Wonderfully delicious, almonds have long been revered as symbol of wellness and health. The nuts are enriched with many health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health.
Botanically, they are the fruits from species of tree belonging to the family of Rosaceae, of Genus: Prunus. Scientific name: Prunus dulcis. Almond tree is a small deciduous tree, native to mineral rich West-Asian mountain ranges that provide optimum environment for their growth. In recent years, it is being cultivated in many regions of the world as an important commercial crop.
Almonds provide high quality, highly absorbable protein. What does quality protein mean and how is it measured? Protein quality is measured by the number of essential or indispensable amino acids provided and by the digestibility of the protein.
- Almonds contain high amounts of heart healthy monounsaturated fat and vitamin E and reduce LDL cholesterol levels, as well as the risk for heart disease. LDL cholesterol has commonly been linked to heart disease and atherosclerosis.
- Additionally, a quarter cup of almonds also contains 99 mg of magnesium and 257 mg of potassium. In a cup of whole almonds (143g), there are 826 calories, total fat is 72.42g, total carbs 28.23, protein 30.4g.
- With all these health benefits, the calories in almonds - raw or roasted do not outweigh the health benefits of almonds.
ALMONDS ARE A NUTRIENT DENSE PORTIEN SOURCE:
Almonds are a unique package of nutrients – a good source of protein (6 grams per one ounce) along with dietary fiber, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and vitamin E. In fact, one ounce of almonds provides about 7.4 grams of alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, 50 percent of the RDA. Almonds are the only good source of protein that is also an excellent source of vitamin E. As a protein, almonds are rich in arginine and low in lysine. Also, research indicates that eating a mixed diet that includes almonds and other protein sources can provide lysine in adequate and balanced quantities.
Traditionally, plant proteins have been regarded as inferior to animal protein. In the past, experts have expressed concern over the use of plant sources of protein. Current knowledge indicates that plant-based proteins are incomplete or are missing at least one of the indispensable amino acids. However, research suggests that an overall mixed diet provides the complementary spectrum of amino acids. So almonds as part of a healthy diet rich in a variety of foods contribute to the overall protein quality of the diet and provide complete and high quality protein.
Almond nuts are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals; the kind of well-balanced food ensure protection against diseases and cancers.
These nuts are rich source of energy and nutrients. They are especially, rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids that help to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol." Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
The nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E; contain about 25 g per100 g (about 170% of RDA). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.
Almonds are free in gluten and therefore, are a popular ingredient 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.
These nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. These vitamins function as a co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism.
They are also rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
The sweet almond oil is obtained from the nuts is an excellent emollient; helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. It has also been used in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.
Just a hand full of these nuts a day provides enough recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein. Besides, almond oil extracted from the nuts has been used in as base or carrier oil in medicine, aromatherapy and in pharmaceuticals.