The benefits of almonds

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The benefits of almonds

A comparison of the Israeli almond with almonds from other sources found the Israeli almond to be significantly larger and to possess a high protein content of 21 g per 100 g.

The almond is a superfood. The Israeli almond is highly nutritious

According to the FDA, almonds are considered a nutrient rich food.

That is, a serving of almonds contains nutrients in excess of 20% of the daily recommended allowance. High levels of the other elements are also found in almonds.

By: Merav Mor-Ophir

Clinical dietitian, M.Sc

Contributes to weight loss

Almonds are particularly rich in nutrients compared to other nuts: They are rich in minerals, and specifically: iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
They are also rich in vitamins, vitamin E in particular, and a source of 6 B-complex vitamins. Almonds are also particularly rich in dietary fiber, vegetable protein, healthy fats, phytosterols and antioxidants.

Nutritional value per 100g & a serving portion: 

 

Prevents heart disease

Given the special composition of the almond, incorporating it in the menu, between meals or as part of a meal, can help increase the consumption of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, dietary fiber and protein and also help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, help prevent cardiovascular disease, help preserve digestive system functioning, help prevent cancer and diabetes, and even promote a satiated feeling, thereby helping to maintain a healthy weight. Eating a handful of natural almonds daily dovetails well with health trends, the changeover to consumption of natural foods, and can help us maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Skin anti-aging properties

Antioxidants protect body cells from damage, such as inflammation, aging of the skin and various diseases, and may aid the effectiveness of physical activity and improve achievements by regulating oxidation mechanisms in the skeletal muscles. Studies have shown that these properties are found in the brown coat  attached to the almond fruit. The availability of the almonds’ nutritional value can be increased by sprouting them in water for 12 to 24 hours before consuming them.

Helps balance pre-diabetes sugar levels

The almond’s composition necessitates its slow break down, moderating a rise in sugar levels. Eating 45 g of almonds was found to be associated with lower insulin and sugar levels after a meal. Another study found evidence that eating almonds helps increase insulin sensitivity in people with prediabetes.

Promotes a relaxed sleep

Almonds are a source of the sleep hormone melatonin and also of magnesium. In addition to reducing inflammation in the body, almonds are also of high value for people who want to sleep better and longer.

Helps reduce hunger pangs

The nutritional composition of almonds promotes a satiated feeling. So people eat less.

Helps preserve vascular health

Results of clinical studies on healthy subjects and subjects with high levels of blood cholesterol consistently demonstrate that consumption of almonds has a positive impact on lowering LDL levels (the “bad” cholesterol) in the blood.
A review of the literature found an optimal impact on LDL and total cholesterol levels when 30 g or more of almonds were consumed daily.
The results of the majority of studies found that consuming almonds contributed to lowering of LDL levels by 5% to 12%. Similar lowering of levels was also found for total cholesterol levels.
Consumption of almonds was also associated with preserving of HDL levels (the “good” cholesterol), and even their elevation.
Almonds form part of the Portfolio diet. This well-known dietary pattern has been extensively researched in recent decades.
It is rich in vegetable protein, soluble dietary fiber, and phytosterols found in almonds, and has been determined to be highly effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels.

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