Versatile and delicious, almonds are one of the most popular superfoods. While most people mistake almonds as nuts, technically they are the seeds of the almond tree that are contained within the fruits.
Almonds come in two varieties – sweet and bitter. Traditionally, sweet almonds are edible, while bitter almonds are used to make almond oil. Both these varieties are easily available in the market.
You can eat almonds as is or you can soak them in water overnight and eat them the next morning. You can also find almond milk, almond flour and almond butter in the market.
While it is true that almonds taste good, they also provide many health benefits. They are packed with high quality protein, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and many essential amino acids. You can also get copper, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and healthy fats from almonds. However, as almonds are high in monounsaturated fats and calories, you must not eat them in excess.
The health benefits of almonds are extensive. From constipation to cancer and from hair to bone, almonds can keep you healthy in many ways.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of almonds.
1. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Eating almonds regularly can help regulate your cholesterol level. They help raise HDL (high density lipoproteins or “good” cholesterol) and reduce LDL (low density lipoproteins or “bad” cholesterol) levels. This is because almonds are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
A study published in 2002 in the American Heart Association Journal found that almonds can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 15 percent. This figure, however, depends on the amount of almonds consumed on a daily basis. For every seven grams of almonds per day, LDL cholesterol may be reduced by 1 percent.