Written By Ugochi Obiajunwa
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.
Almonds have passed the test of their benefits to human health with respect to modern science. Evidence says that nuts (including almonds) contain phytic acid, a substance that hampers the body’s quality to fully absorb the nutrients present in nuts. However, if we soak the nuts overnight, the phytic acid breaks down and the body takes in all the nutrients present in them. A single serving of almonds (one ounce) provides around 129 calories, with a protein content of 6 grams, dietary fiber content of 4 grams, monounsaturated fat content of 13 grams and lots of vitamins and minerals, which are very beneficial to the health. Below are the few benefits of almond.
Almonds Help to Lower Blood Pressure
Eating almonds on a daily basis increases the amount of ‘alpha tocopherol’, a compound in the blood crucial for the maintenance of one’s blood pressure. This has proved that almonds help in lowering the blood pressure of people suffering from high blood pressure, which significantly helps in the reduction of hypertension.
Almonds Aid A Healthy Heart
If the heart is healthy, the whole body works at its best optimum. Almonds are high in antioxidants and prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This protects the cardiovascular system from getting stressful and damaged. Almonds also keep a check on our cholesterol levels. This wonder-nut helps in lowering the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol present in our body and increases the ‘good’ cholesterol levels needed by the body.
Almonds Aid Weight Loss
It is a myth that almonds increase body weight. If you consume almonds in high quantities, you will surely start gaining weight, but the right amount of almonds in your diet can actually help you lose weight. If you add soaked almonds to a low-calorie diet, it not only improves your digestive system, but it also helps in minimizing your cravings because of the high fiber content present in the almond skin. It triggers the process of weight loss by combating the symptoms of metabolic syndrome too.
Almond is not just a nut, it is a ‘superfood’. Now, we have numerous reasons to keep a few almonds soaked overnight and enjoy munching them in the morning.