Health benefits of almonds, the most important superfood in your weight loss diet
When those dreaded hunger pangs strike, don’t reach out for a bag of chips or biscuits. Instead, munch on a few almonds. They’re the perfect snack to keep you going through the day. They not only increase your energy levels, but also help you keep health related disorders at bay.
Mumbai-based fitness expert and nutritionist Madhuri Ruia says, “Almonds are a natural source of many essential nutrients, including protein and healthy fats. Eating a handful of almonds (30 grams/23 almonds) as a daily habit gives you and your family the power to take on the day.”
Almonds also find a mention in traditional Ayurveda. A main function of almonds is to tone up all body tissues, especially the reproductive. According to Siddha practice, almonds are also thought to have a therapeutic effect on debility and weakness, caused by chronic diseases including diabetes and other lifestyle conditions such as gastric irritation.
Ruia adds, “Almonds are a natural source of 15 nutrients, including plant proteins and healthy fats. Almonds are rich in vitamin E antioxidants, dietary fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, protein, manganese and calcium. They also contain folate, iron, niacin, thiamine, zinc and potassium.”
Here’s what research says about almonds.
A review by a panel of Indian experts, published in the journal Nutrients, suggests that daily inclusion of almonds as part of a healthy diet – long an Indian dietary tradition - may help reduce dyslipidemia, one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease among Indians. Dyslipidemia is a condition marked by high LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol levels.
Moreover, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that people who ate nuts such as almonds, at least seven times per week had a 20 percent lower all-cause mortality rate (death from any cause) compared to those who did not eat nuts.
Almonds are practical nuts that can be included with most food items. If you’re looking for more reasons, Delhi-based nutritionist Ritika Samaddar, says, “Women, especially mothers, need some extra calcium to keep up with the hectic demands of their family. A good idea is to supplement your calcium needs by eating some almonds or drinking a glass of lassi. Toss almonds in your favourite herb and make it an interesting snack option for not only yourself, but your children too.”
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