Almond is the King of nuts, and it is off-white in colour. It has a thin brown covering. It is oval in shape and comes in a hard shell. We have observed the immense benefits of almonds, which are either sweet or bitter in taste.
Almond is a dry fruit and is the most popular and loved tree nut. Almonds are highly nutritional and thus garner huge demand in all parts of the world. Almonds are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. There is huge confusion about considering the exact identity of almonds. It is labelled as a nut, but they are seeds with a hard outer covering. Almond trees are the oldest known trees that were cultivated. The scientific name is Prunus Dulcis. The almond comes from a medium-sized tree that bears pink and white flowers. The plant bears the almond fruit seed, which is referred to as the almond nut.
Nutritional Values of Almonds
Almonds are nutritional; thus, all the diet charts are for a sportsperson, wrestler, actor, child, senior citizen, or pregnant lady. There is no reason to avoid almond consumption unless one is allergic to nuts. According to the USDA, here is the nutritional information for 1 ounce or 28.35 grams of almonds.
Almond Nutritional Facts
- Calories in Almonds – 164 kcal
- Protein – 6.01 g
- Carbohydrates – 6.12 g
- Fat – 14.1 g
- Fiber – 3.54 g
- Vitamin E – 7.26 mg
- Manganese – 0.618 mg
- Magnesium – 76.5 mg
- Phosphorus – 136 mg
- Zinc – 0.885 mg
- Iron – 1.05 mg
- Vitamin B1 Thiamine – 0.058 mg
- Vitamin B9 Folate – 12.5 µg
- Potassium – 208 mg
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Glycemic Index of Almonds
Almonds have a Glycemic Index (GI) of about 5 to 10, which is low. The glycemic Index indicates the rank of the food based on its carbohydrate content and how easily the food gets digested, resulting in a hike in the body’s blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods with a rank between 0 and 50 are considered low GI, 51 to 69 are medium, whereas food from 70 to 100 is high. The foods with high GI rankings are not good for weight loss and diabetic patients. Almonds have low GI; thus, they are suitable for people with diabetes as they do not spike blood sugar levels. Almonds have a low GI, and thus, the blood absorbs them slowly.
Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds are a sheer delight; they simply enhance the flavour of any dish or are perfect for snacking when consumed in soaked form. Soaked almonds have innumerable benefits, and people with vegetarian or vegan diet preferences should consume soaked almonds for their protein intake. Almonds are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Some of the most essential health benefits of almonds are as follows:
Almonds Good For Brain
Almonds are a powerhouse of several health benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health, almonds are proven to improve memory function. They are rich in B-complex like Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B9, Thiamine, Niacin, and Folate, which are vital for brain development, especially for kids during the first two years and for neonatal development during the pregnancy phase. It is even rich in manganese which is important for brain development and nerve functioning. Almonds are popular for their benefits in improving concentration and memory.
Almond Good For Heart
According to NLM, almonds are a rich source of MUFA, which is the most vital element for the development of overall health. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, and after soaking, the content amplifies, which helps prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries. Thus, when on the go, the best snacking options are almonds and walnuts, both soaked and unsoaked. They are also a rich source of monounsaturated.
Almonds For Cholesterol
Almonds are a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids, which, when paired up with Vitamin E from the almond, work against the free radicals and cause inflammation. Thus, it stops the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and thereby lowers the LDL cholesterol levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, almonds are beneficial in increasing the levels of good cholesterol. They work to reduce HDL cholesterol. It is a well-stated fact that the balance between good and bad cholesterol must be maintained for good, healthy blood cholesterol levels.
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Almonds For Diabetes
According to the California Almond Board, it is proven that almonds are low in glycemic index and do not spike blood sugar levels. It is very low with magnesium levels. Thus, it will not let the pancreas secrete enough insulin to control the blood sugar levels. Almonds are popular as they work to improve insulin response and thus reduce insulin resistance. For diabetic patients, it is a great option for a snack or even as a complete meal. Almonds are good-quality fats with very low carbohydrates; thus, even in gestational diabetes, they are safe to consume.
