Almonds are regarded as one of the most nutritious food items known to man. It offers a lot of health benefits that no other fruit or vegetable can provide. Almonds are easily the tastiest yet the most nutritious type of nuts available today. Here are the major health benefits of almonds:
1. Can address different types of diseases
Almonds are known for its high medicinal value and fights against common diseases such as constipation, cough, anemia, diabetes, and impotency. It can also aid in alleviating certain heart diseases.
2. Keeps the hair and skin healthy
Almond is an effective beauty regimen. It can keep your hair and skin healthy, which is the reason why it is the most preferred ingredient in beauty soaps and shampoos.
3. Almonds are brain foods
Many studies claim that nuts are good for the brain as they contain the very nutrients that can improve one’s memory. In this particular aspect, almond reigns supreme against all other types of nuts.
4. Regulates cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol found inside the body – the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol. Almond works by increasing the good and flushing out the bad.
5. Keeps the heart healthy
Almonds are food items that promote the functions of the heart. Almond oil is rich in certain nutrients like protein, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin E. These nutrients work together to keep the heart healthy.
6. Promotes strong bones and teeth
Almonds are also rich on phosphorous that can assure the full health of the teeth and bones. When taken regularly, it can prevent diseases like osteoporosis.
7. Aids in weight loss
Almond nuts can be great for losing weight. Almonds are the best source of healthy fats, making it the best snack alternative.
8. Strengthens the immune system
Almonds are great sources of alkaline, which improves the functions of the immune system. It is also rich in antioxidants that can reduce the risks of certain cancers.
9. Has anti-inflammation properties
Almonds are very rich in essential fatty acids that reduce all instances of inflammation in the body. Overall, it can keep the body ideally safe and sound.
10. Regulates blood pressure
One of the many reasons why almonds are the most preferred snack is because it can help keep the blood from fluctuating too much.
11. Energy booster
Almonds are rich in riboflavin that can increase the production of energy. A cup of almonds can keep your energy high without accumulating too much calories.
Side Effects of Almond
Although a very beneficial health food, almonds may also be detrimental to the health when consumed in high amounts every day. Here are some of the side effects of almonds:
1. Slows down the functions of the nervous system
Too much almond may increase the effect of anesthesia and other drugs that are used for the same purpose. People who will undergo surgery are advised not to take too much of the nut, its oils, and other products two weeks before and after surgery.
2. May interact with some drugs
The high manganese content of almonds can restrict the functions of other medications, more particularly antipsychotic drugs, laxatives, antacids, blood pressure medicines, and antibiotics.
3. Gastrointestinal issues
Almonds contain just about the right amount of fiber that the body needs each day. However, exceeding that amount may lead to constipation, bloating, or diarrhea.
4. May contain toxins
Almonds contain low amounts of hydrocyanic acid. However, when eaten in increased amounts, it may cause food poisoning. Regulating intake is highly recommended.
5. Allergic reactions
There are many cases wherein certain allergic reactions are triggered when eating high quantities of almonds every day. Common instances are hives, tingling, and burning sensations in the mouth, and gastrointestinal problems.
6. May cause kidney and bladder stones
Studies show that almonds contain high amounts of oxalate that can turn into solid deposits in the kidneys and the gall bladder. Those who are prone to this disease are advised against taking increased amounts of almonds.
Interesting Almond Recipes
Adding almond nuts to everyday meal is a common practice. Here is a tasty almond recipe to add to your favorite dishes:
Meatballs in Almond Sauce
This recipe makes the traditional meatball dish even better with the almond sauce twist. Here are the ingredients and the steps on how to cook it:
For the Meatballs:
- 1 lb ground pork, beef, or veal
- 1 egg
- 4 slices of white bread, remove the crust, soak in water, and squeeze dry
- 1 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
For the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds, whole
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 lemon zest, grated
- 1 slice white bread, crust removed
- 2 tsp sugar
Prepare to put all the meatball ingredients in bowl, starting with the beaten egg. Add the meat, bread, onion, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well with your hands and shape into meatballs. Roll in flour. Fry in oil until half cooked. Set aside.
Make the sauce by mixing the broth and the wine in a skillet. Boil. Add lemon zest, salt, pepper, and sugar. In a smaller skillet, fry bread, almonds, and garlic cloves. When they turn golden brown, take them out and cool. Grind into a paste or use the food processor. Stir into the sauce. Add meatballs into the sauce. Simmer in low heat for 20 minutes. Add water to achieve desired sauce consistency.