Who doesn't love almonds? Crunchy, nutty and full of goodness, you can include almonds in shakes, smoothies or desserts, which take the delectability quotient a notch up. But, what you might not know is that almonds are one of the 'superfoods' that you can add to your daily diet - but, of course, in moderation. They are sources of unsaturated fats, high-quality plant-based protein, fibre, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. By virtue of their nutritional composition, almonds are potent health boosters. Various studies across the world have shown the positive effect of nuts on cardiovascular risk factors, weight management, blood sugar level, inflammation and hypertension.
But, if we just talk about diabetes; can really eating almonds help manage blood sugar levels, and if yes, then how? Experts believe that when almonds are consumed along with a meal, the monounsaturated fatty acids in almonds help slow down the release of glucose into the blood stream, and thus, prevent sudden spikes in the blood sugar levels. Gargi Sharma, who is a weight management expert, explains, "Almonds are rich in nutrients like vitamin E, dietary fibres, omega 3 fatty acids and proteins. Some say that almonds can be considered the next big 'superfood' because of their unbelievable nutrient profile. They're high on protein so they keep you full for longer and they're rich in manganese, which helps regulate blood sugar. They're extremely helpful for diabetics and those with blood pressure problems; moreover, they help muscle and nerve function."
Almonds provide a healthy, low-carb mix of monounsaturated fats plus magnesium, which is believed to be instrumental in carbohydrate metabolism. A large study carried out by Harvard University found that high daily magnesium intake reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 33 percent. Therefore, including more magnesium-rich foods like almonds in your diet is a smart move. Backing the theory, Chief Clinical Nutritionist at Fortis-Escorts Hospital, Dr. Rupali Datta, explains, "Almonds provide a good mix of low carbs, healthy mono unsaturated fats and magnesium, which are known to have a beneficial role in carbohydrate metabolism. Diabetics have a higher risk of developing heart diseases, the healthy fats and vitamin E in almonds play a productive role. But, one should not forget that almonds are a fat-rich food, so do not consume more than an ounce (25-30 grams) a day."
Choosing soaked almonds over raw almonds is always better. It is because the brown peel of almonds contains tannin, which inhibits nutrient absorption. Once you soak almonds the peel comes off easily and allows the nut to release all nutrients easily. "Almonds are equally nourishing raw or soaked. When soaked overnight the germination process starts in these seeds so the quality of proteins may show some improvement. By replacing one snack with one ounce of almonds, you are removing empty calorie dense food with a nutrient dense alternative," suggests Dr. Rupali Datta.
Health Tip: Instead of consuming almond on its own, you could pair them with your meals as this would help lower the glycaemic index of the accompanying food. Add sliced or chopped almonds to salads, pasta or vegetable gravy.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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