Monday, 11 November 2013

#Healthy #Foods - Nuts & Seeds - Almonds (Prunus Dulcis)

Almond consists of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed (nut) inside is native to the Middle East. It is most widely cultivated seed in the world for it economic and health benefit.

1. Fiber
2. Saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fat
3. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
4. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
5. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
6. Pantothenic acid (B5)
7. Vitamin B6
8. Folate (Vitamin B9)
9. Vitamin E
10. Calcium
11. Magnesium
12. Phosphorus
13. Potassium
14. Zinc
15. Protein
16. Trypophan
17. Etc.

Health Benefits
A. Health benefits according to studies
1. Cholesterol
In the research of almond consumption in the improvement of serum lipid profiles found that almond consumption ranging from 25 to 168 g/day significantly lowered total cholesterol [weighted mean difference -6.95 mg/dL (95% confidence interval [CI] -13.12 to -0.772) (-0.18 mmol/L [95% CI -0.34 to -0.02])] and showed a strong trend toward reducing LDL cholesterol [weighted mean difference -5.79 mg/dL (95% CI -11.2 to 0.00) (-0.15 mmol/L [95% CI -0.29 to 0.00])]. No significant effect on HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, or LDL:HDL ratio was found, according to "Almonds have a neutral effect on serum lipid profiles: a meta-analysis of randomized trials" by Phung OJ, Makanji SS, White CM, Coleman CI.(a)

2. Energy
In the comparison of snacking on almonds and cereal bars and theirs effect on weight gain and energy found that almonds and cereal bars promoted a higher eating frequency, but not a higher energy intake. Advice to snack on either almonds or cereal bars did not result in weight gain, suggesting that energy compensation took place, according to "The effect of including a conventional snack (cereal bar) and a nonconventional snack (almonds) on hunger, eating frequency, dietary intake and body weight" Zaveri S, Drummond S.(b)

3. Colon cancer
In the assessment of nuts consumption and theirs essential macro- and micronutrients effects found that all nut extracts and nut fs showed a strong antioxidant potential. Furthermore, all fs, except the fs pistachio, reduced growth of HT29 cells significantly. DNA damage induced by H2O2 was significantly reduced by the fs of walnuts after 15 min co-incubation of HT29 cells. In conclusion, this is the first study which presents the chemopreventive effects (reduction of tumour-promoting desoxycholic acid, rise in chemopreventive SCFA, protection against oxidative stress) of different nuts after in vitro digestion and fermentation, and shows the potential importance of nuts in the prevention of colon cancer, according to "In vitro fermented nuts exhibit chemopreventive effects in HT29 colon cancer cells" by Lux S, Scharlau D, Schlörmann W, Birringer M, Glei M.(c)

4. Microbial metabolism
In the identification of almond polyphenols and theirs effect on microbial metabolism.
found that depending of the type of metabolite, maximum urinary excretion was attained at different time in comparison to the control group in the course of the 24-h period of urine excretion, allowing us to establish the onset of microbial metabolism, according to "Almond (Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb) polyphenols: from chemical characterization to targeted analysis of phenolic metabolites in humans" by Bartolomé B, Monagas M, Garrido I, Gómez-Cordovés C, Martín-Alvarez PJ, Lebrón-Aguilar R, Urpí-Sardà M, Llorach R, Andrés-Lacueva C.(d)

5. Antioxidants
In the evaluation of antioxidant properties of almond green husks (Cvs. Duro Italiano, Ferraduel, Ferranhês, Ferrastar and Orelha de Mula), chestnut skins and chestnut leaves (Cvs. Aveleira, Boa Ventura, Judia and Longal) found that all the assayed by-products revealed good antioxidant properties, with very low EC(50) values (lower than 380 μg/mL), particularly for lipid peroxidation inhibition (lower than 140 μg/mL). The total phenols and flavonoids contents were also determined. The correlation between these bioactive compounds and DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging activity, reducing power, inhibition of β-carotene bleaching and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in pig brain tissue through formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, was also obtained, according to "Antioxidant potential of chestnut (Castanea sativa L.) and almond (Prunus dulcis L.) by-products" by Barreira JC, Ferreira IC, Oliveira MB, Pereira JA.(e)

