Almonds, belong to the Rosaceae family and are scientifically known as Prunus dulcis Miller D. A. Webb (the almond or sweet almond). These are currently in demand as healthy food with rising among consumers and farmers. Almond consumption leads to many therapeutic and health-protective advantages. Clinical research is able to confirm the benefits of almonds on body weight regulation, and modulatory effects on blood lipid, glucose, and uric acid levels. Also protective effects against diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases.
Almonds are rich in fatty acids, lipids, amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and secondary metabolites. Additionally, the current study also shows almonds’ prebiotic potential. Almonds are useful in a variety of food products and recipes as well as consumed whole (fresh or roasted), in spreads like almond butter, and in many other ways.
The almond is a significant nut that originated in Central Asia but is now grown globally in hot, arid Mediterranean climate areas. Nowadays, the United States is the biggest producer of almonds, followed by Spain and Australia. Because of genetic and ecological variables, as well as processing conditions, each cultivated almond variety has a unique chemical profile.
California, in the United States, is one of the world’s major almond-producing areas, accounting for approximately 80% of global almond production. In California, approximately 30 varieties of almonds are gradually commercialized which shows the benefits of almonds. Almond production in India centers around Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, and Kashmir. Kashmir is the country’s almond industry hub, and almond production is growing year after year.
Chemical Constituents that show the benefits of Almonds
- Almonds are a good source of protein, monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, and vitamin E. Also include riboflavin, and important minerals(manganese, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus).
- Almonds are a tasty and versatile snack. Typically, 100 grams of almonds have 575 calories and 50% fat.
- Ellagitannins, gallotannins, and ellagic acid are hydrolyzable tannins in almonds.
- Almonds also contain various flavonoid groups, including flavonols, anthocyanidins (cyanidin), flavanones, and flavan-3-ols.
- The most common flavan-3-ols are (+)-catechin, dihydrokaempferol, and (-)-epicatechin which show the benefits of almonds.
Varieties that show the benefits of Almonds
Raw, blanched, dry-roasted, and oil-roasted almonds are all readily accessible. You can buy them in whole, diced, chopped, or slivered form. Nutrient-wise, raw almonds are similar to dry-roasted ones. Almonds are commonly stored in dry, dark, and cold for about two years at temps below 40°F. You can take it in many forms which include.
- Almond milk: Those who follow a low-cholesterol diet or who are lactose sensitive may find this dairy-free plant milk appealing because it is free of lactose and cholesterol.
- Almond Butter: Although almond butter has a comparable consistency to peanut butter. So people use as a substitute who is allergic to peanuts.
- Almond Meal or Almond Flour: This gluten-free, low-carb flour substitute comes from finely powdered almonds. Remove the shells after blanching to give the almonds a smoother texture. Though higher in calories and cholesterol than wheat flour, it is more nutrient-dense. When substituting almond flour for other flours in recipes, more almond flour is typically required because it has more moisture than all-purpose flour.
Health Benefits of Almonds
Part 1- Benefits of Almonds
- Lipidemic control: Controlling blood lipid levels is one of the main benefits of almonds consumption. A randomized controlled trial meta-analysis found an association between almond consumption and lower total cholesterol (TC) and LDL-c; however, substantial impacts on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) or triglycerides were not found.
- Glycemic control: Several studies examined the benefits of almonds supplementation in modulating glucose homeostasis, in addition to lipidemic control. Furthermore, using standardized test meals, two studies investigated the acute impact of almond consumption on postprandial glucose homeostasis.
- Obesity management: Benefits of almonds, which have high-fat oxidation rates that lead to visceral fat reduction. Almonds’ combination of fiber, plant protein, and healthy fats makes them satiating, increasing fullness feelings and preventing hunger recurrence which leads to weight loss.
- Cardiovascular management: Obesity and impaired glucose increase the chance of cardiovascular disease, either as single or combined risk factors. As a result, it appears clear that therapeutic strategies, as well as dietary approaches targeted at counteracting these metabolic changes, result in lower cardiovascular risk.
Part 2- Benefits of Almonds
- Anti-inflammatory property: Almond consumption has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory potential. According to the authors, the anti-inflammatory effects may be due to the high monounsaturated fatty acid content, but other almond components, such as magnesium, arginine, and phytochemicals, may also contribute to lowering inflammatory mediator levels.
- Antioxidant property: Benefits of almonds shows an anti-oxidant property. Consumption of almonds may help protect against oxidative stress. According to many studies, the high content of polyphenol compounds present in almonds is responsible for antioxidants’ properties.
- Lower blood pressure: Almonds contain magnesium, which may help reduce blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major cause of heart attacks, strokes, and renal failure. Magnesium supplementation may help individuals with high blood pressure, whether they already have it or not, as well as those who have preexisting chronic diseases, according to several meta-analyses. You can reach the advised daily magnesium intake by including one to two servings of almonds in your diet, which may improve your health.
- Effect on brain function: Almonds are among the most well-liked foods that are good for the brain because of their high amounts of riboflavin and L-carnitine. These two substances keep healthy neurological function and reduce inflammatory processes in the brain, avoiding cognitive decline. Those who are at high risk of developing cognitive diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease should make it a habit to consume almonds every day or at least several times per week.