In a 12-week study of 150 patients with heart disease, the effect of consuming 10 grams of almonds each day was examined. In this study, it was found that consuming 10 grams of almonds, every day before breakfast for 3 weeks, contributed to a significant increase in HDL cholesterol levels (the good cholesterol we want in high blood levels) and a further increase even after 12 weeks. At the same time, there was a decrease in the levels of triglycerides (blood fats) and in LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol that we want at a low and balanced level in the blood.
Further studies show that almonds are a source of α-tocopherol, a vitamin E considered to be the most active among the tocopherol group that allows oxidation resistance to oxidizing agents primarily of LDL cholesterol causing atherosclerosis. Vitamin E in general is a vitamin that allows our body to deal with free radicals that oxidize molecules and substances like LDL cholesterol that settles in the artery walls and causes atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
The cosmetics industry has also identified the antioxidant properties of almonds and the active vitamin E they contain and we are all familiar with various creams and cosmetic products based on almond oil, almond cream and even almond-based body lotion.
How many almonds should you eat a day?
The recommended daily amount as shown in the studies is very wide, between 10 and 100 grams per day. Because the caloric value of almonds is relatively large, 7 almonds contain about 50 calories and you should exercise discretion in their eating. Also, another important emphasis is that the recommendations refer to the consumption of almonds in their raw form – without salt and not roasted.
In conclusion, consuming almonds and nuts in moderation each day can be beneficial to your health, cardiovascular health. But there is an important emphasis – consumption of almonds and nuts can not come alone, one must adhere to a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and exercise. All of these will result in far better results than each component individually.
A recipe for flour-free almond cookies
Ingredients (for 25 cookies):
- 200 g of sliced blanched almonds
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- One egg protein
- Lemon zest or orange zest (optional)
- Mix the egg white well with the sugar (you can add lemon zest or orange zest).
- Add the almonds and mix well so that all the almonds are coated in protein and sugar.
- Line an oven pan with parchment paper and place a teaspoon of the almond mixture at a time. Leave a space between the cookies as they swell during baking.
- Bake for about 15-10 minutes at 180 degrees, until the almonds are browned. Be careful not to burn them.
- Cool completely and keep in an airtight box.
Alex Shchukin, Clinical Dietitian, B.Sc , R.D Heli Maman, a network that specializes in a healthy lifestyle