People love almonds in all forms. Across the globe, these nuts have become one of the most sought-after foods and are a must-have in our daily diet. Given the host of health benefits these nuts carry in them, almonds have carved out a distinct space in Indian households.In India, eating almonds in the morning is an age-old tradition. They are eaten as a snack, usedin recipes, consumed to enhance skin care, often a part of cultural traditions, and deemed to be a muchvaluedgift!Celebrated every year on 23rd January,National Almond Day is a way to recognize these delectable nuts and generate awareness around the various health benefits fromconsuming them.
Almonds are a natural source of 15 essential nutrients. They are high invitamin E, plant-based protein, dietary fiber.In addition,almonds are a source of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, calciumand provide multiple benefits. They also have a favorablefat profile, as for every serving (30grams), one gets 13 grams of unsaturated fats, out of which 9 grams aremonounsaturated fats, the good kind of fats for the human body. Given the nutrients these nuts have to offer, there is no wonder why having a handful or 23 almonds everyday are good for one’s health!
Here are the host of health benefits ofconsuming almonds daily:
• Weight management:A handful of almonds may have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, which may keep hunger at bay between meals.
• Diabetes management: Almonds are a low glycemic index foodand several research studies have found that almonds may lower the blood sugar impact of carbohydrate foods that they are eaten with, thereby helping in diabetes management.
• Skin health:Almonds are rich in antioxidants like vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) which has been shown to impart anti-aging properties. Consuming a handful of almonds daily can improve the appearance of facial wrinkles, skin tone. Research also suggests daily consumption of almonds may help support the skin’s resistance to UVB light – the main source of skin damage from sun exposure and improve skin texture.In addition, almonds are known to be good for skin health and can enhance skin glow, according to published Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani texts.
• Gut health: Almonds contain dietary fiber which have shown to increase butyrate concentrations in the guts of healthy adults according to a recent research study. Butyrate is a type of beneficial short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) found in the colon and plays an important role in promoting gut health.Another research study has found that dailyconsumption of almonds helped to increase microbiome diversity in the gut, while decreasing relative levels of potentially harmful bacteria.
• Physical performance: According to a recent research,consuming almonds as a part of post-workout meal, reduces post-exercise fatigue and tension as well as facilitates higher levels of leg and lower back strength. As per the study, almonds may also decrease muscle damage in people recovering from performingeccentric exercises.
• Blood pressure:Munching on almonds as a part of a healthy diet may help reduce dyslipidemia, one of the biggest risk factors for CVDs among Indians.Studies also suggest that individuals on an almond-rich diet have improved blood flow and lower blood pressure.
• Heart health: Almonds may lower total and LDL cholesterol when included in a healthy diet and reduce levels of heart damaging inflammation.
To raise further awareness around this occasion, many health expertsand influencers will join hands to participate in a week-long campaign organized by Almond Board of California. The National Almond Day campaign will be inaugurated on 23rdJanuary 2023, echoing the recommended daily portion size of 23 almonds. The campaign will be kicked off by renowned TV personality Rannvijay Singha, where he will announce an interesting contest #AlmondDiaries on Instagram. To know more about the contest, we recommend you stay tuned and follow Rannvijay’s Instagram handle for further updates.
Speaking about the health benefits of almondson National Almond Day, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi,mentioned“Almonds are a healthy addition to our daily diet as they are extremely nutritious. Research studies have shown that a daily serving of almonds (30 grams/23 almonds) may improve both short-term and long-term markers of blood sugar control in those with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes. Studies have also found that almonds may help in maintaining good gut health astheycontain dietary fiber, which have shown to positively alter microbiota functionality in the gut.”
Highlighting the immunity-building and satiating properties of almonds,Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant mentioned, “Almonds are a natural and goodsource of antioxidants which may help protect against oxidative stress that can contribute to inflammation and aging. When eaten daily, almonds can also help in building immunity. The satiating properties of these nuts can keep one full for a long time and can help in cutting down theintake of highly refined and ultra-processed foods. This makes almonds beneficial for weight-watchers. Hence, I would recommend to definitely add almonds to your daily diet for ensuring good health.”
Speaking about snacking benefits of almonds on National Almond Day, Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach, Neha Ranglani,said“Almonds are a natural, good source of nutrients such as protein, vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, zinc, etc., which makes them a healthy yet tasty snack.They make for a great addition to our diet as they offer several benefits across heart health, diabetes and weight management. They also aid muscle recovery post exercise as per a recent study. Researchers have found thatsnacking on almonds reduced feelings of fatigue and tension, increased leg and lower back strength during recovery, and decreased muscle damage during the first day of recoverypostperforming eccentric exercises. With such amazing benefits these nuts offer, I always recommend my clients to add almonds in theirdaily diet.”
Speaking about the skin health benefits of almonds on National Almond Day, Medical Director and Cosmetologist, Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta said, “Almonds are known to be a rich source of vitamin E and polyphenols, which can improve skin health.When eaten regularly, these nuts can naturally benefit one’s skin texture and enhance skin glow. Research studies have also found that consuming almonds daily can help support the skin’s resistance to sun’s UVB light andimprove the appearance of facial wrinkles.Hence, make sure to add a handful of almonds to your diet to ensure good health of your skin.”
Expressingher love for almonds on National Almond Day, Bollywood Actress, Mother and Author Soha Ali Khan, mentioned, “Almonds have been a part of my daily diet ever since childhood.It is now a ritual for me to start my day with a handful of almonds. It gives me energy and keeps me satiated for a long time. Almonds are healthful nuts that naturally offer several vital nutrients such as calcium, protein, iron, manganese, and zinc. They are also rich in antioxidant vitamin E and healthy fats that help to keep our skin and heart healthy. I make sure to eat 23 almonds daily to remain healthy and fit, as well as keep my skin nourished from within.”
Talking about the benefits of almonds, Fitness Expert and Celebrity Master Instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala, mentioned, “Almonds are a natural pre as well as post–work out snacksince they are energy yielding. They are a good source ofprotein thatcontributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. Almonds also have satiating properties that can keep hunger at bay in between meals. So, on this National Almond Day, let’s make sure to incorporate a handful of almonds in our diet every day.”
Speaking on the benefits of almonds on National Almond Day, Dr Nitika Kohli, Ayurveda Expert, said, “Almonds provide unctuousness or moistness to body tissues, supports nervous system and enhances one’s strength, skin color and muscle mass. According to Ayurveda, almonds are a nut that can naturally help in the conditions of Prameha that associates with clinical disorders such as obesity, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome. Moreover, eating almonds daily can be one of the healthy ways to manage weight as they are high in monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber. They also help in relieving Vata and Pittadoshas.”