What Are Almonds Good For?
The almond, which we think of as a nut, is actually the seed of the fruit from the almond tree. The almond is related to the peach, but the fruit toughens into a leathery coat, called the hull, which contains the shell and theible kernel. Unlike the peach pit, the almond kernel is not only edible, but also quite nutritious.
Almonds are high in health-promoting monounsaturated fats. These fats are beneficial for healthy hair, skin, and nails. But do not be too concerned about almond consumption leading to a high-fat diet; it is believed that not all of the fat in almonds is absorbed. A study, from Kings College in London, showed that the cell walls of almonds may influence the body s absorption of the fat in almonds. When eating almonds, chewing appears to break down only some of the cell walls, leaving some of the almond intact, so that not all of the fat was released for digestion.
Almonds are also low in calorie density, which means you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories (eat more, gain less). But do not go overboard; anything ateen in excess can lead to health problems. The most widely recommended intake of almonds is one ounce per day.
Almonds are a good source of manganese, magnesium, copper, tryptophan, phosphorus, and vitamins E & B2. They are also loaded with other vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Furthermore, like all nuts, almonds provide one of the best plant sources of protein. Almonds have been used to treat iron deficiency, menopause, pain, and for cancer prevention. The beneficial fats and fiber in almonds is believed to help prevent heart disease. One study shown almonds to be almost twice as effective at lower cholesterol levels than oatmeal.
With all the health benefits, as well as great taste, of almonds, it's no wonder that producers turn out over two million tonnes annually.
Disclaimer: This article is for entertainment purposes only, and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.