Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Three Wonderful Benefits of Almonds

The benefits of almonds are significant as they are considered one of nature’s wonder foods that improve general health. Their benefits lay in being a high source of protein, removal of free radicals, and improving heart health. Those who avoided high fatty foods can now eat a handful almonds five times a week while still encouraging weight loss and greater fitness. 

People who like to stay in shape and are active have heard throughout the years that only low-fat foods are helpful in this process. We found that low-fat foods across the board can actually be damaging to the body. The goal is to reduce saturated fats while eating an appropriate amount of un-saturated fats for body development. 

Almonds and almond milk are great methods of obtaining their benefits. I went to the farmers market in Little Italy and found a local vendor selling natural almonds flavored in different types of seasonings. I opted for the coco-cinnamon blend out of the 10 or so different choices. Over the years I have become more disciplined and can try a few without overdoing it. Remember that Almonds have a lot of fat in them so you will still want to limit yourself. 

The benefits:

Protein: A single handful of almonds (approximately 1 oz) provide a quarter of our daily protein (Ying, et. al., 2011). Protein leads to healthy muscles and bone strength.  Those who spend some time in the gym can appreciate the benefits of obtaining protein from a natural source versus protein shakes. 

Anti-oxidants: Free radicals can slow down work out recovery, cause cancer, and other diseases. The vitamin (E and B) help to not only improve upon cognitive functioning but also the rebuilding of the body. 

Cardio Vascular Disease: Almonds contain vitamins, hytosterols, fiber, minerals and antioxidants that fight against heart disease (Brufau, et. al., 2006).  It increases HDL and lowers LDL which protects the heart and vessels from damage.  

Brufau, G. Boatella, J. & Rafecas, M. (2006). Nuts: a source of energy and macronutrients. BR Journal of Nutrition, 2

Ying, B., et. al. (2013). Association of consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. New England Journal of Medicine, 369.

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