- A handful of almonds (about 25) every day is a healthy habit for life
- Take 12-13 almonds on an empty stomach and another 12-13 through the day
- Provides energy without spiking blood sugar
- Makes you feel full for long
- Increases good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Has a good amount of protein
- Ensures regular bowel movements
- Good for your heart and brain health
- Induces sleep when taken in the evening
- A perfect healthy snacking option
What to put into your empty stomach after a good night’s sleep with 8-9 hours of no-food is a popular question among many. Almonds are a popular suggestion to start your day with.
Why are almonds good to start your day with?
Because they have few carbs and a low glycemic index, almonds are ideal for your sluggish metabolism in the morning. They release blood sugar slowly and keep you feeling full for quite some time because of significant protein amounts. In addition, they have fats that are good for your heart.
Hence, they are good to be eaten first thing in the morning!
Almond benefits in detail
Here is the science behind the goodness of these tree nuts.
1. Heart-healthy fats
A major part of fats (about 95% of the total fats present) in almonds are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which means they are heart-friendly.
2. Plenty of antioxidants
Oxidative stress contributes to ageing and can damage cells and tissues, leading to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The vitamin E present in almonds and the phytonutrients (proanthocyanidin, flavonoids) present in the almonds’ skin are powerful antioxidants that reduce the bad effects of oxidative stress.
3. Low in carbs
Carbs release glucose into the bloodstream, so almonds that are low in carbs are good, especially when your body wakes from slumber with a sluggish metabolism but still would need the energy to start your day.
4. Low in glycemic index (GI)
Foods with low GI release sugar slowly into the bloodstream, so it does not cause sugar spikes, which is great, particularly for people with diabetes.
5. A decent amount of protein
Protein is essential for young and old alike for several bodily functions such as repairing and building body tissues and cells, proper metabolism, maintaining PH and fluid balance, etc. Besides, they also give you a satiating feeling, hence may reduce hunger, resulting in weight loss.
6. Good dietary fibre
Roughage or fibre helps in digestion and regular bowel movements and also aids in weight loss.
7. High in vitamin E
This fat-soluble vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that ensures you have healthy skin and eyes and supports a good immune system.
8. Has iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus
Iron keeps you energetic as it helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to cells all over the body. The mineral also boosts the immune system and regulates body temperature. Magnesium supports many functions, including muscle and nerve functions, and helps maintain blood pressure. Calcium and phosphorous are important for bone health.
9. Has trace minerals selenium and copper
Selenium supports brain health, improves nail and hair health, and boosts the immune system. Copper supports your immune system and helps absorb iron.
10. Helps you doze off
The amino acid tryptophan present in almonds helps produce melatonin which helps in inducing sleep. Also, magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters and the sleep-wake cycle and thus help improve insomnia. So, almonds are not only great to start your day but also excellent to end with!
So, are these enough reasons to chow these tree nuts down? Yes, you believe.
Nutritious and delicious as they may be, they are high in calories as well. So, a handful a day should be fine, and that would be around 25 almonds safely.
Is soaking almonds and peeling skin necessary?
Almond skin contains a substance called tannin, which is considered an antinutrient. It is believed tannin would reduce the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients. So, it is a widespread practice to soak almonds overnight and peel the skin before eating them in the morning.
Soaking almonds does not rip off any nutrients, so you can soak them if you want to. Also, the texture becomes a bit soft after soaking, and some may even prefer it.
However, you may miss some antioxidants concentrated in the skin when you peel off the skin. Further, tannins are not quite harmful; they themselves are antioxidants and do good to your heart.
So, don’t discard the skin. Instead, eat the almonds, soaked or unsoaked, with the skin to get a load of antioxidants.
Almonds are a powerhouse of nutrients that no one should miss. Being heart-friendly and lipid-friendly, having a good load of antioxidants, a decent amount of essential minerals, and an impressive share of vitamin E makes almonds a great choice to start your day with. Ten to twelve on an empty stomach and another twelve through the day would be a good count to get the health benefits.