They are practical to take with you to the office, to university, to school or on a trip, almonds are the ideal snack, tasty, filling and nutritious. But that's not all, thanks to their mineral, fiber and antioxidant content, almonds also protect bones, heart and brain and counteract visceral fat. So let's see the properties of almonds based on the most recent scientific research. We will also try to understand what happens when you peel the almonds and when is the best time to enjoy these delicious fruits. Finally, we will also talk about the properties of almond milk.
Almonds provide proteins, fibers, B vitamins, minerals, such as calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and selenium, and unsaturated fatty acids. Not only that, almonds are a precious source of antioxidants, including vitamin E, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, which are characterized by anti-inflammatory and anti-radical properties (Tomishima et al, Annu Rev Food Sci Technol, 2022 - USDA Database Food Data Central).
Almonds for heart health
Regular consumption of almonds as a tasty snack has brought interesting benefits to the heart. In fact, the intake of almonds made it possible to reduce triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood pressure in three months (Coates et al, Nutrients, 2020).
Almonds and inflammation
Almonds support the health of the intestinal microbiota and stimulate the production of short-chain fatty acids, which have an anti-inflammatory action. Therefore, almonds help reduce the levels of inflammation that, if present for long periods of time, can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression and cellular degeneration (Ojo et al, Nutrients 2021).
When to eat almonds
Studies have shown that, based on the time in which almonds are consumed, the benefits also vary. In fact, eating almonds right before lunch reduces fat mass and visceral fat. It is believed that this action is due to the ability of almonds to reduce the glycemic spike that follows a meal. Instead, the consumption of almonds as a snack between meals, for example in the middle of the morning, improves the lipid profile by reducing bad and total cholesterol (Liu et al, Nutr Res Pract., 2017).
Almonds, with or without peel
Often people prefer to buy almonds without their peel, for a matter of taste and aesthetics. However, many substances that are beneficial to health are lost in doing so. In fact, it is precisely at the level of the almond peel that important antioxidant substances such as polyphenols accumulate. It should also be emphasized that the polyphenols of the peel are maintained even when the almonds are subjected to roasting (Garrido et al, J Food Sci, 2008).
Almond milk, health to drink
Almonds are not only enjoyed whole, as a tasty snack, but they can become the basic ingredient for a delicious plant-based alternative to cow's milk. Almond milk has a unique aroma, which makes it perfect to drink on its own. And then almond milk is a concentrate of health. In fact, this naturally lactose-free drink contains half the fat contained in cow's milk and the highest amount of calcium of all milks, both cow's, goat's and soy milk (Collard et al, Acad Pediatr, 2021). Calcium is essential for protecting bone health, preventing osteoporosis and keeping blood pressure under control (Cormick et al, Nutrients, 2019). Not only that, almond milk provides, like the fruit, vitamin E. 100 grams of almond milk, therefore less than a glass, contain almost 30% of the daily requirement of vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin that counteracts oxidative stress, inflammation and protects the heart and brain (USDA Database - Niki et al, Korean J Intern Med, 2015).