Almonds keep the heart strong

KAMPALA, UGANDA – In the olden times things such as fruits, nuts, herbs, leaves, seeds and the like were treasured and valued for the great food nutrients they possessed.

Today however, consumption of nutritious foods has been replaced with the consumption of fatty and non- nutritional foods.

The Almond nut however archaic it may be, is one of those that we should look out for because this wonderfully delicious nut has long been valued as the essence of wellness and health.

This nut has been ranked among the richest sources of health-benefiting nutrients essential for ideal health because it helps reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of acquiring heart diseases.

According to Doctor Kemigisha Harriet a nutritionist at Nsambya hospital, the almond contains about 26 per cent carbohydrates, 12 per cent of which are dietary fiber.  About 20 per cent of a raw almond is made up of high-quality protein, containing essential amino acids.  

She says: “A grain of almonds, contains 12 percent of our necessary daily protein. They are a rich source of vitamin E and B, essential minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium and healthy fat.”

Typical of nuts and seeds, almonds also contain phytosterols, associated with lowering cholesterol.

 Doctor Kemigisha says almonds are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, and are associated with a number of health benefits.

“Just a handful of almonds, approximately one grain, contains one-eighth of our necessary daily protein,” she says.

Almonds may be eaten on their own, raw or toasted. They are also the ingredients of several different dishes. Almonds are available sliced, flaked, slivered, as a flour, oil, butter, or as almond milk.

The health benefits of almonds have been documented for centuries and modern research is backing up many of the claims – there any many good reasons why you might want to consider including them in your diet.

They are known to reduce heart attack risks, rise in blood sugar and providing good brain function since if consumed five times possess about a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of heart attack according to Dr. Phyllis Omondi a researcher at Health Research and Studies Center 

She also says besides reducing heart attack risks, they also lower bad cholesterol since if added to a diet have a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels, they as well protect artery walls from damage and building strong bones and teeth.

Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts Data from the Nurses’ Health Study states. The same study also reveals that those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31 per cent less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom ate them. 

Dr. Kemigisha also says that almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming.  

She says: “When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.”