Almonds

Almonds and functional food

armela – ametlla – almendra – almond – amande – mandel – mandorla

The almonds of the Maestrat

The almond (armela in local speech) is the fruit of the almond or armeler (Prunus dulcis). Its blooming in the middle of winter paints the landscape of pink tones that contrasts with the monoton grays and greens of the rest of the vegetation.

The marcona variety is the tastiest of all. His recognition has crossed all the borders and even the Americans import it because they have none that withstand the comparison. The marcona of the Maestrat is a population variety with unique characteristics, that make that the guild of pastry chefs and the nougat industry have it in preference.

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Almonds are a natural and healthy food.

25 almonds (30 gr. of almonds) daily is the recommended amount to benefit from its properties.

The almonds are rich in vitamin E, magnesium and manganese, and a   source of fiber, copper, phosphorus and riboflavin.

A serving of 30 gr. It has 13 grams of "good unsaturated fats", only 1 gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol. To equal weight, almonds are the dried fruits that provide more protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin.

Responsible consumption

Always moderate

The healthiest snack

The almonds are easy to preserve, to carry and to consume, so they are very suitable for consumption in mobility, to recharge the “batteries” between meals, to reduce the fatigue in days of schedules without end, during the trips or at any time that we have to ingest energy but do not have time even to breathe to eat.

Benefits of moderate and continuous consumption

Only 25 almonds
per day (30 gr.)

  • Antioxidant action
  • Source of vitamins and minerals
  • Weight reduction
  • Cholesterol reduction
  • Reduction of hunger
  • Improvement of performance and endurance
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • healthy fats

Nutritional composition of almonds

The following table allow to compare the effect of different almond preparation treatments, in their nutritional value.

Comparison of nutritious properties of nuts

The following table allows us to compare the nutritional value of a serving of 30 grams of different dried fruits. The most significant contributions of each fruit are highlighted in red.

Functional food par excellence

The properties of the almonds have been discovered from the moment that beyond their nutritional value, they have been investigated as functional food. That is to say, by the effect that cause once assimilated by our organism the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that compose them, once assimilated by our organism.

Almonds have incredible benefits for our health, which go far beyond nutritional richness. These benefits are derived from their chemical composition and have been demonstrated by numerous research studies. Its moderate consumption in continuous contributes to the reduction of the risk to suffer numerous illnesses.

The typical structure of scientific studies is to submit to representative samples of the population to different diets and then compare for years the effect of these diets on their health with respect to the average of the population. And this is how the scientific evidence for the following effects of almonds has been generated.

Antioxidant action

Almonds are rich in flavonoids, usually present in fruits and vegetables. The flavonoids eliminate free radicals that age our organism. They act at the cellular level reducing their alteration and the consequence is that we keep younger and more resistant to illnesses.

In addition, almonds also contain catechins that add their action to the effect of flavonoids. The catechin helps us to stabilize the amount of free radicals in our system. So, we have that the combined action of both reinforces our health and keeps us younger.

Prevention of gallstones

The consumption of almonds has been associated with a decrease in the risks of generating gallstones. Especially for its reducing effect of blood cholesterol level.

Gallstones are saline precipitates that occur in the gallbladder. They are caused by elevated levels of cholesterol in blood.

They provoque abdominal pain, yelowish skin and vomit. They are more frequent in women, overweight people and seniors. In women, hormonal treatments and pregnancy are factors that increase the risk of gallstones occurrence.

Source of minerals

The almonds provide significant quantities of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, manganese and magnesium.

Magnesium plays an essential role in the production of energy.

Manganese is essential for bone structure. The deficiency causes high pressure and vascular circulation problems.

Vitamin E

The vitamin E helps to reduce the viscosity of the blood, prevents the formation of clots, improves the blood circulation by thinner vessels and together, decreases the risk of cardiovascular problems.

30 grams of almonds contain 7.69 mg vitamin E, known as alpha-tocopherol, half the recommended daily amount. Most people only ingest half of the recommended daily value.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B plays a pivotal role in the transformation of foodstuffs into energy.

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) (0.06 mg in 25 armeles) intervenes in the improvement of the reaction time and in the
cellular renewal.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) (0.34 mg in 25 almonds) relieve the headache and nullify the free radicals.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) (1.09 mg in 25 armeles) reduces anxiety, prevents neurodegenerative diseases (dementias) and increases the “good” cholesterol.

Vitamin B6 (Piridoxine) (0.04 mg in 25 almonds) reduces the risk of colon cancer, improves overall mood and sleep quality.

Vitamin B9 (folic acid) (13.2 mcg in 25 almonds) helps to regulate the mood. During pregnancy, it helps to maintain a healthy growth in the fetus and reduces the risk of birth defects.

Energy Slow release and weight of loss

The combination of proteins, unsaturated fats and fiber of almonds slows down digestion. This factor makes the energy they contain to be released and assimilated slowly. The peaks of glucose in blood are modulated and the supply of energy in the cell is maintained for a longer time.

The consequence is that it allows us a greater resistance in long-term activities, an improvement of our performance, and a reduction of the fatigue.

In addition, the slowing down of the digestion keeps us awake, reduces the feeling of being hungry, helps us to eat less, and in combination to all of the above, to lose weight.

Scientific studies have demonstrated the relationship between the consumption of almonds and:

  • improvement of the metabolism
  • hunger feeling reduction
  • waist reduction
  • weight loss

healthy fats

The healthy fats of the almonds help to lose weight and to reduce the level of cholesterol. It has been discovered that a moderate and continued consumption of almonds reduces the “bad” cholesterol, LDL, in our body and also the abdominal fat.

Monunsaturated fats have recognized effect on the ability to regulate blood cholesterol. Excess of “bad” cholesterol, LDL, causes the sealing of the arteries while the “good” cholesterol helps to remove the “bad” from our body.

A serving of 25 almonds (30 gr) contain 14.98 grams of fat, of which 9.46 gr are monounsaturated, 3.70 gr polyunsaturated and only 1.14 g are saturated.

It is a common perception that people with high cholesterol and excess of fat can not consume fat foods even just they are healthy. On the contrary, it has been demonstrated that people with hyperlipidemy (excess of fat in the body) to which almonds were incorporated into their diet, significantly reduced the risk of suffering coronary diseases.

Cardiovascular health

The blood fluidization, which reduces the risk of blood clots, along with reducing the cholesterol plaque in the arteries, reduces the risk of heart attacks. Anticoagulant action also reduces blood pressure and improves circulation as a whole.

Reduction incidence of colon cancer

It has been proved that adding almonds to the diet reduced the number of aberrant crypt focus in the colon. It is believed that these lesions lead to colon cancer. This fact indicates that the continuous consumption of almonds could reduce the risk of suffering colon cancer.

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