Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Awesome Almonds

almondsTechnically almond is not a nut but the seed of the fruit of the almond tree. Almonds are an ancient food that has found its mention in the historical texts, including the Bible.

 

Healthy heart wants nuts

  • Almonds are good for your heart. Though, it is hard to believe that a high-fat food can be good for your health, nourish your heart and lower LDL cholesterol too. We know that LDL cholesterol clings on our arteries and for a healthy heart we need to have less of them. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats, as are found in olive oil.
  • Almonds are rich in magnesium, potassium and have manganese, copper and riboflavin too. Magnesium is nature’s own calcium channel blocker. When there is enough magnesium around, veins and arteries heave a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Studies show that a deficiency of magnesium is not only associated with heart attack but that immediately following a heart attack, lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical injury to the heart.
  • Potassium, an important electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and the contraction of all muscles including the heart, is another mineral that is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.
  • Manganese, copper and riboflavin in almonds help with more energy production within the cells.

Antioxidant protection

  • Almonds are better for health with their skin on. Antioxidants slow oxidation, a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage. When flavonoids team up with antioxidants, they deliver power packed punch to degenerative diseases, like cancer. Research studies have identified twenty potent antioxidant flavonoids in almonds skin.
  • The flavonoids found in almond skins team up with the vitamin E (antioxidants) found in their meat to more than double the antioxidant punch either delivers when administered separately, shows a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Protein Powerhouse

  • Almonds are good sources of protein. A quarter cup of almonds offers more protein than a typical egg.

A few quick serving ideas:

  • Traditionally, we have been having soaked almonds minced well with a glass of milk.
  • Add a punch to plain yogurt by mixing in some chopped almonds and dried fruit.
  • Enhance a healthy saut√© of curried vegetables with sliced almonds.
  • Throw in some almonds in a milk shake to boost its taste and rev its nutritional value.
  • Almonds and apple slices make a wonderfully simple, on-the-go power snack.
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Category: Fats & Oil
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