Almond – a small nut with big benefits

Almond – a small nut with big benefits
Picture: Photomailbox | Dreamstime
Victoria Mamaeva
Pharmaceutical Specialist

Almond provides the body with a powerful dose of healthy energy to function and, at the same time, enriches the body with valuable nutrients.

In addition, almonds have healing properties that every pregnant woman suffering from morning sickness will appreciate. However, you don’t need to overdo it with almonds, because it is half fat, although healthy, because they are unsaturated, but high in calories.

About two million tons of almonds are produced worldwide. The largest producer is the United States, but almonds also come from Spain, Iran, Italy, Morocco, Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey and Tunisia. The vast majority of products relate to sweet almonds, which are used not only in food, but also in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Bitter almonds are harvested in much smaller quantities, as they are poisonous due to their amygdalin content, which releases hydrocyanic acid during decomposition. Bitter almonds are used to make almond oil, used in the production of soaps, aromatic essences, and some liqueurs.

Almond composition

Sweet almonds should be a daily component of the diet because of their valuable properties. Compared to all other nuts, almonds are considered one of the most nutrient dense.

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Almonds do not contain harmful trans fats, but are a rich source of nutrients such as:

  • protein
  • unsaturated fatty acids
  • minerals (100g almonds contain: 778mg potassium, 239mg calcium, 454mg phosphorus, 269mg magnesium, 3mg iron, 14mg sodium)
  • Vitamins (Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, Riboflavin – Vitamin B2, Niacin – Vitamin B3)
  • dietary fiber
  • carbohydrates
  • polyphenols
  • flavonoids
  • sterols
  • antioxidants

What are the benefits of almonds

All the valuable ingredients contained in almonds have a great effect on the brain, providing it with sufficient fuel, they also take care of the bones, because they have twice the calcium of milk. In addition, it regulates blood sugar levels.

Kiwi is a valuable juicy green fruit
Kiwi is a valuable juicy green fruit

Almonds are good for the heart. It contains antioxidants, monounsaturated fats, magnesium and copper, which strengthen the veins and the entire circulatory system, lower blood pressure, etc. bad cholesterol.

Almonds also have a beneficial effect on the skin, supporting the production of collagen, preventing the development of harmful free radicals that cause skin aging and the formation of wrinkles. It also improves skin elasticity and firmness and reduces the risk of stretch marks, which is why it should be a daily ingredient for pregnant women.

It is recommended for people prone to digestive disorders because it restores the proper bacterial flora in the intestines and also has an alkaline reaction that neutralizes stomach acids. The peel of almonds is rich in substances responsible for the reproduction of beneficial bacteria in the intestines. That’s why it’s worth turning to when people struggle with persistent stomach pain, indigestion, or bad breath.

Calorie content

Despite so many benefits, you need to remember how many calories are in almonds.

Picture: Chris Boswell | Dreamstime

Unfortunately, almonds are very high in calories, eating 100g of almonds gives the body about 580 kcal.

How many almonds can you eat per day? Some say that just four almonds a day will provide the body with valuable nutrients. However, it is worth remembering that the daily dose should not exceed 30 grams.

Almonds for weight loss

When compiling a diet for weight loss, you should not give up almonds, because although they are high in calories, they provide the body with the necessary healthy fats.

Carbohydrates are an important element of our diet
Carbohydrates are an important element of our diet

Thanks to almonds, sudden attacks of hunger do not occur, because they prevent fluctuations in blood sugar, in addition, they are a source of dietary fiber that improves metabolism.

Almonds and Diabetes

Scientists are constantly studying the effects of almonds on diabetes. Recent research from Loma Linda University in the US shows that regular consumption of almonds can reduce insulin resistance and lower so-called bad cholesterol levels in people with prediabetes.

A group of 65 patients diagnosed with prediabetes was examined. Some patients were given a balanced diet, but without nuts or almonds, and in another group, 20% of the calories in the diet came from almonds. After four months, the almond-eating group experienced a significant reduction in so-called bad cholesterol and a decrease in insulin resistance.

Almonds during pregnancy

Almonds are an old and proven way to relieve heartburn, which is why pregnant women consume them with such enthusiasm. Heartburn is especially disturbing in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, when a woman’s body produces a large amount of progesterone and estrogen, which cause relaxation of the smooth muscles of the digestive tract.

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In addition, an enlarging uterus compresses the stomach and forces stomach acid back up into the esophagus. Almonds can neutralize this acid.

Almonds are also a good way to alleviate the morning sickness that so bothers some pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy, its advantage is that it can be eaten on an empty stomach, so it is worth keeping a pack of almonds by the bed to get rid of nausea before getting out of bed. .

Cocoa – a healthy and tasty miracle of nature
Cocoa – a healthy and tasty miracle of nature

Almonds should be included in the menu of the expectant mother also because of their nutritional properties. Pregnant women need almonds because, among other things:

  • contributes to the development of bones and teeth of the fetus, reduces the risk of preeclampsia
  • the riboflavin contained in it has a good effect on the development of the child’s brain, muscle and bone development
  • almond iron is necessary for the production of oxygen in the body and prevents anemia
  • its fiber content prevents constipation
  • folic acid prevents fetal malformations
  • magnesium aids in the development of the central nervous system

A nursing mother can also include almonds in her diet, but she should observe the reactions of the baby and check if they cause allergies in the baby.

If he develops a rash or breathing problems, he should definitely see a doctor and eliminate almonds from his diet.

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