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Health Benefits of Soaking Almonds in Water Before Eating

Raw and blanched almonds

Table of Contents

About Almonds
Why Is it Better to Soak Almonds in Water Before Consuming?
Uses of Almonds
Nutrients in Almonds
Nutrient Levels in Almonds
Health Benefits of Almonds
Specific Uses Of Almonds in Some Health Conditions
Almond Milk

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime or practice.

This article is for health information purposes only.

About Almonds

  • Almonds are the fruits of the tree, Prunus dulcis.
  • The fruit is composed of an outer fleshy and somewhat juicy. Almonds have a leathery covering, enclosing a hard shell that contains the seed. It is this seed that is called almond which is consumed in a variety of ways.
  • Almonds probably originated in the Western Asia and North Africa. California is the largest producer of almonds.
  • Almonds are both sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are eaten while the bitter almonds are used to extract oil. They are bitter due to their hydrocyanic acid content. This is, however, removed during the oil manufacturing process.
  • Botanically, it is a drupe and not a true nut.
  • Any kernel or seed that is consumable but is enclosed by a hard covering, is called a nut.
blossoming almond tree
blossoming almond tree | Source

Why Is it Better to Soak Almonds in Water Before Consuming?

  • Dry almonds contain an enzyme inhibitor in the skin which is basically meant to protect the seed till it gets moisture for germination. Once the almonds are soaked in water this enzyme inhibitor is released.
  • Eating pre-soaked almonds makes them easier to digest and also makes more nutrients available for digestion. In fact, most nuts and seeds are easier to digest and have better nutrient availability when soaked overnight before consumption.
  • Soaking also makes for easier chewing by children or the aged who have difficulty chewing hard foods.
  • A word about sprouting almonds would not be out of context here.
    Almonds can be sprouted to make them healthier for the body. Apart from making it easier to digest, it increases the nutrient density and most importantly, is the only way to release the enzyme lipase which aids in the digestion of fats.
green immature almonds
green immature almonds | Source

Uses of Almonds

  • Almonds can be eaten on their own or added as a garnishing for a variety of dishes. They can be eaten raw, fried, baked, salted, blanched or after soaking in water overnight and removing the skin before consumption. Soaking of almonds increases their nutrient availability and absorption.
  • They are also used in the preparation of desserts, ice creams, cakes, cookies, sweets etc. Almond butter, almond milk, almond flour and almond meal are other very nutritional products produced from them.
  • Almond oil is used ,as a massage oil, hair oil, or a carrier oil, in the pharmaceutical industry & in the production of aromatic oils.

Badam (Almond) Halwa – Indian Dessert

Nutrients in Almonds

Almonds are:

  • A rich source of dietary fiber, B-Complex vitamins, minerals calcium, potassium, manganese, iron ,zinc, magnesium and selenium and phytochemicals.
  • Rich in the mono unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid & palmitoleic acids.
  • Extremely rich in the antioxidant Vitamin E.
  • Free from gluten.

About 20 nuts provide 12% of the daily protein needed and 35% of daily Vitamin E requirements. Also, they contain more magnesium than is available in oats or spinach while the calcium content is comparable to that in a cup of milk.

There are 80 calories in 12 almonds which can be burned by (for a body wight of 150 Lbs):

  • Running for 5 minutes at 8mph.
  • Playing table tennis for 18 minutes.
  • Doing vigorous sit ups for 9 minutes.
  • Dancing for 16 minutes.

Nutritional Value of Almonds per 100 g

(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Macros

Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Energy
575 Kcal
29%
Carbohydrates
21.67 g
16%
Protein
21.22 g
38%
Total Fat
49.42 g
165%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Dietary Fiber
12.20 g
30%

Vitamins

Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Folates
50 mg
12.50%
Niacin
3.385 mg
21%
Pantothenic Acid
0.47 mg
9%
Pyridoxine
0.143 mg
11%
Riboflavin
1.014 mg
78%
Thiamin
0.211 mg
16%
Vitamin A
1 IU
0%
Vitamin C
0 mg
0%
Vitamin E
26 mg
173%

Health Benefits of Almonds

A Brain Food

  • Almonds are considered a brain food as they have many nutrients that help in the development of the brain, especially in young children. They also help in increasing the memory and thus are of prime importance to students.

High Cholesterol Levels

  • The oleic and palmitoleic acids in almonds increase the HDL cholesterol and reduce the LDL cholesterol.

Benefits the Heart

  • The magnesium, potassium, Vit E and monounsaturated fat content is good for preventing many heart diseases. They also reduce the levels of artery-damaging homocysteine.

Good for Skin

  • Newborn and infants are advised almond oil massage.

Maintains Blood Pressure

  • The low sodium and high potassium content helps in maintaining normal blood pressure levels.

Boon for Pregnant Women

  • The folic acid content reduces the chances of birth defects in newborns.

Aids in Reducing Weight

  • The monounsaturated fats are quite filling and keep the hunger pangs at bay thus reducing the chances for overeating. Hence almonds are good for those who wish to control their weight. A low-calorie diet taken along with helps much.

Helps Diabetics

  • Consumption of almonds helps to reduce the spike in sugar levels usually encountered after meals. Almonds help by lowering the GI index of the meal, hence, it is better to consume almonds in some form or the other with meals.

Boosting Energy Levels

  • Due to their riboflavin, manganese and copper content, almonds raise energy levels.

Benefits of High Vitamin E Levels

  • Damage to skin and mucous membranes by free radicals is prevented by the high content of this vitamin which scavenges them.

Cancer Prevention

  • The low levels of saturated fats, high levels of vitamin E and the wide variety of phytochemicals help in reducing the risk of cancer.

Prevention of Gall Bladder Stones

  • Studies have shown that consumption of 1 ounce of almond or 2 tbsps of almond butter every day reduced the risk of developing these stones.

Almond Milk

Source

Almond Milk Benefits

People with lactose intolerance can safely consume almond milk. Though it is a good substitute for cow’s milk most commercially made almond milk contains a very low percentage of almonds. Hence it is better to make it at home. The recipe for making it is given alongside.

There are several benefits of almond milk over dairy milk.

  • It is lactose and gluten free.
  • It is extremely low in cholesterol as compared to cow’s milk and higher in protein.
  • A cup provides only 60 calories. No saturated or trans fats. 40% of the calories come from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • One cup provides just 8 gms of carbohydrates of which 7 gms are from low glycemic sugar.
  • Very low in sodium just 5 mg per cup and high in potassium – 150 mg per cup.
  • Rich in calcium and vitamin D. One cup provides 30% of daily requirement of calcium and 25% of the Vitamin D requirement. These make for healthy bones.
  • One glass provides 50% of the daily Vitamin E needed. This renders good antioxidant protection and skin health.

How to Make Almond Milk at Home

How to Make Almond Milk at Home

Almond Milk Recipe

Ingredients

  • 100 grams almonds
  • 1 liter of water for making the milk
  • water for soaking the almonds as needed

Method

  1. Soak the almonds in water overnight. The next morning wash them well and remove the skins.
  2. Grind to a fine paste with a little water then add the remaining water and blend well.
  3. Strain out the almond milk and store in a bottle in the refrigerator.
  4. Use within 3 days and sweeten if you wish to. Drink it or use to prepare smoothies, milk shakes and more.

Watch the video above to see how almond milk has been prepared.

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