Health, HEALTH/FOOD

Almond: The Nut That Keeps Giving

AlmondWhen you think almond, do you think nut or seed? Well technically almond is the seed of a deciduous tree which grows 13 — 33 feet in height. Almonds begin bearing an economic crop in three years after planting and nurturing but reaches its full potential within six years.

The Almond is native to the Mediterranean climate region of the Middle East, but today is grown in many countries including the United States.

Almonds are considered to be an ancient food going back to biblical times. They can be eaten raw or toasted and may also be used as components of various dishes.

They are nutritious and tasty and provides a range of benefits which include:

1)  Lower LDL-Cholesterol and Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Research has shown that a diet containing almonds and other nuts reduced blood levels of LDL (LDL is the form of cholesterol that has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease). Almonds as a substitute for traditional fats in testing shows a reduction of 8 — 12% in LDL cholesterol levels.

2)  Provide Protection against Diabetes

Eating Almonds reduces surges in blood sugar levels and offers protection against diabetes. The Journal of Nutrition reports that almonds appear to not only decrease after meal rises in blood sugar, but also provide antioxidants to mop up smaller amounts of free radicals.

3)  Provide Healthy fats and Help in Weight Loss

Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts. (Data from the Nurses’ Health Study)

Study also shows that those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than those who never or seldom ate them.

4)  Help Nourish the Nervous System

The high riboflavin  and L-carnitine content in almonds help boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

5)  Build Strong Bones and Teeth

Almonds contain phosphorus and calcium which are not only good for teeth structure but bones building in general.

The fact is almond is a nutritionally rich seed which packs a good punch in health benefits. It’s a good source of vitamin E, rich in dietary fiber, B vitamins, essential minerals such as magnesium, copper, manganese, calcium and potassium among other nutritional value.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow