Almond (Prunus dulcis) is one of the most beneficial nuts as these are rich source of proteins, fibre, and nutrients. People consider it as a great brain booster. Furthermore, we will see why this nut is among the favourites of people.
Almond, known as Badaam has great importance in Ayurveda. It is used for curing various ailments. Through this blog, we will know more about it in another section.
What is Almond
Almond comes in two varieties-
- Sweet almond (P. dulcis variety dulcis)
- Bitter almond (P. dulcis variety amara)
Sweet almonds are the common type that is used in homes. These are used in cooking. The bitter almond oil is also used in the manufacturing of flavouring extracts.
By-products of Almond
Sweet almond oil made of sweet almonds is the best for massages. It balances Vata. Almond oil balances Vata when applied externally. It penetrates deep into the skin and nourishes the layers.
Almond milk has zero cholesterol and lactose. This makes it great to be consumed by lactose-intolerant people. The milk is also safe for consumption by those with high cholesterol.
Almond butter can be a great alternative for peanut butter as both have a similar consistency. Anyone with allergies to peanut butter can consume almond butter.
Almond Flour or Almond Meal
Almond flour is gluten-free and low in carbohydrates. It is rich in nutrients but also contains more calories and fats. It contains more moisture than all-purpose flour.
Importance of Almond in Ayurveda
Almonds have great importance in Ayurveda for their nutritional value. They are known for their Vata-pacifying effect due to the sweet and warming quality. They provide moisture to the skin. These also support all the seven Dhatus (tissues), and especially Shukra dhatu i.e., the reproductive tissue. Almonds are also good for Pitta.
People with Kapha imbalance should consume them in small quantities. Due to their heavy quality, you need a strong Agni, or digestive fire, to digest them.
People with high Pitta in the blood should not consume almonds.
Benefits of Almond
Almond can regulate blood sugar
Almond are low in carbohydrates but high in protein, fats, and fibre. It regulates blood sugar by controlling the appetite. Eating almonds in the morning also helps to reduce hunger pangs.
Reduces bad cholesterol
A recent study conducted by the American Dietetic Association shows that consumption of almonds increases Vitamin E levels in the RBCs. It also reduces your risks of having cholesterol. It boosts the levels of vitamin E in the bloodstream. The antioxidants prevent the cells from clogging which develops cholesterol.
Improve Your Brain Power
Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, which helps in the growth of brain cells. Consuming just five pieces of almonds in the morning every day can help you boost your brainpower.
Best for Treating Anaemia
Anaemia is usually caused when RBCs (Red Blood Cells) carry less amount of oxygen to the brain. Almonds contain copper, iron, and vitamins that promote the production of haemoglobin. Due to which, anaemia is cured.
Boosts bone Health
Almonds contain manganese, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, copper, protein, and zinc. These ensure bone health.
Treat Stretch Marks
Almond oil has a great capacity for nourishing the skin. It also helps in preventing skin tears. By applying lukewarm almond oil on the stretch marks, and leaving it for an hour, you will notice changes. Regular application twice a day will do the needful.
Good for Hair
Almonds contain magnesium, which promotes hair growth. Almond oil also prevents hair from greying, reduces dandruff, and cures other types of hair problems.
Almond oil is great for improving the texture of the hair. It also makes them silky, shiny, and thick.
Bitter Badaam oil has a toxic compound known as glycoside amygdalin. This makes your nerves insensitive, and you feel numb. Therefore, almonds can be used for treating several ailments that need anaesthesia.
The consumption of almonds reduces BMI (Body Mass Index), which further helps in reducing weight. Various researchers found that almonds contain about 20% lesser calories than the labels state.
Good for Skin & Eyes
The fatty acids in almonds prevent acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. These fatty acids control the oil clogging in the skin pores. It also helps in reducing skin rashes.
Almonds contain flavonoids. It is similar to that of green tea and broccoli. Flavonoids nourish the skin and also provides glow to the skin. It acts as an anti-ageing component for your skin.
Almonds are high in vitamin E that protects your eyes. It also prevents abnormal changes in your lens.
Rich in antioxidants
Almonds are rich in antioxidants. These are majorly stored in the brown layer. The antioxidants in almonds help in countering the harmful effects of the cell-damaging free radicals. These are also responsible for the protective impact.
Prevent Birth Defects
Almonds contain folic acids that play an integral role in pregnancy. It facilitates the development of healthy cell growth. It also helps in the growth of a fetus.
Consuming almonds during pregnancy can help protect the baby from developing birth defects.
The fibre present in almonds helps in the detoxification of the body. Consuming almonds also facilitates the passage of the digestive system. Almonds reduce your risk of developing colon cancer due to the fibre content. Vitamin E and flavonoids in almond regulate breast cancer.
Prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Badaam improves memory and prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. They are also useful in treating chronic illnesses such as cough and constipation.
Almonds also stimulate the nervous system. It provides nourishment to the tissues and the sense organs.
Almond has a great nutritional value, but it also has its own drawbacks. People may also develop an allergic reaction by consuming in excess quantity.
Excessive consumption of almonds can cause-
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Shortness in breath
- Severe itching
Where is it found?
The major producer of Badaam is the United States. It has captured the market of global production of almonds. Furthermore, Spain and Italy are the oldest producers of Almonds.
California grows almonds for commercial purposes. It is the largest almond producer in the world. The harvest is usually enough to feed the nation and export to other countries.
Other countries mostly produce almonds for home use. The Middle East and European countries also produce this nut.