Advertising
Advertising

Ten Benefits of Almonds + 5 Great Recipes

Ten Benefits of Almonds + 5 Great Recipes

Do you get hungry in between meals, and then overeat at lunch or dinner?

Are you interested in learning about healthy snacks which can boost energy levels throughout the day and keep you going strong?

Then look no further than almonds, a “supernut” which is packed with nutrients that bring your body an amazing array of benefits, including those below.

Almonds Support Healthy Bones

If you are after strong and healthy bones, don’t just think about dairy products! Foods like almonds are great for you as well: a single serving can give you 385mg of calcium and 386 mg of magnesium, minerals which, along with nutrients like vitamin D, strengthen your bones and make it less likely that you will develop osteoporosis (a disease marked by weakening bones and fractures) as you age.

Advertising

Almonds are Good for Joint Health Too

Stiff, sore inflamed joints can be a real problem: not only do they make it more difficult to do your work throughout the day, they can also interfere with simple activities like walking or running. And many conditions that affect the joints — like rheumatoid arthritis — can strike you when you are middle-aged or even young.

So where do almonds come in? They are rich in both linoleic and linolenic acids, fatty acids which decrease inflammation throughout the body and can reduce painful, stiff or inflexible joints.

Almonds Can Boost Your Energy Levels

Are your energy levels just not what you would like them to be? A diet which is rich in almonds can help with the problem of feeling chronically tired. This is because almonds are an excellent source of both manganese and copper, minerals which can help your cells produce more energy. The presence of vitamin B-12, helps make energy pathways through the body more efficient, so you can go all day and do what you need to do!

Almonds Reduce High Blood Pressure

Doctors have dubbed high blood pressure “the silent killer” because, though it has few warning signs, it can lead to serious problems like heart attacks or strokes. However, it is possible to control this problem naturally by carefully choosing what you eat. Almonds have been linked in several studies to lower blood pressure levels. Mostly this is due to their high levels of magnesium (which relaxes the arteries around the heart to increase blood flow and decrease pressure) and potassium (which acts on the muscles of the heart to keep blood pressure at a healthy level).

Advertising

Almonds Lower Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol is another major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes — but the good news is, this problem can be greatly influenced by your diet!

In a British study, patients with elevated LDL “bad” cholesterol levels were put on a diet which included almonds and other nuts as well as soy protein and fiber. Within two weeks, significant differences were noted in their cholesterol levels. It is believed that this is due to the combination of monounsaturated fat, fiber and antioxidants like vitamin E that almonds are so rich in.

Almonds Improve Your Digestion

If you are looking for ways to improve your digestion, you should definitely be adding almonds to your diet in order to combat this issue. Why? Almonds are rich in fiber (3.5 grams in every serving) and fiber has been proven to improve the gastro-intestinal system and it can reduce the chances of having problems like constipation.

Almonds Help You to Lose Weight

In the past, many dieters have stayed away from almonds and other nuts because they are a calorie-dense food. However, there is a growing body of evidence to show that almonds can actually help those who are wanting to achieve their weight loss goals. In one study out of Canada, it was shown that dieters on an almond-enriched diet did better than those on a diet high in complex carbohydrates, even though the overall calorie intake was the same for both diets. The patients who ate almonds regularly had lower percentage of body fat and stored water weight, smaller waist circumferences and overall lower weight.

Advertising

Almonds Support a Healthy Brain

As you age, cognitive skills like memory and learning can take a real hit.  However, important nutrients in almonds like riboflavin and L-carnitine can help improve the health of neurons and increase the number of neural pathways, which can help to reduce the risk of problems like Alzheimer’s disease.

Almonds are Great for Diabetics

Because of their unique blend of healthy fats, protein and fiber, they are a perfect food for diabetics who want to manage their condition. In several studies, regular use of almonds in the diet has lead to an improvement in several markers for this disease, including postprandial blood sugar (or the blood sugar after a meal), overall blood sugar and insulin resistance — even when a meal that is high in carbs, such as pasta, was eaten.

Almonds Decrease Your Risk of Gallstones

Gallstones are a painful complaint of the digestive system which often requires surgery — and is a particular problems for people who are middle-aged, female and have weight problems. Almonds, however, can be a game-changer; in one study of American women, it was found that those who ate almonds or other nuts at least once a week reduced their chance of getting gallstones by around 25%.

5 Simple, Delicious Recipes to Get Almonds into Your Diet

Homemade Raw Almond Milk

Advertising

frosted-glass-1164200_1280 (1)

    Homemade Almond Butter

    bake-1239113_1280

      Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Cranberries and Almonds

      Almond Cookies

      meal-843230_1280

        Cranberry and Almond Muffins

        cranberry-683913_1280

          So try some of these recipes today — and from better digestion to higher energy levels and a healthy heart– you can start reaping the benefits of almonds in your diet!

          More by this author

          Brian Wu

          Health Writer, Author

          Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It Amazing Benefits Of Cucumber Water (+5 Refreshing Recipes) How To Improve Your Health With Matcha Green Tea How To Enjoy Green Tea By Reducing Caffeine In It 8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds You Shouldn’t Miss

          Trending in Lifestyle

          1 Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It 2 How to Tell Symptoms of Social Anxiety And What to Do About It 3 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 4 10 Greatest Success Tips in Both Life and Business 5 How Mental Fatigue Eats You Slowly (And Ways to Regain Mental Energy)

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on October 15, 2018

          Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

          Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

          “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

          While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

          1. Dehydration

          If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

          If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

          You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

          2. Lack Of Exercise

          A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

          Advertising

          Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

          3. A Poor Diet

          The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

          An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

          Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

          4. Skipping Breakfast

          Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

          Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

          Advertising

          Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

          Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

          5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

          We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

          TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

          Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

          Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

          Advertising

          6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

          Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

          Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

          If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

          7. Depression

          Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

          Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

          Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

          Advertising

          8. Hypothyroidism

          If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

          Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

          9. Anemia

          People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

          However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

          While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

          10. Cancer

          While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

          Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

          Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

          Read Next