India is home to diverse cultures, traditions and age-old wisdom. Food is an important part that binds the cultures together. However, there is a lot of myth around the food that we consume on a daily basis. While some claims are to be believed others are just a hoax. All we need to do is get a little smart about our food intake. There are some age-old myths associated with Almonds also known as “suphala,” which translates to “superior nut” as per Ayurveda. Almonds offer health benefits in every bite and contain the nutrients that help towards a wholesome and healthy diet. Nutritionists Ritika Samaddar, registered Dietician at Max Hospital, New Delhi and Madhuri Ruia, founder of Integym, Mumbai share some facts against the myths associated with Almonds.
Myth 1: Eat only five almonds a day
It is recommended to have an ounce (approximately 23) of almonds daily to get the demonstrated health benefits. Munching on a handful of almonds (30 grams/ 23 almonds) will help keep you energised. Not just this, researchers estimated that for every 30 grams increase (approximately 1 serving) of almonds consumed daily, an estimated 10-year coronary heart disease (CHD) risk score was reduced by 3.5%. Almonds include vitamins E, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B2 and hence is a great way to start leading a healthy lifestyle.
Myth 2: Almonds cause weight gain
Studies have shown that a handful of almonds may have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness and keep mid meal hunger at bay. Almonds are high in protein and fiber and can be consumed as a snack. Thus, eating almonds has been shown to contribute towards weight management. In addition
to significantly improving LDL cholesterol, snacking on almonds also reduced central adiposity (belly fat) and waist circumference.
Myth 3: According to traditions, almonds should only be eaten in the morning
The morning eating ritual with almonds is an age-old tradition in India. However, the good part is that not just morning but you can eat almonds at any time during the day. Also almonds can be eaten in any form – raw, as a snack, as part of your meal, dessert, savouries, or any which way you may like. Almonds are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and when included with main meals like added to a salad with lunch or with fruit increase the taste and nutrition and contribute towards a healthier lifestyle.
Myth 4: Almonds are not a preferable snacking option
Contrary to the popular myth snacking on almonds instead of consuming unwholesome snacks, can make a healthy difference to our life. Almonds are easy and quick to flavour and go with just about any masala/spices. Whether at home, work or on the go, a handful (30 grams/23 almonds) of almonds are a convenient snack that can be eaten anywhere, any time of the day and through the year. Keep some almonds handy in a tiffin box so you’ll always have your perfect daily portion.
- N Cohen AE, Johnston CS. Almond ingestion at mealtime reduces postprandial glycemia and chronic ingestion reduces hemoglobin A1c in individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 2011; 60(9): 1312-1317
- Nishi S, Kendall CW, Gascoyne AM, et al. Effect of almond consumption on the serum fatty acid profile: a dose response study. British Journal of Nutrition 2014, 1-10, doi:10.1017/S0007114514001640 - See more at: http://www.almonds.com/health-professionals/media-center/latest-news/2014/08/new-study-supports-daily-almonds-part-heart#sthash.UvLANfpm.dpuf
- Nutritional value of almonds to be included in the footnote: vitamin E antioxidants (256% of your recommended daily value (RDA)), dietary fiber (12.5 grams ), riboflavin (71% of RDA), phosphorus (80% of RDA), magnesium (79% of RDA), copper (52% of RDA), protein (21.15 (35% of RDA) grams), manganese (44% of RDA) and calcium (45% of RDA). They also contain/provide: folate (22% of RDA), iron (18% of RDA), niacin (20% of RDA), thiamine (15% of RDA), zinc (26% of RDA)and potassium (20% of RDA)
- Hull S, Re R, Chambers L, Echaniz A, Wickham SJ. A mid-morning snack generates satiety and appropriate adjustment of subsequent food intake in healthy women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014; DOI 10.1007/s00394-014-0759-z.
- Berryman CE, West SG, Fleming JA, Bordi PL, Kris-Etherton PM. Effects of Daily Almond Consumption on Cardiometabolic Risk and Abdominal Adiposity in Healthy Adults with Elevated LDL-Cholesterol: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Heart Association 2015; 4:e000993 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.114.000993. - See more at: http://www.almonds.com/BerrymanStudy#sthash.qkydundD.dpuf