Almonds For Bones
According to Harvard Health, almonds contain a good amount of calcium that strengthens bones. Since time immemorial, several civilisations have relied upon almonds for bone health. Pregnant ladies, lactating mothers, and soldiers were made to consume lots of almonds to have inner strength and strong bones. A handful of almonds have 25% of our daily magnesium and 34% of manganese requirements. The two help form bones and teeth and the metabolism of calcium and potassium.
Almonds for Weight Loss
It is proven that food with low GI is ideal for weight loss. Plus, almonds have MUFA and fiber; thus, it is mandatory to consume almonds when on a weight loss journey. Also, it keeps you full for a long time and thus helps maintain ideal healthy body weights. Almonds can boost slow metabolism even for people who have low Vitamin D levels in the body. According to the University of South Australia, one can eat almonds and lose weight too.
Almond Promotes Healthy Lifestyle
It is documented that almonds and other nuts help women fight cancer. Almonds are a rich source of Arginine, an essential amino acid, and it helps relax the blood vessels and facilitate the smooth flow of blood, thus giving more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. With more oxygen and nutrients, the overall fitness and productivity levels of any person increase.
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Almond Benefits for Skin and Hair
Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and increase the skin’s flexibility, moisture, and collagen. It keeps the skin healthy and firm and makes one look younger. Almonds also help people to look fresh and deal with sunburns. It is a powerful antioxidant; thus, if there is any hair damage, it helps recover it with the help of Vitamin E present in almonds. Vitamin E retains the moisture in the scalp and strengthens the hair’s roots; thus, there is considerably less hair fall. Thus, almonds are an integral part of the hair and skincare regime for all valid reasons.
Protein in Almonds
A fistful of almonds gives 10% of the daily requirement of protein. Thus, for vegetarians or vegans, almonds are a great source of proteins. Protein helps manage any wear and tear in the body; thus, consuming almonds helps the cells rejuvenate.
Prenatal Care of the Baby
Almonds fight inflammation and ensure the proper development of the fetus in the womb. It helps in building healthy cells in the baby. A pregnant lady is often asked to consume Vitamin E pills, and therefore almonds are a rich source of the same. It is significantly important to consume it.
Reduce Acidity, Heartburn, and Bloating
Almonds are rich in phosphorus. Thus, they help maintain the skin’s pH balance and neutralise the acids in the body. Consume almonds and see the magical effect when one has heartburn or bloating.
Almonds Help in Treating Anaemia
Almonds are a rich source of iron. Rather they help to fulfill 25% of daily iron requirements. Thus, they are the most trusted dietary supplement in treating anaemia.
Almonds For Sperm Count
In the case of men who want to increase their sperm count, almonds are a great option. Several studies suggest that men who eat a handful of almonds for two weeks can see a hike in their sperm count and have more viable “swimmers.”
Antioxidants in Almonds
Almonds are a very popular source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for their contribution to protecting against oxidative stress, which is responsible for destroying the molecules in the cells and causing inflammation, ageing, cancer, and arthritis. The antioxidants are found primarily in the outer brown covering. Thus, roasted almonds have benefits with their outer brown skin at times.
Almonds in High Blood Pressure
Magnesium present in almonds is known for helping people maintain and regulate their blood pressure levels. High blood pressure levels are the leading cause of heart attacks, kidney failures, and strokes. Even if one is maintaining a healthy weight and there is magnesium deficiency, it could result in high blood pressure. If the daily requirements of magnesium are not met, it could cause several diseases and so include them in your diet.
Almond helps Reduce Hunger
Almonds are low in carbs and high in protein. Thus, the hunger pangs are satiated with the help of almonds. According to the NIH, almonds are shown to reduce hunger pangs and promote satiety. Almonds are low in carbs and have good fat; thus there is fear of an increase in weight.
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Ways to Consume Almonds Nuts
Almonds are perhaps the most versatile food option. It is used in all the cuisines of the world. There are several ways to consume almonds and make them a part of their daily diet. The best and simplest way to consume it is by soaking the almonds. If you desire to consume a full meal or snack, it is possible. Here are a few recipes that call for almonds.
