Let’s face it. There are a lot of nuts out there. There’s the peanut, the pistachio, the macadamia, the pine nut, the cashew; the list goes on. But perhaps the most ambitious member of the nut family is the almond. Since 2005, almonds have been taking America by storm, growing in demand by more than 220%. As of today, the average American consumes over two pounds of almonds per year. And why shouldn’t the almond get its due? We owe a lot to the almond! Without the almond, there would be no Hershey’s with Almonds, Snickers with Almonds, almond milk, Rocky Road Ice Cream, and perhaps, most devastatingly, Almond Joy! So what is behind the Almond Seduction of America? Let’s investigate!
1. Almonds prevent heart disease
Almonds contain mono saturated fatty acid, or MUFA, as well as antioxidants. The presence of flavanoids in the skin of the nut, works along with Vitamin E to decrease inflammation and improve the function of your arteries.
Almonds also pack in the nutrients when it comes to keeping the heart health. They contain, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium and helps to lower “bad cholesterol.”
2. Almonds are good for your brain
That’s why people who eat almonds are so smart! Almonds are unique in that they contain L-carnitine and riboflavin, nutrients which are known for their abilities to accelerate neurological activity and decrease cognitive decline. The elderly are advised to eat almonds regularly because of the association between nuts and the reduction in brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease.
3. Almonds are good for your skin
Almonds contain loads of Vitamin E and antioxidants that reduce the signs of aging.The concentration of nutrients like catechin, flavonol antioxidants, and epicatechin fights skin cancer and reverses damage and stress from pollution, an unhealthy diet, and exposure to UV light. The healthy fat content in almonds also improves circulation, helps to hydrate skin and heal wounds.
4. Almonds Keep Blood Sugar Level Down
Remember those MUFAs we were talking about? Well, they do more than prevent heart disease. They also slow down the rate of sugar entering the blood stream and control insulin resistance. Almonds also help to decrease risks associated with diabetes, like oxidative stress, obesity and inflammation.
5. Almonds Help You Lose Weight
Almonds got a bad rap for a while because of their high fat and calorie content, but then scientists found out it was mono saturated fat and, now its all good! Besides healthy fats, almonds also contain dietary fiber which keeps you full and prevents the temptation to overeat and over snack.
According to the Nurse’s Health study, these nuts also support an active metabolism and according to a 2003 article in the International Journal of Obesity, women who consumed almonds experienced more weight reduction then those who did not.
If your an almond lover, let us know what you do with your nuts! We always appreciate your comments, advice, and suggestions.