6. Etc.

B. Health benefits according to concentration
1. Manganese
It is one of important trace in preventing osteoporosis, according to the study of "[Study of estrogen deficiency impact on manganese levels in teeth and mandible of rats after ovariectomy]. [Article in Polish]" by Rahnama M, Błoniarz J, Zareba S, Swiatkowski W.(1)and regulating blood sugar level, according to the study of "[An inadequate intake of manganese may favour insulin resistance in girls]. [Article in Spanish]" by Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Bermejo LM, López-Sobaler AM, Ortega RM.(2)

2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E not only reduces the the risk of anxiety, according to "Dietary Vitamin E Deficiency Increases Anxiety-Like Behavior in Juvenile and Adult Rats" by Terada Y, Okura Y, Kikusui T, Takenaka A.,(3) but also promote bone health, according to "Vitamin E prevents steroid-induced osteonecrosis in rabbits" by Kuribayashi M, Fujioka M, Takahashi KA, Arai Y, Ishida M, Goto T, Kubo T.,(4)

3. Magnesium

Magnesium not only important for bone health, according to the study of "Magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium levels in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Can magnesium play a key role in osteoporosis?" by Odabasi E, Turan M, Aydin A, Akay C, Kutlu M(5) but also play and important role in protecting against Alzheimer's disease, according to the study of "Altered ionized magnesium levels in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease" by Barbagallo M, Belvedere M, Di Bella G, Dominguez LJ.(6)

4. Tryptophan
Tryptophan is one of the 10 essential amino acids which the body uses to synthesize the proteins for brain cells need, thus enhancing the nerve cells in information transmitting between themselves and cells in the parts of the body that reduces the risk of anxiety and depression, according to the study of "The effects of tryptophan depletion on neural responses to emotional words in remitted depression" by Roiser JP, Levy J, Fromm SJ, Nugent AC, Talagala SL, Hasler G, Henn FA, Sahakian BJ, Drevets WC.(7)

5. Copper
Copper plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes, such as iron utilization of enhancing the hemoglobin. and reduction of malabsorption syndrome. according to the study of "Beneficial effect of goat milk on nutritive utilization of iron and copper in malabsorption syndrome" by Barrionuevo M, Alferez MJ, Lopez AI, Sanz SM, Campos MS., posted in PubMed (

6. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Cardiovascular diseases
Since it contains high amount of Omega 3 fatty acid, it helps to prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing arrhythmias and altering production of prostaglandins, which reduces inflammation and improves platelet and endothelial function, according to "Omega-3 Fatty acids for cardiovascular disease prevention" by Defilippis AP, Blaha MJ, Jacobson TA.(I)

2. Fiber
a) Diabetes
Since it contains high amount of fiber, it helps to release glucose into blood stream slowly with stressing the pancreas in constantly introduction of insulin, causing insulin sensitive and type II dilates, accoprding to 'Efficacy of high-fiber diets in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus" by Wolfram T, Ismail-Beigi F.(II)

b) Constipation
Fiber also improves the digestive system in expelling waste by enhancing the movement of large intestine, according to "A dietary fiber mixture versus lactulose in the treatment of childhood constipation: a double-blind randomized controlled trial" by Kokke FT, Scholtens PA, Alles MS, Decates TS, Fiselier TJ, Tolboom JJ, Kimpen JL, Benninga MA.(III)

3. Heart diseases
Since it contain high amount of antioxidants, it reduces the risk of forming of free radicals by enhancing the immune system function against oxidation, according to "Effects of antioxidants on immune system ageing" by De la Fuente M.(IV)

4. Osteoporosis
Magnesium enhances the absorption of calcium, a mineral that is vital to bone formation and bone health, according to "Magnesium deficiency and osteoporosis: animal and human observations" by Rude RK, Gruber HE.(V)

5. Fibromyalgia
Magnesium also helps to maintain a proper function of body muscles, thus reducing the risk of stiff muscles, according to "Selenium and magnesium status in fibromyalgia" by Eisinger J, Plantamura A, Marie PA, Ayavou T.(VI)

6. Etc.

Side effects
1. Allergies
Almonds may cause allergy or intolerance.
2. Oxalation
Do not eat almond, if you have existed kidney and gallbladder problems.
3. Etc.

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