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April 9, 2012
Almonds are definitely among the healthiest natural foods, and consuming small amounts of almonds a day can provide us with a great deal of positive effects. Almonds are low on the glycemic index. They are rich in vitamin E and calcium, so these nuts can be recommended to those who suffer from anemia, insomnia, vision problems, heartburn, or stomach cramps. Almond extracts can be used to relieve coughs and other symptoms of respiratory problems. Almond kernels are used for producing almond oil, one of the most important and the most widely used oils for skin care. This natural product is rich in mono-saturated fats and fatty acids which are very useful to our cardiovascular health. However, almonds are quite high in calories, that is why the recommended daily dose of this food is only 10-15 kernels. According to the findings of a recent study, there are scientific grounds for recommending and effectively using almonds for weight loss.
The study carried out a few years ago by a group of experts at Purdue University, West Lafayette, aimed to analyze the role of healthy low-glycemic foods like almonds in weight loss. And, as the findings have shown, consuming just a handful of almonds for weight loss can be a great and very smart solution! Being low-glycemic foods, almonds, taken in small doses, can substantially influence a common rise of our blood sugar levels after we eat our daily meals. Usually, sugar levels tend to rise quite fast, and by using the foods like almonds it is possible to benefit from a slower and a little more steady rise of sugar in our blood. This way, the scientists say, we feel full for a longer period of time, and as a result, consume less calories.
During the experiments, Purdue University experts questioned a group of volunteers, the students who agreed to participate in the project. The participants were assigned to two groups, which were offered the same kind of diet (the same amounts of nutrients and calories), but the members of the first group were asked to consume a handful of whole almonds on a daily basis. According to the information from the interviews, those of the participants who were eating almonds reported about feeling full for a longer period of time, so they could decrease their daily calorie consumption. Also, the levels of their blood glucose was a lot lower compared to the ones of those participants, who were not consuming whole almonds every day.
Thus, using low-glycemic foods like almonds in weight loss program can help us control our calorie consumption and this way maximize our weight management efforts. The study has proven the importance and effectiveness of almonds for weight loss, however, it is important not to forget that counting calories and using a healthy balanced diet based on fresh organic foods, in conjunction with leading an active lifestyle and doing plenty of physical activities are still the key factors for safe and effective weight loss. You can read more about the findings of this interesting research in one of 2009 issues of American Journal for Clinical Nutrition.
Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.