Badam or almonds as they are commonly known are a good source of fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins. They are related to several health benefits which you should know, especially if you are suffering from anxiety and stress that is fast becoming an issue, given today’s hectic life. A handful of almonds, which is about 1 ounce, can fulfill our 1/8th daily protein needs. They can be consumed roasted or raw, available flaked, sliced, like flour, silvered, almond milk, butter, or in oil form.
They are seeds and a ‘drupe’ and not exactly a true nut. It is considered to be among the earliest trees to be cultivated dating back to 3000 to 2000 BC. Its health benefits are said to be documented for centuries. Some of those claims are backed up by modern research. There are indeed several reasons for almonds (badam) to be included in the regular diet.
Some interesting facts to know
Given below are a few key points explaining the facts of almonds:
- This tree species is native to North Africa, the Middle East, and India.
- It is not exactly a true nut.
- Evidence suggests that its consumption can help reduce cholesterol levels.
- The powerful toxin is present in wild almonds.
- They were domesticated 1000s of years ago.
Know the benefits
Several potential health benefits can be derived from the consumption of almonds. Few are given below:
- Cancer risk: According to a study published recently, cancer risks can be reduced significantly with almond consumption. Individuals consuming peanuts, almonds, and walnuts in good quantities were prone to reduced risks of contracting breast cancer by about 2 to 3 times. These nuts can prove to be a protective factor for breast cancer development.
- Cholesterol: Vitamin E levels increase within the red blood cells and plasma with almond consumption, thus reducing cholesterol levels. According to a study, consuming almonds did boost significantly Vitamin E levels in the bloodstream and diet. Vitamin E is regarded to be a powerful antioxidant that defends the cells against damage caused regularly. It also avoids oxidation of cholesterol from clogging the artery. Consuming handfuls of almonds every day can help derive vitamin E that is essential for the body to stay healthy.
- Loaded with antioxidants: Good amount of antioxidants can be found in almonds, which safeguard against oxidative stress that otherwise might damage molecules within the cells. It also contributes towards aging, inflammation, and causing diseases such as cancer. It is within the skin’s brown layer that the powerful antioxidants are present. Blanched almonds for this reason, with skin removed do not offer the much-needed benefits from the health perspective. A clinical trial conducted in a few male smokers revealed 84gms (3 ounces) of almonds a day when consumed diminished oxidative stress biomarkers in a 4 week period by about 23% to 24%. It does help to de-stress.
- Heart disease: Seeds, nuts, and almonds are more associated with enhanced blood lipid levels and to enjoy a healthy heart. Some evidence is also found of almonds when added to the diet might help eliminate heart disease. It increases significantly antioxidant amounts within the bloodstream, improved blood flow, and reduced blood pressure.
- Help control weight: Since there is a good amount of fiber and proteins in almonds and lower amounts of carbohydrates, they do provide people with a fuller feeling for a long time. It also has the potentiality to reduce overall calories consumed. Several studies have been conducted on almonds including different types of nuts to demonstrate their benefits of providing that feeling full for some time until the next meal.
- Blood sugar: Magnesium is present in high levels in almonds. Some evidence can be found of almonds helping to control blood sugar levels in the human body. Health experts recommended just two ounces of almonds daily. About 1/3rd people suffering from type 2 diabetes tend to experience low levels of magnesium. On taking almonds regularly, they showed a significant increase in magnesium levels and also insulin resistance improvements.
They are an excellent source of magnesium copper, vitamin E, and superior quality protein, including healthy unsaturated good fatty acids and bioactive molecules like phytosterols, fiber, antioxidants, various minerals, and vitamins in high levels. They help to prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Seeds and nuts, according to the health experts, when vegetable foods are taken into account are considered to be the richest source of fiber just after cereals. This is why almonds are stated to be excellent for cardiovascular health.
Whole, raw almonds of one cup (about 143 gms) comprise of:
- Energy: 828 kilocalories
- Water: 6.31 gms
- Protein: 30.24 gms
- Fiber, total dietary: 17.9 gms
- Carbohydrate, by difference: 30.82 gms
- Total lipid (fat) 71.40 gms
- Iron, Fe: 5.31 mg
- Calcium, Ca: 385 mg
- Cholesterol: 0 gms
- Sugars, total: 6.01 gms
- Sodium, Na: 1 mg
- Potassium, K: 1048 mg
- Phosphorus, P: 688 mg
- Magnesium, Mg: 386 mg
- Niacin: 5.174 mg
- Riboflavin: 1627 mg
- Thiamin: 0.293 mg
- Total ascorbic acid, Vitamin C: 0 mg
- Zinc, Zn: 4.46 mg
- Vitamin A, RAE: 0 micrograms
- Vitamin B12: 0 micrograms
- Folate, DFE: 63 micrograms
- Vitamin B6: 0.196 mg
- Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol): 36.65 mg
- Vitamin A, IU: 3 International Units
- Vitamin K (Phylloquinone): 0 micrograms
- Vitamin D: 0 International Units
- Caffeine: 0 mg
Side effects / risks
There are many people who are allergic to various types of foods and other items, including almonds and nuts. If so, then it becomes crucial to avoid all food products containing almonds in them. Almonds are generally used for preparing praline, marzipan, and frangipane as well as in bread, biscuits, cakes, certain liqueurs (like Amandine) and ice cream, chocolates, etc.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of almonds for stress relief, then you should definitely invest in Badam Rogan, a wonderful Ayurvedic product that has proved to be a real stress buster