Almond, otherwise known as Badaam, is one of the world’s most loved tree nuts that come from a family of Rosaceae. They are tasty and highly nutritious nuts packed with fiber, fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals (1). We call it a nut, but they are actually the seed of the almond tree. Badaam is white in color, enclosed with a hard shell, oval shape, covered by a light orangish-brown skin, and has a sweet, nutty smell. This delicious nut adds taste and aroma to your food. The little nuts are available in different forms such as whole, slivered, flaked, sliced, flour, milk, oil, and butter. Almonds are crunchy and come sweet or salty, raw or roasted, sprouted, or unsprouted.
Common Varieties of Almonds
- Nonpareil Almond – Common type, has a soft and light color shell, flat shape nut.
- Carmel Almond – Another popular type with a soft shell, slightly wrinkled surface, and narrow in shape.
- Butte Almond – Semi-hard shell, small in shape and mostly used for a nutty chocolate bar.
- Peerless Almond – Hardshell, has a medium shape and fairly wrinkled surface.
- Sonora Almond – Dark brown in color, has long narrow shape and rough surface.
Nutritional value per 100 g
|Energy||2,423 kJ (579 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||12.5 g|
|Saturated fat||3.8 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||31.6 g|
|Polyunsaturated fat||12.3 g|
|lutein zeaxanthin||1 μg|
|Vitamin A||1 IU|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.211 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||1.014 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||3.385 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.469 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.143 mg|
|Folate (B9)||50 μg|
|Vitamin E||25.6 mg|
Here are a Few Health Benefits of Almonds:
1. Supports Heart Health
Taking nuts as a part of a healthy diet may be good for your heart. Almonds are high in monounsaturated acids (MUFA), vitamin E, and flavonoids that help to protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases (2). It has minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and arginine that helps to support cardiovascular function. The flavonoids present in almonds’ skin helps to prevent the risk of heart attack and cardiovascular diseases (3). Regularly consume a handful of almond nuts that might improve the blood flow to the heart, and they significantly increase the number of antioxidants in the bloodstream.
2. Maintains Skin Health
Almonds contain a high amount of antioxidants, such as catechin, epicatechin, isorhamnetin, quercetin, and kaempferol (4). These substances battle against the damage caused by UV rays, pollution, and skin cancer. Besides, most of the skin products use almond as an ingredient because they are a good source of fatty acids, vitamin A and E. Adding an almond in your routine will not only give you clear, acne-free, and pimple-free skin but also imparts glow to the skin. Using almond oil on the face slows down aging and reduces wrinkles, scars dry skin, and pigmentation (5). The flavonoids in almond act as an anti-aging property, and it also nourishes your skin.
3. Stimulates Hair Growth
Almonds are rich in nutrients that promote hair growth. Fatty acids in almond helps to strengthen hair. Using hair products with almond oil helps to keep the hair strands strong and shiny. Almonds consist of catalase, which is an antioxidant that prevents the onset of grey hair. Almond oil massage moisturizes your hair by keeping them hydrated. The deficiency of magnesium often leads to hair fall. So, eating almonds reduces hair fall and promotes hair growth. Hence, add enough almonds to your diet, which may stimulate healthy hair growth.
4. Improves Brain Power
L-carnitine and riboflavin in almonds help in the growth of the brain cells. These substances aid in preventing cognitive decline and support healthy neurological activity. Almonds contain vitamin E that helps to improve memory retention (6). These nuts contain phenylalanine, which is a brain-boosting chemical. Mixing almond with milk increases potassium content, which boosts the number of electrolytes in the body. It increases the memory flow, so drink almond milk to get sharper memory. Soak 6-7 almonds in water overnight, consume them next morning regularly to boost your brainpower.
5. Energy Booster
Almond is filled with manganese, vitamin E, copper, and magnesium, which helps to produce energy in our body. They help to maintain our energy level and keep us active throughout the day. Hence, make a habit of taking almonds as a snack in your routine that will give lots of energy to your body.
6. Strengthens Teeth and Bones
Almonds contain minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are essential for strong teeth and bone. Hence, regular consumption of almonds lower the risk of bone fractures, helps fight osteoporosis, and prevents tooth decay and cavities. A good amount of calcium content is necessary for women who are in menopause.
7. Controls Blood Sugar
Magnesium in almonds increases the insulin sensitivity of type 2 diabetic patients (7, 8). It also helps to reduce blood sugar levels after each meal (9). Adding almonds to your diet provides about 20% of magnesium your body needs every day. Also, the fiber content in almonds helps to maintain the blood sugar level.
8. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
These delicious nuts are high in fat, but it is unsaturated fat, which doesn’t increase the risk of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol (10, 11). Consumption of a handful of almonds per day may raise vitamin E levels in the plasma and red blood cells; also help to boost the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. The nutrient-rich almonds can decrease the risk of heart diseases as well.
9. Prevents Cancer
Almonds help in detoxifying the body because of the presence of fiber. This high-fiber significantly reduces the chances of growing colon cancer. Flavonoids and vitamin E in almond inhibit the developing cancer cells in the breast.
Almonds are one of the most delicious tree nuts ever; they are high in healthy fiber, monounsaturated fats, protein, and numerous vital nutrients.
Almonds are a great dairy alternative. These nuts provide many health benefits (12), so consume almonds every day to keep a healthy immune system.