Almonds Nutrition Facts And Health Benefit
Wonderfully delicious, almonds have long been revered as an epitome of wellness and health. The kernels are among the richest sources of health-benefiting nutrients essential for optimum health. Almonds Nutrition Facts And Health Benefit.
Botanically, they are the fruits obtained from medium size tree belonging to the family of Rosaceae, in the genus: Prunus.
The plant is a deciduous tree, probably originated mineral-rich West-Asian mountain ranges that provide fertile conditions favorable for their growth. In recent years, it is being cultivated in many regions of the world, including the USA, as an important commercial crop.
During each spring season, an almond tree bears pinkish-white flowers that subsequently develop into fruits by autumn. In structure, the fruit is a “drupe” with centrally placed edible “almond nut” (kernel) surrounded by a hard shell. Almond kernel features brown outer skin, oval to conical in shape, measures about 2 cm long and 1 cm wide, and weigh about 1 to 1.5 g.
Almond nuts are rich sources of vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals. These nuts compose of well-balanced food principles that are essential for optimum health and wellness.
Almonds are one of the complete sources of energy as well as nutrients. The nuts, especially, are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids that help in lowering LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increasing HDL or “good cholesterol” in the human body. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is excellent in monounsaturated fatty acids, help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
The nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E; hold about 25 g per100 g (about 170% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining cell membrane integrity of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals.
Almonds are free from gluten protein, and for the same reason, they are one of the popular ingredients in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas. Such formula preparations are, in fact, healthy alternatives in people with wheat food allergy, and celiac disease.
The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Altogether, these vitamins work as co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism inside the human body.
Furthermore, almonds are also an incredible source of minerals such as manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Almond oil, extracted from the nuts, can be employed as an emollient. When applied regularly, it helps keep skin well protected from dryness. Additionally, the oil is used in cooking in Iran, and Turkey. It is also used as “carrier or base oil” in various traditional medicines, in aromatherapy, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.
A handful of almonds a day provides much of recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein. Besides, almond oil extracted from the nuts has been used in cooking, and medicine. Read More