Almonds are said to be among the world’s most popular tree nuts. They are highly nutritious and rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
At Amazon Nutrition Cabinet, which deals with diet, physical wellness, and lifestyle in Kigali, half a kilogramme of almond seeds goes for Rwf 1,500.
According to Private Kamanzi, a nutritionist working at the centre, since these nuts are not grown around, they are a bit expensive compared to other kinds of nuts that can be found within.
However, he points out that regardless of the price, these nuts are worth it, and if possible, include them in your diet once in a while.
Almonds can be eaten raw or toasted as a snack or added to sweet or other dishes.
Kamanzi says almonds are high in fat, but it is unsaturated fat and this type of fat does not increase the risk of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, which makes them safe for one to consume.
In moderation, the American Heart Association (AHA) indicates that unsaturated fats may improve a person’s blood cholesterol status.
Not only are almonds packed with healthy fats and protein, they’re also rich in antioxidants. Kamanzi says these plant compounds can protect one’s cells from oxidation and premature ageing.
Almonds are also said to be one of the nuts that are highly nutritious and filled with fats, antioxidants including vitamins and minerals
This is because almond seeds have antioxidants, proteins, hearty fats, and minerals that are good for the body.
According to a recent study by the American Dietetic Association, consuming almonds was established to increase levels of vitamin E in red blood cells and also reduce risk of having cholesterol.
“Thus consuming almonds daily can generate more vitamin E into your bloodstream and this can also save you from the risk of developing cholesterol,” Kamanzi says.
When almonds are consumed along with some other nuts, it is said to be good for the heart. Consuming almonds is also said to regulate blood sugar levels and stabilise them. This is because almonds have magnesium in them and it is advised to consume a handful of almonds daily.
However, for people suffering from type 2 diabetes, almonds play an integral role in stabilising it.
Rene Tabaro, a nutritionist and dietician at King Faisal Hospital, says low magnesium levels can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.
He says almonds contain magnesium which helps control blood pressure effectively.
Tabaro notes that almonds have higher contents of protein and fibre and lower levels of carbohydrates that curb one’s appetite and do not keep one craving for long.
This, he says, has been proven to also help in reducing the number of calories on a daily basis.
In fact, Tabaro says with almonds’ ability to curb one’s appetite, this means that one can control what they consume, hence, regulating weight.