You must have heard a family elder, or elderly family friend suggest you feed your growing child soaked almonds, or crushing soaked almond into milk to drink at breakfast. You must have also heard somebody say pejoratively about a not-so-smart individual that evidently she/he was not given soaked almonds in the growing years. Or, when somebody is becoming forgetful, the suggestion that she/he be given soaked almonds. So, what is it about almonds that makes it something like a wonder food? Read on to find out about the benefits of eating soaked almonds which you might have missed, or simply not realized.
You might have wondered why you are always recommended soaked almonds. If almonds are such a healthy food, they should be healthy in any form, and you should be able to eat them raw. The reason is simple. The skin of the almond has tannin, which inhibits the absorption of nutrients; thereby defeating the purpose of eating them. It is easy to peal the almonds when they have been soaked for a while in lukewarm water. This is very useful, especially if you are planning to make almond milk.
The importance of soaked almonds can never be overstated when discussing brain health. It is full of vitamin E, which is known to preserve memory longer by boosting alertness, and preventing cognitive decline. Vitamin E is known to be a retardant of the onset of dementia diseases like Alzheimer’s. Add to that, almonds contain omega-3 and six fatty acids which boost intellectual capacity. Further, almonds increase brain acetylcholine levels, and are an important source of essential nutrients, such as tocopherol, folate, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and polyphenols which are known to delay — and in some cases, prevent — the decline in the brain due to aging. These, in fact, improve memory retention when someone eats soaked almonds daily.
Almonds are full of magnesium. This improves overall neural health, and keeps your nerves well connected — vital to keep your central nervous system healthy.
Unless you are a dietician, or an ayurvedic doctor, the chances are that no one ever told you that soaked almonds can work as a mood stabilizer. This aspect has implications way beyond the obvious as it can keep you out of a psychiatrist’s office longer, if you are prone to sharp mood swings. Add to that, the polyunsaturated fats release serotonin, which improves sleep quality at night; consequently improving your physical and mental health. Eating soaked almonds prevent type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Just adding almonds to your meals will help in reducing blood sugar levels after meals, and even in fasting blood sugar tests. Vitamin B17 and folic acid found in almonds help in fighting cancer, and reduce the chances of birth defects. The flavonoids in them prevent the growth of tumors in the body.
Soaked almonds aid your digestion by releasing lipase, an enzyme which is critical for proper digestion of fats in your food, especially if you like to often eat fried food like parathas, pakoras, and samosas. The vitamin B found in soaked almonds, help in breaking down gluten, aiding protein absorption, and neutralizing toxins in the colon. Further, you can reverse aging by eating soaked sweet almonds (not bitter ones) as the antioxidant phytochemicals in them — phenols, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and phytosterols — fight free radicals to protect your body’s cells from damage. These antioxidants break the chain of your body cell’s chemical destruction, enhancing your life expectancy, and fighting inflammation. However, eating too many might cause indigestion, bloating, or constipation.
You may not have realized it, but eating soaked almonds daily could be the secret of your beauty. Your bones, nails, and teeth will be strengthened by the calcium found in almonds.
Not only will your skin glow as the fiber in soaked almonds clears your bowels, but its elasticity will improve too thanks to the antioxidants, and Vitamin E in them. Further, soaked almonds lubricate the skin and the microcirculatory channels, offering support to all the seven vital tissues in the body.
The best way to get a mane to make even the lion envious is to prevent dandruff and hair fall. Eating soaked almonds daily makes the roots of your hair stronger as it is an excellent source of protein. The mixture of magnesium and other nutrients found in almonds helps in preventing hair fall and dandruff. Its high biotin content makes your hair grow faster, and thicker. Since almonds lower stress levels, it helps prevent hair fall.
The cardiac benefits of soaked almonds stem from its idyllic monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, fiber, and arginine. In India, the higher probability of dyslipidemia thanks to food choices full of saturated fats, and trans fats points to elevated risks of cardiovascular diseases. Whether you add them to a fresh salad for the crunch, or just eat them as a snack, almonds lower cholesterol levels since they burn fat in the belly, and target LDL (the harmful cholesterol in your bloodstream), thereby reducing triglyceride and LDL levels. The antioxidants in almonds reduces oxidation of lipids, particularly of LDL Your blood pressure will also be lowered thanks to the magnesium in almonds. However, restrict your intake to a handful or two of almonds, or 23-25 almonds daily. You can have too much of a good thing.
Your best aid to control weight: The fibers and protein in soaked almonds lower hunger levels by creating a sense of fullness, which prevent overeating, and help in losing weight.