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10 Benefits of Almonds That Will Surprise You (+Healthy Recipes)

10 Benefits of Almonds That Will Surprise You (+Healthy Recipes)

Almond is a popular nut rich in minerals, vitamins, proteins, fibers and other important substances which promote a healthy life. This super-nut can be eaten as it is roasted or as part of a delicious recipe. The main problem is most people misunderstand that almond is just tasty and rich in fats. So they often avoid eating almond, unfortunately. However, the truth about almond is completely different, as you are going to find out by reading this article.

The health benefits of almond have been studied for centuries and the number of studies which focus on this small nut is quite impressive. Here are 10 reasons why you need to include almond in your diet and five delicious recipes to inspire you.

The amazing benefits of almonds

1. Almonds prevent cardiovascular disease and heart attacks

Almonds are packed with healthy fatty acids, called monounsaturated acids or MUFA, which pair with antioxidants, also found in high amount in almonds, to protect your heart and the entire cardiovascular system. The high amount of beneficial substances in almonds, especially the antioxidant flavonoids, a plant component that is present in the skin of almonds, prevents the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and having a heart attack.

Along with vitamin E, the flavoniods reduce inflammation throughout the body. Almonds also contain lots of minerals, such as magnesiun, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and arginine, which are all important for your heart: these substances support the cardiovascular function. Studies have shown that almonds can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol, which is bad for your health. This leads to an important health improvement in both people with high cholesterol levels and those who suffer from diabetes.

Regular consumption of almonds promotes healthy artery walls, as it prevents the buildup of plaque, which can clog the arteries and prevent the blood from flowing. This is why almonds are also a great supplement for those who suffer from high blood pressure.

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2. Almonds maintain a healthy brain function

Almonds are one of the most appreciated brain foods due to their high content in riboflavin and L-carnitine. These two substances prevent cognitive decline and support healthy neurological activity, reducing the inflammatory processes in the brain. Elders and adults with a high risk of developing cognitive diseases, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, are encouraged to make a habit out of eating almonds on a daily basis or at least several times per week.

3. Almonds improve the skin health

Want to have healthy, glowing skin? Eat almonds! Almonds are a great source of vitamin E and antioxidants, which fight free radicals and reduce inflammation, preserving your skin healthy and young. Further research showed that almonds contain high amounts of epicatechin, catechin, quescetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol; these substances are all antioxidants, which can fight the damage produced by UV rays, pollution and a poor diet on your skin. Being strong antioxidants, these substances fight and prevent skin cancer. All these, along with the MUFA content in the almonds, make them a great ally in the fight against aged, malnourished skin.

4. Almonds prevent diabetes

As we’ve seen, almonds are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have a very important function in the body, as they balance the amount of glucose in your blood and control the way it is being absorbed and used by the body. This means almonds can help you control your blood sugar levels and your diabetes. Making a habit out of eating almonds can prevent insulin resistance, which can appear when the body stops reacting to insulin, allowing the glucose level to raise too much. Other benefits of almonds consumption are the reduction of unhealthy body weight and oxidative stress.

5. Almonds prevent weight gain and overeating

Almonds contain high amounts of fats and fibres, which promote weight loss. Eating almonds helps you control your cravings and prevents overeating, as they make you feel full faster than other foods. Snacking on almonds will keep you energized for the day, as they are high in calories. Almonds also help you control your blood sugar, as we’ve seen, so you won’t be at risk of experiencing a roller coaster of glucose raise and drops.

There are multiple studies which looked at how almonds enhance weight loss. Nurses’ Health Study showed that almonds support a healthy metabolism, keeping you away from weight issues. People who often snack on almonds instead of other foods have lower obesity rates: this is a fact proven by studies which looked at dieters who ate almonds. These researches also show that almond consumption prevents overeating of carbs.

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A study publishes in the International Journal of Obesity in 2003 showed that women who ate almonds for six months experienced a reduction in their weight and their BMI, compared to the group of women who didn’t eat almonds. Those who included these nuts in their diet also lost fat mass, experienced a reduction in their blood pressure and a reduction in their waist circumference.

6. Almonds increase the nutrient absorption

The world is obsessed to lose fat, but fat actually has a number of important functions in our body. One of these functions is helping with fat-soluble vitamins absorption. Luckily, almonds contain enough fat to promote this function and boost the absorption of vitamins A and D, which are fat-soluble. The nutritional substances found in almonds are involved in the process of nutrient extraction and the synthesis of cholesterol. Among the benefits of almond are the control of digestive enzymes and the bile acid production, which leads us to the next fact…

7. Almonds ensure digestive system’s health

Almond skin contains probiotic compounds which support the health of the digestive system. Your digestive system has a number of good bacteria which helps it digest food and turn it into nutritional elements. Without the bacteria, the digestive system can stumble upon a number of problems and you may develop a wide array of ailments. Almonds prevent this, as they improve the number of good bacteria in your system, preventing ailments and nutritional deficiencies.

Studies on this matter show that almonds and their skins promote and improve the health benefits of the gut bacteria due to their content of prebiotics. A study conducted by the Institute of Food Science and Technology in China, in 2014, revealed that women who ate 56 grams of almonds for 8 weeks managed to increase their population of good gut bacteria, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

8. Almonds prevent inflammation and can fight cancer

Almonds contain a type of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant that can fight free radicals linked to cancer. There are many studies finding a link between the consumption of almonds and other nuts and a reduced risk of developing cancer in the colon, the prostate and breasts.

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9. Almonds promote a healthy smile

Being packed with minerals, almonds promote a healthy smile. They contain magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for strong, healthy bones and teeth. The consumption of almonds decreases the risk of developing osteoporosis and the risk of bone fractures, but the tasty nuts also prevent tooth decay.

10. Almonds are alkaline food

Almonds are great digestive system boosters and balance multiple hormones and substances in the body; they are also alkaline and help reduce the pH level in your body. When the pH level of the body is reduced, your immune system becomes stronger and your digestive tracts works better.

With all these reasons to eat almonds, you have to try some delicious recipes with these superfoods to test the benefits of almond!

5 Healthy recipes including almonds

Turkey Curry

turkey almond curry

    Chargrilled mackerel with new season pumpkin and romesco sauce

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    17120194506_db79197333_o

      Cranberry and Almond Chicken Salad

      almond chicken salad

        Strawberry and Spinach Salad

        strawberry spinach salad

          Chocolate and Almond Smoothie

          chocolate almond smoothie

            Featured photo credit: 5 second Studio via shutterstock.com

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            Last Updated on July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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