Did you know that nuts are a perfect weight loss food when eaten in moderation? Have you tried almonds for weight loss and management? It’s time that you try this tasty nut for its amazing benefits.
Obesity is a disease that affects people of almost all age groups. We indulge in crash diets and hard-core exercise. Yet we often avoid consuming nuts, thinking they are high in fats and calories. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity revealed the benefits of almonds for weight loss. The journal found that people eating a restricted diet with added almonds lost more weight than those who consumed complex carbohydrates. This was despite the fact that an almond-enhanced diet provided 40% total fat, while a complex carbohydrate diet provided 18% fat.
Almond is native to the West Asian Mountains and is cultivated across the world as a commercial crop. The fruit is enclosed in a hard shell, which is oval to conical in shape and has a crunchy taste. There are two kinds of almonds – bitter almond and sweet almond.
[Read about – 20 Amazing Benefits and Uses Of Almonds]
How do Almonds help in Weight Loss?
1. Healthy Fats:
Almonds are one of the best foods for weight loss. It contains high amounts of fats like omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids. Unlike saturated and trans fats, which are linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases, healthy fats prevent the occurrence of diseases. In a study, people who consumed 40 grams of almonds every day for four weeks noticed a significant increase in their Vitamin E levels and monounsaturated fats, without any increase in their weight.
2. Rich Source of Protein:
Almond is a rich source of protein and a healthier alternative to red meat. An ounce of almond contains the same levels of protein as lean meat. Consuming high amounts of protein-rich foods diminishes the processed carbohydrates, making a huge difference to your weight.
The nutritional content in almond makes it extremely effective for reducing body fat. Almond is a nutrient-dense food. A well-nourished body does not crave for food. In case of an unhealthy diet, the brain sends signals to the body that result in binge eating and eventually an increase in weight.
Nuts are extremely low in calories. 10 almonds provide you with 75 calories. They are also packed with Vitamin E, fiber, monounsaturated fats, B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, biotin, zinc and oleic acid. One ounce of almond provides 40% of the daily requirement of Vitamin E. The B vitamins in almond control sugar cravings, while the oleic acid curbs hunger. All these nutrients are required to activate energy production in the body.
4. Reduces Tummy fat:
Studies have found that eating 2 ounces of almonds a day can help in weight management. A diet rich in MUFA helps to reduce abdominal fat accumulation. Almonds are quite low in terms of their glycemic index. They prevent the spikes in blood sugar levels that occur after eating. A low glycemic diet can aid in weight loss, especially if you are at a risk of diabetes.
The high amount of fiber in almonds provides bulk to the food without adding extra calories. High fiber foods prevent the absorption of fats and calories in the body. Fiber binds the fat, preventing it from reaching the intestinal wall. Additionally, slow digesting food provides sustained energy. In order to achieve maximum benefits, consume almonds with their skin intact.
Along with aiding weight loss, almonds provide other health benefits as well.
6. Cardiac Health:
A study has confirmed that people who consumed almonds 5 times a week are less prone to heart attacks and strokes. Studies at Harvard University found that women who consumed more than five ounces of almonds every day lowered the risk of heart diseases by almost 35%, compared to women who rarely consumed nuts.
The flavonoids present in almonds are vital for preventing heart diseases. It also protects the cardiovascular system from free radical damage and keeps the heart pumping and healthy. Oleic acid is the primary monounsaturated fat that is associated with the reduction of unhealthy LDL cholesterol in the body. It also encourages high-density lipoprotein in the body.
7. Skin Care:
Almond is widely used as an active ingredient in many skin and hair care products. It is rich in Vitamin E, which acts as a shield, protecting the skin from sun damage. The oil extracted from almonds is used in aromatherapy to massage the body. It gets absorbed easily into the skin, leaving it healthy and moisturized. It also soothes skin irritation and inflammation.
8. Hair Care:
Almonds contains several hair-friendly nutrients like Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, D, omega fatty acids and monounsaturated acids, which penetrate into the hair strands, making it healthy and beautiful. Magnesium in almond combats hair loss and keeps your hair strong.
Ways to include almonds in your diet:
Purchase almonds in their natural state. Do not buy almonds with added salts or additives.
- Eat a handful of roasted almonds for your evening snack. They are low in calories, making them a perfect weight loss snack. The fiber will keep you satiated for a longer time, curbing the temptation to eat junk foods.
- Almond is a versatile nut and fits in almost every meal. Add almonds to your breakfast cereals or porridge. You can also apply some creamy almond butter on bread slices or add them to your soup. This will add bulk to your meal so that you eat less and do not feel hungry. It will keep you energized and full until lunchtime. It will also give you the energy to carry on with your day-to-day activities.
- Chop or grind almonds in a food processor and sprinkle them on salads and stir-fries. You can also add them to your smoothies and yoghurt. Slivered almonds are also sprinkled over desserts, sweets and ice cream.
Include almonds in your diet and embark on your weight loss journey today!!!