Here's what you need to know about almonds — what the nut does for your health and how they prevent risks.
- ...are protein miracles.Almonds are ideal for vegetarians, vegans and sportsmen and women: 100 grams contain a whopping 19 percent vegetable protein, making them the perfect alternative to meat, fish and cheese.
- ...provide a lot of dietary fiber.Brown skin is rich in fibers (10 percent) that are important for a long-lasting feeling of satiety, as well as good digestion. Almonds are therefore best unpeeled.
- ...protect the heart and vessels.Do almonds contain a lot of fat? Yes, more than 50 percent is composed of valuable unsaturated fatty acids, therefore making them good for the body. Several studies show that almonds can even lower cholesterol levels and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- ...make it easier to stay slim.In a 20-week study, participants ate 50 grams of almonds daily in addition to their normal food; then they eliminated the almonds from their diet. None of them gained weight during the "almond period," but when they weren't eating the nut their weight increased.
- ...offer calcium and iron.Especially interesting for women: 100 grams of almonds contain 252 milligrams of bone-strengthening calcium, twice as much as yogurt and at least 4 milligrams of blood-forming iron.
- ...strengthens nerves and the brain.With a high content of magnesium (170 milligrams), phosphorus (454 milligrams), vitamin E (25 milligrams) and niacin (1.5 milligrams), almonds are considered pure nerve food and a real brain food. They are therefore the perfect snack to have before an exam and other important appointments where concentration and strong nerves are required.
- ..must be chewed.Only then can the body optimally utilize the many good ingredients. In addition, barely chewed almonds are difficult to digest and put a strain on the stomach.
- ...can contain harmful substances.Unfortunately, food testers often find mould toxins (aflatoxins) in almonds. Ground almonds are particularly susceptible to this, but whole kernels can also be affected. Throw away rancid smelling and tasting almonds, store almonds in cool places and consume them quickly.
What You Should Know About Almonds
No wonder almonds are one of the favorite ingredients in vegetarian cuisine: almonds are made up of almost 20 percent protein, about as much as mozzarella cheese. More than half of almonds contain high-quality fat, which, thanks to its favorable composition, does not burden the metabolism but helps to regulate it.
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How Healthy Are Almonds?
Almonds are difficult to digest. If almonds are not chewed thoroughly, they lie in the stomach for a long time and leave the body almost unused.
The brown skin that surrounds the light-colored almond kernels is rich in fiber, namely around 10 percent. But that's not all: almonds are among the top suppliers of vitamin E, beta-carotene and B vitamins.
In addition, almonds provide twice as much of the bone-strengthening mineral calcium as yogurt and twice as much blood-forming iron as lean lamb. The rare trace elements zinc, selenium and fluorine are also present in almonds.
When buying sweet almonds, you will occasionally find some bitter almonds in the bag. Bitter tasting almonds contain prussic acid, which is harmless for adults. However, children react to even minimal amounts with severe poisoning. To rule this out, as a precaution you should not give small children whole almonds. For older children, they should spit out any bitter tasting kernels.
When almonds are poorly stored, traces of the carcinogenic mould toxin aflatoxin have been found. For people who are hypersensitive to salicylic acid, almonds are incompatible. They contain more of this natural preservative than all other types of nuts.
|Nutritional values of almonds per 100 grams|
Preparation Tips for Almonds
Vegetarians should combine almonds with fruits that are rich in vitamin C so the body benefits from the blood-building mineral iron, which is found in almonds. When buying unground almonds, opt for almonds that offer the brown skin that's rich in fiber for cooking and baking.