Almond Milk Recipe
Take a cup of almonds, soak it overnight, and then blend it with double the quantity of water. Almond milk is ready; it can be stored in the fridge and is the perfect milk option for people who are allergic to milk and milk products or are vegan. Make the regular oats in this almond milk by boiling oats in it. The flavor of oats will enhance, and the nutty texture will make it more tempting. Add fruits and honey to make it complete milk. Almond milk is a great option for replacing the regular milk in tea, coffee, or shakes.
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Almond Cookies and Cake
Replace all-purpose flour or other flour with almond flour in the cookies and cake recipe. The cake or cookie becomes more nutritional, but the taste improves considerably. In any of your trusted cake or cookie recipes, almond flour can be replaced. Also, to garnish the cake and cookies, use slivered or chopped almonds. It adds to its beauty and gives the desired crunch. If you are inclined towards baking, then try almond bread which is a great source of fiber and is low in carbohydrates.
almond butter is in rage, and it is for all good reasons. They ate a great source of various nutrients; thus, people on a diet or watching their weight and athletes using almond butter as a good fat source is a great option. The store-bought butter is full of sugar and hydrogenated vegetable fats. Thus, they are unhealthy. It is easy to make almond butter at home. Blend soaked almonds in the mixer at the pulse mode. Within a few minutes, aromatic nutty almond butter is ready. It lasts well in the fridge for 25 days.
Almond Ice Cream
Almonds are in use for ages for the preparation of any sort of dessert in all the cuisines of the world. People love the texture, aroma, richness, and nutritional value that almond adds to any dessert. It is almond souffle or almond pie or even porridge that helps to quench the cravings of the sweet tooth and also enjoy the dessert without any guilt.
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Almonds Side Effects
There is a common saying that too much of anything is bad. The same thumb rule applies to almonds as well. Having discussed the health benefits of almonds, it is also vital to understand the quantity limitations that exist while consuming almonds. If one is allergic to nuts, then there is a complete restriction in its consumption, but there is an upper limit of consumption for others. Ideally, one person should consume 10 to 15 almonds daily. The question associated with almonds is do almonds increase weight? The answer is no, but it has calorie content when consumed in moderation. Some of the side effects of excessive almond consumption are as follows:
- Leads to kidney stones
- Excessive almond consumption reduces the absorption of nutrients in the body
- Can trigger allergies
Can Diabetics Eat Almonds?
Yes, even diabetic patients can eat almonds but then only in moderation. The GI of almonds is low. Thus it is ideal for diabetic patients. They can have almond milk, almond butter, or any other dessert and savory made of almond flour but in limited quantities. It is best to consult the doctor or dietitian before incorporating them into your diet. Read the full article on the effects of eating almonds on diabetic people.
If you want the perfect crunch in your food, the best and the most healthy way to do it is by adding almonds to the dish. It is the ideal nut that can alleviate the taste of any dish or is perfect for separate consumption also. Use is not only for the taste but for the immense health benefits that it has to offer. No wonder the elders often considered almonds as a treasure trove of nutrients.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) :
There are three types of almonds, namely, Mamra, California almonds, and Gurbandi. Mamra accounts for 4% of the world. It is high in carbohydrates and oil but less in protein content; thus, it has high-calorie content compared to the other two options.
The bitter almonds are not meant for direct consumption. Rather it is not possible to consume it. The sweet almond is suitable for consumption. The bitter almond is used to make oils and butter used for application on the skin.
Almonds provide 7 grams of protein per 35-gram serving. They are full antioxidants and thus help to protect the cells from any damage.
People like young children or older folks who have difficulty swallowing should avoid almonds. People with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, allergies, and kidney stones should avoid almonds.
Despite being popularly known as a nut, the fact is that almonds are a seed enclosed in a hard outer covering. It is available in the market with or without the hard outer covering. The hard outer covering elongates the shelf life of almonds.
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