greater oxygenation, such as the functioning of the heart, muscles and cornea.
At the cellular level it allows to combat oxidative lesions of the cells. In studies conducted, it was shown that subjects who consumed 73 grams of almonds daily, called a full dose, significantly reduced their oxidative stress biomarkers.
People also added to this a healthy diet low in saturated fat and maintaining a consistent exercise routine.
Finally, the study pointed out that there is no minimum amount of almonds that must be consumed daily to obtain these benefits.
4.- They help in the treatment of diabetes
Another benefit of almonds is that they help reduce the spikes in blood sugar that occur after eating.
If these increases are very pronounced, they constitute a risk especially for diabetic patients and with coronary diseases.
Almonds reduce these highs and also have antioxidants that stop the free radicals produced by these sugar spikes.
In a study it was shown that after a meal with almonds, the amount of protective antioxidants increased and also the rise in blood sugar was reduced.
In this way, it has been shown that consuming almonds with a meal with a high glycemic index, reduce the rise of sugar and insulin in the blood and also lower the glycemic index of said food.
The more almonds eaten, the lower the index and the less the rise in blood sugar after eating.
That is why it is advisable not only to eat them as a snack, but to put a little almonds in each meal.
For example, almond butter for breakfast or a handful of these fruits to accompany a salad. Remember to always eat them during a high sugar meal to reduce the highs.
5.- They reduce cholesterol
Almonds are an excellent source of healthy fats. They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the same ones found in olive oil and are appreciated for their properties to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and lower LDL cholesterol or “bad cholesterol”.
Studies have shown that the regular consumption of almonds daily, together with a healthy diet style reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%, increasing even if saturated fats (meats, dairy) are replaced by “good” fats such as those of almonds.
6.- They help prevent stones in the gallbladder
Gallstones are small formations of cholesterol that form in the gallbladder. Eating almonds at least once a week has been shown to reduce the risk of gallbladder stones by 25%.
This is due to the contribution of healthy, monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats that almonds contain, which stimulates the production of bile, maintaining an optimal functioning of the biliary system.
In addition, almonds help reduce cholesterol, which also helps reduce the possibility of forming these types of stones.
7.- They are anticancer
According to a study carried out by the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, it was determined that the consumption of almonds reduces the risk of colon cancer specifically, due to the presence of good quality lipids they contain, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are related to the reduction of inflammation in the body.
Other research carried out in breast cancers has shown that women who consume more nuts and seeds, such as almonds, significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
As almonds help reduce blood sugar spikes and therefore also insulin spikes, they can also help reduce the possibility of developing diabetes, a long-term pancreatic cancer, with a high mortality rate.
8.- They have anti-inflammatory effects
“Good” fats and oils such as those contained in almonds are very important for the good health of the body. Our body cannot generate fatty acids by itself and we can only get them through nutrition.
Almonds are a source of linoleic acid, which belongs to the Omega 6 family, and provides multiple benefits such as inhibiting inflammation in all organs and therefore reducing the risks of developing some type of cancer.
This also makes them beneficial for all kinds of respiratory illnesses, such as allergies, bronchitis, colds and to improve coughs.
9.- They improve the condition of bones and joints
Almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals, including phosphorous. This mineral improves the health of bones and teeth, increasing their strength and also their durability over time. In addition to this, consuming phosphorus can prevent other associated conditions such as osteoporosis.
It is worth noting that almonds among nuts and seeds are the highest in calcium. Along with this, its high content of healthy fatty acids contribute to the absorption of calcium in the bones and favor the synthesis of collagen, improving its flexibility.
10.- They prevent problems in pregnancy
Almonds have folic acid, which is recommended to consume before and during pregnancy to reduce the possibility of birth defects in the baby, such as in the neural tube.
In addition, almonds stimulate the growth of healthy tissues and cells.
11.- They are a natural laxative
Almonds are rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation by improving bowel movements. Regular consumption of almonds, together with adequate hydration, improves constipation problems naturally.
12.- They are rich in magnesium
Magnesium is an element that is found in nuts like almonds and helps to fix calcium in the bones and teeth. In addition to this, it contributes to improving the health of veins and arteries, since it allows adequate blood flow, allowing the arrival of more oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
Apart from these benefits, the magnesium present in almonds is used as a natural tranquilizer, since it balances the neurons so it can be used in cases of distress and depression. It also promotes relaxation, so almonds also promote good rest and restful sleep.
13.- They help the formation of muscles
Almonds contain everything you need for a diet that helps strengthen and tone the general muscles of the body. In addition to being rich in healthy fats and fiber, they contain protein, 6 grams per ounce, which is the main food of the muscles and together with that they provide a great feeling of satiety.
These seeds are low in carbohydrates but high in fiber, therefore they are optimal for a diet reduced in calories but with a great nutritional contribution, ideal for those who perform physical activity but want to maintain their weight and lose body fat.
14.- They stimulate the immune system
Almonds contain large amounts of antioxidants, especially in your skin, such as riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, vitamin E, among others.
These antioxidants allow a better functioning of the body in general, since they help reduce the damaging action of free radicals, reducing the possibility of developing chronic diseases. With this they help to strengthen the body’s immune system.
Other interesting facts
We already know some of the incredible properties of almonds for our health. To incorporate them into our daily diet, we can start by including them in a meal or as a healthy snack mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
To obtain all the health benefits of almonds, the recommendation is always to consume them whole, since the highest amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is found in your skin. If eaten peeled, these properties are lost, but healthy fats, fiber, and protein are preserved.
To incorporate them into the diet they can be added to breakfast in cereal, during meals in a salad or as butter to accompany bread, cookies, even fruits.
Another alternative is to convert them into vegetable milk or almond flour, since this way their properties are preserved and they can be enjoyed in various types of preparations.
How to prepare almond milk
You need a deep bowl to let the almonds soak overnight. The ideal portion for one day is 25 almonds, but for this vegetable milk you can use more.
The next day, you strain the almonds and put them in the blender along with three cups of water. If you want you can sweeten with honey or cinnamon. You grind the mixture until the almonds have been crushed and then strain the drink with a cloth.
The residue of almonds, called ocara, can be used to prepare pastry products such as cakes, bread, etc.
This drink is low in calories, only 102 per serving and high in nutrients and protein, so it represents an excellent way to take advantage of the properties of almonds.
There are people who are prone to allergy to almonds, so it is important to rule this out before starting a greater consumption of these seeds.
We hope the article on the 14 shocking health benefits of almonds has been of help.