Almonds are a waistline-friendly snack, known to boost heart health, and come loaded with other health benefits. They are a source of key essential nutrients such as vitamin E antioxidants, dietary fibre, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, protein, manganese and calcium. They also contain folate, iron, niacin, thiamine, zinc and potassium. A handful of almonds make for a nutrient-rich convenient snack.
Almonds have satiating properties (promoting a feeling of fullness), which can keep hunger at bay between meals. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming 43 grams of dry-roasted mildly salted almonds every day reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated fat intake, without increasing body weight. So, for those craving a between-meal nibble, eating almonds is a win-win for you.
Almonds, when included in a healthy diet, may lower total and LDL cholesterol, and reduce levels of heart-damaging inflammation. Central abdominal fat is a component of the metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for developing premature coronary artery disease. Snacking on almonds also reduces central adiposity (belly fat) and waist circumference, all well-established heart disease risk factors.
Scientific research shows that almonds can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, may improve blood sugar control in people with type-2 diabetes, and help lower the blood sugar impact of carbohydrate foods, which affects fasting insulin levels.
Use almonds along with cut fruits in salads. You can also bind raisins, figs, dates, crushed almonds with honey to make nutritious snack balls. (Courtesy: The Hindu)