Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Health Benefits of Almonds


February 16th was the Almond Day and I am a bit late in publishing this post. Sometimes it is better late than never. This post talks about the health benefits of almonds. Well almonds owe its existence to the Middle East.

 

Almonds make you smart. Now that’s a nice thing to know. They are rich in antioxidants and help you to think smarter. Almonds are rich in vitamin E. They help your skin look great. A handful of almonds help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and are quite heart friendly.

 

Almonds are rich in magnesium and potassium. Magnesium improves the flow of blood in arteries and veins. Potassium helps to maintain the normal blood pressure and functioning of the heart. Almonds have prebiotic properties that improve the digestive health. It increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

 

Almonds contain folic acid which reduces the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which is believed to have an underhand in the building of fatty plaque in arteries. It seems that almonds reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Zinc, selenium, copper, phosphorous, biotin and niacin are the other nutrients of almonds.

 

Wild almond tree oil which is also called as sterculic oil is extracted from the seeds of the wild almond tree. It helps to reduce obesity and diabetes. Talking about wild almond tree, the wild raw almonds may contain a glycoside which can be converted into deadly poison cyanide. What we are eating are domesticated almonds. The domesticated variety does not contain all these dangerous stuff. You can very well eat the domesticated raw almonds to gain the benefits of flavonoids. They are natural antioxidants and 20 different flavonoids are present in the skin rather than the meat of the almond.

A word of caution, if you are ever lost in the woods never ever taste wild almond.

 

Take care,

Swarnam

 

Photo of almonds by lobster20

Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net