We all know that nuts are a great source of plant protein and can provide us lots of nutrients.
Nuts are full of protein, dietary fiber, healthy fats, and lots of vitamins and minerals.
Almond is a common type of nut people eat in daily life. Recent research has shown that almond is quite beneficial to our health.
For example, one study from Penn State University finds that almonds can help boost levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
Researchers compared the levels and function of HDL cholesterol in people who ate almonds every day, to the HDL levels and function of the same group of people when they ate a muffin instead.
They found that when people on the almond diet, their HDL functions were improved.
HDL works by gathering cholesterol from tissues, like the arteries, and helping to transport it out of the body.
HDL is very important for the heart health, and a healthy level of HDL in the body can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers suggest that while almonds will not eliminate the risk of heart disease, they may be a smart choice for a healthy snack.
Improving HDL level and functions in the body is not the only health benefit from almond.
Other studies show that the types of fats in almonds are especially helpful for reducing body fat – particularly visceral fat. This again can help reduce the risk for heart disease.
In addition, almonds contain high levels of the amino acid arginine, which the body uses to produce nitric oxide, a substance critical for blood pressure regulation.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition finds that adding a modest number of almonds in a weight-loss diet can help increase weight loss and lower the diastolic blood pressure.
However, as a food, almonds are not completely risk-free. Experts warn that bitter almonds contain the deadly poison cyanide.
In addition, the way people cook almonds may make it less health. Sometimes almonds are heavily salted and can contribute to a substantial number of calories when eaten in excess.
So, when you choose almonds as your snack, you need to choose them wisely. Almonds can also be a good part of your meals and complementary to vegetables and fruits.
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