Almond A Healthier Snack17 July 2020
Almonds are the most popular nuts in the whole world. Though almonds are commonly referred to as a nut, they are actually teardrop-shaped edible seeds that are the fruit of the almond tree (Prunusdulcis).They are favorite of dieters, in recent years' almonds have become famous for their versatility and health benefits.
Almonds are a high-fat food, but they are largely a monounsaturated fat which helps to protect the heart by maintaining levels of (good) HDL cholesterol versus (bad) LDL cholesterol. One ounce (28gram) of almonds contain 164 food calories, 6.1 gram of carbohydrate and 14.2 gram of fat. They are a great source of fiber and protein, and contain important nutrients including vitamin E, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, especially folate and biotin (vitamin B7).
Possible health benefits associated with almonds are listed below:
n Almonds are rich in nutrients that can help protect the heart including unsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, magnesium, vitamin E, copper and manganese. Unsaturated fat does not increase the risk of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol. Almonds can reduce LDL cholesterol from 8 to 12%.Plant sterols found in almonds may interfere with the absorption of cholesterol and bile acid.
n Studies have found a relationship between almond consumption and reduced cancer risk. A study in 2017 has found that people who ate almonds regularly had a 42 percent lower chance of cancer recurrence (colon cancer). Additionally, the antioxidants and vitamin E in almonds may have cancer-fighting benefits.
n Almonds can help manage weight. They are low in carbohydrates but high in protein, healthful fats, and fiber. So eating almonds as a mid-morning snack can leave a person feeling full for some time. Feeling full can help people lose weight, as they will be less tempted to seek more snacks.
n There is some evidence that almonds may help manage blood sugar levels. Many people with type 2 diabetes have low magnesium levels. A deficiency is common among those who have difficulty managing their blood sugar levels. And almonds are excellent source of magnesium. One ounce of almonds provides 76.5 mg of magnesium.
n Almonds boost bone health. They contain calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin K, protein, and zinc, all of which contribute to bone health.
n Almonds may boost memory function. They are a good source of nutrients that are important for brain health, including vitamin E, folate and unsaturated fatty acids, as well as l-carnitine which is known for its neuroprotective benefits.
n Almonds are good for the gut. Consuming moderate amounts of almonds or almond butter not only improved diet quality in both adults and children, but also altered the composition of the gut microbiome, possibly in part to their high fiber content.
n Almonds contain relatively high levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E contains antioxidants, such as tocopherol. These compounds can protect your cells from oxidation and premature aging.
There are potential risks associated with almond consumption. People with a nut allergy should avoid almonds. If a person experiences hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing after eating almonds, they should seek immediate medical help. A condition known as anaphylaxis can develop quickly and can be life threatening.
Almonds are a healthful food. They provide a range of essential nutrients and can be good source of protein for people who follow a plant-based diet. Put some nuts on your daily breakfast list and see the result yourself.
(Naimur Rahman Afid is a B. Pharm Student at Department of Pharmacy, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University. E-mail: [email protected])