Health benefits of almonds

CA Shree Jain (Chartered Accountant) (1572 Points)

11 April 2013  

Considered a complete food, consuming soaked almonds proves highly beneficial in terms of health as well as beauty. These boons of course stem from the presence of proteins, fibers, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, selenium, copper, niacin, and zinc in the nut.


Well, it is completely fine to go nuts over this nut! However, most of you won't be aware of the fact that by eating almonds the wrong way, you could miss out on all its health benefits. It can further harm your digestive system. All the health benefits of almonds can be reaped optimally only when they are first soaked in water and then consumed. Soaking almonds neutralizes the phytates and releases nutrients from the nut, thus making it a delicious snack that can be combined with a variety of food items for taste as well as nutrition.

A number of health benefits of eating soaked almonds can be enlisted, some of which are as follows.

Improves Digestion

When almonds are soaked in water, an enzyme inhibitor is released from its skin, which is basically instrumental in protecting the seed until it gets moisture to germinate.

The release of this enzyme inhibitor helps in better nutrient availability in the almonds, thus making them easier to digest.

Also, soaking the nuts in water is the only way to release the enzyme lipase that helps in digestion of fats. A study published by the Institute of Food Research confirms this.

Helps Weight Loss

The British Journal of Nutrition reports that almonds are rich in vitamin E and also in monounsaturated fats, which are great for lowering bad cholesterol.

Also, the monounsaturated fats harness appetite. Thus, eating soaked almonds prevent from overeating, and in turn, helps weight loss.

Consume 1 soaked almond per 10 pounds of body weight. Eat more if you want to gain weight, and less if you want to lose weight. The total number of almonds can be divided into batches and consumed throughout the day.

Helps in Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases

The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that soaked almonds help in increasing the High-density Lipoproteins (HDL) and reducing the level of Low-density Lipoproteins (LDP).

This helps in effectively controlling the cholesterol levels, which is good for the heart.

Vitamin E present in almonds acts as antioxidants that helps reduce the risk of heart diseases, the folic acid helps in reducing the level of homocysteine that minimizes the risk of clogged arteries, while the magnesium present helps in preventing heart attacks.

Soaked almonds also help in reducing the C-reactive protein, thus minimizing inflammation that damages arteries.

Helps in Cancer Prevention

The Adventist Health Study conducted in 1990 revealed that vitamin B17 or laetrile present in almonds is instrumental in fighting cancer and increasing life expectancy.

Cancer risk is also minimized due to the low level of saturated fats and high levels of vitamin E present in almonds.

Flavonoids present in almonds have the ability to suppress prostate tumor and breast cancer.

Helps in Controlling Diabetes and Blood Pressure

The Journal of Nutrition reports that soaked almonds, when consumed with low calorie diet, lower levels of blood sugar, insulin, and sodium, and boost the levels of magnesium and protective antioxidants, thus controlling diabetes and blood pressure.

Is Vital During Pregnancy

The main reason that a pregnant woman is advised to consume soaked almonds is that the folic acid present in almonds reduces the chances of birth defects in newborns significantly.


Soaked Almonds Used Differently For Different Health Problems

Besides the health benefits mentioned above, here are the myriad other benefits that soaked almonds provide with respect to some health problems.

Soak the given number of almonds in water overnight, peel them in the morning, and follow the instructions.

Grind the nuts (8-10) to form a paste and eat. Do this for about three months to heal anemia.

Grind almonds (8-10) into a paste. Add a teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of dry ginger powder to this paste, mix it in a glass of warm milk, and drink. This will help in easing nervousness and anxiety.

Grind almonds (8-10) with an equal amount of black peppercorns into a paste. Add this mixture to a cup of milk, and drink. This will help in improving s*xual performance.

Soak 1 almond and 1 dry date in water overnight. Peel the almond and grind it with the date. Eat this paste with butter and little candy sugar for 3 months in order to treat hypomenorrhea (a.k.a. scanty periods).

Add 2 teaspoons of butter and a little candy sugar to about 10 almonds. Eat this for about 2 months in order to enhance the ability to retain things better, i.e., a sharper memory.

Grind the nuts (about 5) into a paste and stir it in a glass of water and drink. This will help in the healing of chickenpox eruptions faster.

Add little candy sugar to the nuts (about 5) and grind into a paste. Lick this paste twice a day to relieve frequent cough resulting in difficulty in discharging mucus.

Mix about 1.05 oz. of butter in the nuts (10-12) and eat. Or, grind previously soaked almonds with equal amount of peppercorns, add candy sugar, and lick the paste. Both these concoctions are especially helpful for those who are trying to overcome stammering. Use continuously for a few months for noticeable results.

Soak about 6 almonds, 3 green cardamoms, and 2 dates in water overnight (preferably in a pottery vessel). Peel the almonds in the morning, remove seeds from the dates, and make a paste. Add about 2.5 oz. of candy sugar and 1.8 oz. of butter to this paste and lick it. This will aid in the faster recovery of jaundice patients.

Add about 2 fl. oz. of rose water and 15 drops of sandalwood oil to the almond paste (5 almonds) and shake this mixture well in a bottle. Apply this paste on the face and body thrice a day to do away with skin blemishes or spots. Apply a thicker layer of this paste on darker spots and leave it on for a relatively long time before washing.

Grind the almonds (10) into a paste. Blend it with whipped cream and apply it on your skin as a moisturizer. It works well for dry skin, making it soft and improving the texture. Also, grinding the soaked almonds into a rough paste and mixing it with fresh cream can work as a natural scrub for face and body as it exfoliates dead skin cells and makes way for radiant skin.

It is nature's favor that it has showered such tremendously potential natural food items such as almonds upon us! It is our responsibility to make the most of them, in the right way.