Suffice it to say, the world of nutrition has slowly but surely gone the way of function. In alignment with that, people try to get more “functional” foods in their diets on a daily basis. In case you’re in the dark, a functional food provides your body with benefits that go far beyond the everyday fare.
According to the Mayo Clinic, functional foods have the power to reduce disease risk and optimize your health. In similar fashion to your mamma, these foods can make you feel special.
This brings us to these ellipsoidal-shaped nuts called almonds. Regardless if they are raw, roasted, sliced, diced or chopped, almonds should make a daily appearance in your diet to get health benefits. Feast your eyes on the reasons why below.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Free radicals are scavenger cells that form in the body from poor lifestyle choices. Over time they clump together and cause your immunity to get broken down and you then become susceptible to colds, cancer and a battery of other issues.
Almonds contain substances known as phytochemicals, which soak up free radicals and promote a higher immunity.
Being overweight or obese is no picnic when it comes to your health. Not only do your joints take a daily wallop, but you are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis.
How does this translate to almonds? Well, they contain a high amount of dietary fiber. Foods that contain fiber help fill you up and keep you feeling full for an extended period of time, which keeps your appetite under control. If you feel full, you will be less apt to overeat and you can lose weight more easily.
As an added benefit, almonds have a generous amount of protein. Much like fiber, protein gives you a full feeling which further contributes to weight loss.
Fat comes in good and bad forms. The bad stuff can be found in deep-fried, processed and refined foods, as well as packaged foods that have a long shelf life. You will hear these fats referred to as trans or saturated fats.
Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are naturally occurring and help your body a number of ways. Perhaps the most notable benefit is they reduce inflammation. Not only are almonds high in unsaturated fats, but they also contain a high amount of vitamin E.
In similar fashion to unsaturated fat, vitamin E does a good job of reducing inflammation and it is also a powerful antioxidant which furthers boosts immunity.
High Energy Levels
Foods that are high in protein, fat and fiber get broken down at a slow pace in the body. This, in turn, causes little if any rise in blood sugar. Processed carbohydrates cause a fast rise in blood sugar, which gives you an equivalent fast rise in energy. However, you also end up with a fast drop in energy that can leave you drooling with your head on your desk in the middle of the afternoon.
By eating almonds as a snack, you will not get that fast spike in blood sugar and your energy levels will remain on an even keel. This also makes them good snacks for diabetics.
Before I depart, remember to watch your intake of almonds. Although they might be good for you, they are also high in calories. You are best served eating them in small amounts throughout the course of the day instead of noshing down big handfuls in single sittings.