Surprising Benefits of Almonds Nutrition and risks:
The almond is the edible seed that grows on the tree Prunus dulcis, more commonly called the almond tree.
A handful serving of almonds contains fibre, proteins, fats(majority of which is mono saturated), vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.
There are three prominent types of almonds available in the Indian market — Mamra, Gurbandi(choti giri) and California almonds.
Consumers like you and I, very happily reach for the almond packet that is nicely wrapped and get the most satisfaction eating them. But the thing we ignore the most is the actual nutrient content inside .
Which almond is best—Gurbandi or California or Mamra?
Let me start by singing a few praises of the Mamra. It has higher carbohydrate content, more oil and richer in sugar. That is why it is considered as a potent energy snack. The thing that actually sets aside the Mamra badam from the Californians and Gurbandis is the method of production. Mamras are cultivated organically without using chemicals. You typically buy these almonds in their almost natural state. California almonds pass through chemical processing and are pasteurized (treated with very high heat). The intense heat processing reduces the healthy oil content from the almonds. California almonds are sweeter in taste because of chemical processing. because of their altered taste, these almonds should ideally be used for cooking and garnishing. However, many Indian almond eaters snack on them. Mamra and Gurbandi almonds are suitable for direct consumption. Gurbandi almonds are also rich in nutrients such as omega 3, Vitamin E and phytochemicals. This Choti Giri may be small in size but gives abundant energy. The antioxidant-rich Gurbandi almonds serve as a nutritious snack and are also used as the prime ingredient in many oils, tablets and cosmetics. You can choose any almond you like. My choice would be mamra, Gurbandi (even though a few of these will turn out bitter) followed by California (least preferred by me). Why almonds should be a part of our daily diet
#1. Loaded with antioxidants Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer. The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin. For this reason, blanched almonds (skin removed) are not the best choice from a health perspective. Several studies have linked higher vitamin E intake with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that defends your cells against damage on a daily basis and prevents artery-clogging oxidation of cholesterol.
#2. Lower blood sugar levels Nuts are low in carbs, but high in healthy fats, protein and fiber. This makes them a perfect choice for diabetics. However, another thing that sets almonds apart, is their remarkably high amount of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral involved in a lot of bodily processes, including blood sugar control. It turns out that a major population of type 2 diabetics are deficient in magnesium, and correcting the deficiency significantly lowers blood sugar levels and improves the function of insulin. The magnesium in almonds may also help to lower blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
#3. Lower Cholesterol Levels Having high levels of LDL lipoproteins (the "bad" cholesterol) in the blood is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. Eating almonds daily lowers LDL while maintaining the good HDL cholesterol. And the main news....it also reduces belly fat.
#4. Eating Almonds Reduces Hunger, Lowering Your Overall Calorie Intake Almonds are low in carbs, and high in both protein and fiber. Both protein and fiber are known to increase satiety. They help people feel more full, so they end up eating fewer calories. Despite being high in fat, almonds are most definitely a weight loss friendly food.
#5. Godsend for people allergic to gluten and lactose Almond flour is a great alternative for those who have a gluten allergy, as it is gluten-free. It also is low-carb, and free of the many downsides typical of more conventional flours. Since almond milk is dairy-free, it is an easy, tasty and popular milk-substitute for those sensitive to both gluten and lactose. These are recommended by a lot of doctors to children falling under autism spectrum.
There are potential risks associated with the consumption of almonds. Allergy to almonds is actually quite common. Symptoms of almond allergy can include stomach pain or cramps, nausea and vomiting, problems swallowing, diarrhea, itching, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. If you are allergic to almonds, it's important to avoid any food products that may contain them. Almonds are also sometimes used in cakes, biscuits, bread, chocolates, ice cream, and many Indian sweets.
An advice from my grandma and maa...
If you are consuming a lot of almonds, it can cause constipation, bloating and upset your stomach. Sedantary lifestyle can lead to fat deposition in your body. It can interfere with your intake of laxatives, blood pressure medication and antibiotics.