Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts you can get, although they are technically not a nut, but rather a seed. The nutlike seed has gained quite a reputation as being a superfood.
They are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and have nutritional benefits for a number of areas of the body. They can be eaten as a quick and healthy snack, or mixed in with fresh fruits and vegetables to make a detoxifying drink, like a carrot and almond smoothie.
Lower Your Cholesterol
Eating almonds as part of your regular diet helps raise HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, levels, and also reduces LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, levels.
According to a study done by David Jenkins MD, individuals who ate a handful of almonds every day lowered their bad cholesterol level by 4.4%, and those who ate two handfuls of almonds every day lowered their bad cholesterol by 9.4%.
Regulate Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure often goes hand in hand with diets that are high in sodium and deficient in calcium and potassium. Almonds are high in potassium and low in sodium, both are factors that regulate blood pressure.
The fibre in almonds has a detoxifying effect. This fibre allows food to move through the digestive system more efficiently, cleansing the system and preventing colon cancer. The National Cancer Institute recently released a study linking high-fibre diets to a lower risk of colon cancer.
Protect Against Diabetes
Almonds also have a stabilizing effect on sugar and insulin levels after meals, offering protection from diabetes.
Lose Weight with Nuts
Almonds aid in weight loss due to their nutrient density. Nutrient rich almonds have the effect of making you feel full and nourished, and therefore are less likely to have cravings and over eat.
Ease Constipation with a Handful a Day
Eating just four to five almonds every day will prevent constipation. Almonds are high in fibre, and a diet that is high in fibre is an effective way to stay regular.
Boost Your Energy
Almonds are rich in manganese, riboflavin, and copper, all of which aid in energy production. If you are always on the go, try making your own almond based energy bar, and take your energy with you.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Almonds contain a high level of monounsaturated fat, the same heart-healthy fat as olive oil. Vitamin E, also found in almonds, is an antioxidant that is very effective in reducing the risk of heart disease. Almonds are also high in magnesium, which improves flood flow and the movement of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
Prevent Birth Defects
Almonds contain folic acid, a proven defence against birth defects. Folic acid plays a big role in healthy cell grown and tissue formation, and therefore is very important for the healthy grown of the fetus.
Neural tube defects (NTDs), including spina bifida and anencephaly, are conditions where the neural tube is either not properly formed or is partially missing. Women who take folic acid prior to and during their pregnancies are less likely to give birth to babies with NTDs.
Improve Your Brainpower
And as if this superfood couldn’t get any better, almonds also contain phenylalanine, a brain-boosting chemical that aids healthy development of our cognitive functions.
So forget all of the voices in your head that are saying that nuts are bad for you, and add almonds to your daily routine, as a snack, in a cleansing smoothie, or in your baking by substituting your regular milk and flour with almond milk and almond flour.