Almonds (also known as Prunus dulcis) are the seeds of the fruits from almond trees. They are native to North Africa, the middle east and India, but now they are found in many parts of the world. The USA, is now the world’s largest almond producer.
They are highly nutritious despite being high in fat. They are rich in protein, fiber, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. They also contain a small amount of copper, phosphorus and vitamin B2. Almond milk is a much healthier alternative to cow milk. Here are a few health benefits of eating almonds.
A rich source of antioxidants
Antioxidants help to prevent the cells in the body from damage done by oxidative stress, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. They also help to slow down the aging process. The brown layer of the Almonds contain most of the antioxidants.
Helps with weight loss
Almonds contain mono-unsaturated fat, which makes you feel full and prevents overeating. Studies have shown that consuming almonds up to two times a week can help maintain your ideal weight. They also contain fiber which aids digestion and helps with regular bowel movements.
Good for pregnant women
The folic acid in almonds assists healthy cell and tissue formation in the fetus. It also reduces the likelihood of birth defects in the babies by helping in the formation of a properly developed neural tube.
Regulates blood pressure
The potassium in almonds help to regulate blood pressure. The vitamin E helps reduce the risk of heart disease and artery wall damage, while the magnesium in almonds can help prevent heart attacks. The folic acid in almonds helps to reduce the level of homocysteine (causes plaque build up in arteries that could cause vasoconstriction).
The fatty acids in almonds help to reduce inflammation and cause the skin and hair to be healthy. They also reduce the level of LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, this is also known as the “bad” cholesterol.