Almonds are extremely healthy and are a powerhouse of nutrients — from vitamins and minerals to healthy fats. Considered as a nutritious snacking option to kill hunger pangs during the day, almonds are known to lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and even alleviate constipation, respiratory disorders and anaemia. They are also considered good for hair, skin (psoriasis), and dental care. But do you know how much one should consume in a day?
A handful of almonds is enough, stresses nutrition and wellness expert Sheela Krishnaswamy. “Try and budget in such a way that one can include as many healthy items in their daily diet as possible. Also, try and exclude processed and refined foods that don’t have much nutritional value. Invest a little more in your health now, you can be saved more from illnesses and diseases later,” Krishnaswamy told indianexpress.com.
Adding that almonds are one of the easiest foods to include in your diet, she suggests eating a handful before starting the day, or even as an evening tea time snack. “You can even add them to your food preparation. As per a recent research, inclusion of 45 grams of almonds in your everyday diet can help in the reduction LDL (bad cholesterol) and alleviate conditions like dyslipidemia. Almonds, when replaced with other carbohydrate-rich snacks, can effectively help in reducing LDL and total cholesterol, thus making you healthier in the long run,” she further added.
One handful of almonds gives you not only six grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fiber, and 75 mg of calcium, but also 13 grams of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are the heart-healthy fats that help lower total cholesterol and LDL (monounsaturated fats help raise HDL levels too), which can decrease the risk of heart disease.
Dr Madhu Chopra, managing director, Studio Aesthetic, and actor Priyanka Chopra’s mother, who was part of Almond Board of California’s recently-held panel discussion titled ‘Working Mother’s Dilemma in Ensuring the Family Health’ commented, “A great way to include a dose of health to any working mother’s life is by adding a handful of almonds to one’s daily diet. Make intake of almonds a regular habit.”
According to the study conducted at United States Department of Agriculture and US Food and Drug Administration, it is safe for a person to consume one ounce (about 20–23) of soaked almonds on daily basis.
Almonds are known to have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, and help keep you away from unhealthy snacks by alleviating hunger pangs. This way, almonds also help in maintain weight goals.
Madhuri Ruia, pilates expert and diet and nutrition consultant, told indianexpress.com, “Almonds are a healthy source of energy to help keep you active and are a natural source of many essential nutrients like Vitamin E, calcium, good fat, dietary fibres and plant protein which will help in maintaining good health.”
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2015 found that almonds reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors, including “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and belly fat.
“Fruits and nuts like almonds are a healthy snacking choice, especially for people who are trying to lose or maintain their weight. As per a recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who consumed 43 gram of dry, roasted, lightly salted almonds every day experienced reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated (“good”) fat intake without increasing body weight,” said Ruia.
Krishnaswamy, however, points out that “since they’re high in calories, it is good to remember to stick to recommended serving sizes to get the most from this nutritious nut.”