Is almond good for muscle building? Ever since childhood, we are instructed to incorporate almonds into our diet to improve brain power but almonds are not just helpful in improving memory.
They play an immense role in boosting our health in various other ways. Their vitally important macronutrient content is very useful in building muscle power and strength.
Here’s all you need to know about almonds and their role in building muscles.
Almonds are native to Southwestern Asia. They are one of the earliest domesticated fruit trees in the world. Though they trace their roots to the Levant, today almonds are consumed in huge quantities in all parts of the world.
Almonds are so ingrained in our daily lives that it is almost impossible to do without them. They satisfy our many wants and are used as nuts, oil, butter, and in form of other products as well. Almonds can be sweet or bitter.
Generally, the sweet type is the edible type consumed as nuts, used as oil in cooking or almond meal. Bitter almonds are used for industrial purposes such as in the manufacturing of flavoring extracts for food and liqueurs after the removal of the prussic acid.
The chemical composition of both types of almonds is the same with the presence of glucose and water. Bitter almonds are also rich in amygdalin which is found insignificantly in the sweet ones. The oil present in almonds contains benzaldehyde as well as prussic(hydrocyanic) acid.
2. Types of Almonds
Almonds are found in many varieties. They are naturally available in small to medium sizes. However, the rootstock can be grafted to produce different varieties.
This variety is naturally available and does not require pollination by other varieties. It originated in Italy and can be identified by its thick hairy shells. Each nut produces only 32% edible kernel.
This variety is characterized by a large tree that produces smooth, large, and thin-shelled almonds. Its edible kernel percentage is high with 65% kernel per nut. This is also the most widely used variety of almonds.
This variety is generally used as a rootstock in pollination to produce different varieties of almonds.
3. Contents of Almonds
Almonds are rich sources of various types of nutrients and minerals.
Almonds are rich sources of fiber. Fibers are dietary tools that help in digestion and prevent constipation.
They contain monounsaturated fats which are beneficial for blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, and for stabilizing heart rhythms. Monounsaturated fat plays a pertinent role in fat breakdown and exercise recovery.
Almonds contain most Vitamin E as compared to any other nut. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, scavenging loose electrons that can damage cells.
Minerals such as Phosphorus, Calcium, magnesium, and energy-boosting manganese help in the coagulation and contraction of muscles.
Trace minerals such as copper and phytonutrients help in the growth of beneficial gut microbes.
4. Health Benefits of Almonds
When it comes to health benefits, almonds are beyond compare:
1. Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Almonds prevent the harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol which is a main component in cardiovascular diseases. They lower LDL levels in the blood and lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.
They protect the cells from oxidative damage and reduce cholesterol levels.
Additionally, almonds reduce blood pressure levels and promote healthy blood vessels.
2. Reduce Inflammation
They exert anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects and help to decrease inflammation. Vitamin E has an antioxidant effect and also has a regulatory function for our body’s enzymatic activity.
Because of the nutrient content, almonds are a potent force for combating conditions that lead to heart disease.
3. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Reduce insulin resistance and help lower blood sugar levels. The remarkable amount of magnesium present in them helps in this regard. Almonds are specifically beneficial for diabetics since they reduce hunger by giving a feeling of fullness in a small amount.
4. Reduce Body Fat
Almonds are low in carbs and high in protein which lowers the overall calorie intake of a person and helps to reduce body fat.
Almonds contain phytic acid which binds certain minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. In this way, they reduce the risk of obesity and help to lose weight.
5. Helps with Stress
Eating almonds may alleviate stress and lower the risk of colon cancer.
Almonds are natural anesthetics. They initiate the muscle protein breakdown process. Glucoside amygdalin present in them makes nerves insensitive leading to numbness.
6. Improves Growth of Brain Cells
Lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E present in almonds help in improving eyesight and brain power. Phenylalanine is a chemical that helps in the growth of brain cells.
7. Helps in Skin Nourishment and Hair Growth
Almonds are a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids which help in skin nourishment.
They contain fatty acids which are useful in the treatment of acne and blackheads. Fatty acids help open clogged skin pores and reduce rashes.
Almonds also reduce hair loss and promote healthy hair growth. Almond oil is widely used in this regard.
5. Is Almond Good for Muscle Building?
Proteins and amino acids are the most important factor in muscle building. The different forms of protein formed in chains are very helpful in building muscle mass and protecting muscles from free radical damage. They ensure the reduction of muscle fatigue which is a pre-eminent factor in acing any sport.
Many bodybuilders consume Vitamin E in synthetic and natural forms through almonds to enjoy its health benefits. A diet for athletes rich in amino acids ensures longer and more intense muscle exertion.
The acids kick in during the workouts and help the athletes last longer. While most of the rich sources of protein are non-vegetarian, they may not be a viable option for vegetarian athletes.
Almonds as a vegan and plant-based source of protein solve that problem. They are frontrunners when it comes to amino acid and protein content. It is a misconception that plant-based proteins do not fulfill protein requirements.
A purely plant-based protein not only fulfills daily protein needs but also promotes other health-promoting ingredients. A proper amount of healthy fat in the diet helps to manage inflammation which is a key to reaching bodybuilding goals.
Fats provide huge amounts of energy. Almonds help in intense phases of exertion, increase endurance and shorten recovery time. How many almonds should you munch? Two handfuls a day should do it. Almonds, in short, are very healthy, provide a lot of protein, and help in building muscle mass.
They are many ways in which almonds can be incorporated into daily diets to improve muscle growth. They can be used as toppings for porridges or in yogurt.
Yogurt is one of the few foods that contain conjugated linoleic acid, a special type of fat shown in some studies to reduce body fat and muscle contraction. They can either be eaten directly or can be eaten after soaking them. Soaking almonds overnight makes them easier to digest and absorb their rich nutrients.
They can be incorporated in different shakes or smoothies, Mixed with dried cranberries, or chopping them into a salad. A good way to eat almonds is to eat dry roasted almonds. That helps in weight loss faster.
They can also be applied on bread in form of almond butter or as a main ingredient in biscuits and cookies.
6. Uses of almonds
They can be eaten raw, dry roasted, and oil roasted.
6.2 Almond Milk
It is dairy-free plant milk that is free of cholesterol and lactose. Unsweetened almond milk checks in many nutritional boxes.
6.3 Almond Butter
It is quite similar to peanut butter but can serve as an alternative for those who have peanut allergies. As with whole almonds, almond butter can be found raw, roasted, or flavored by various companies.
6.4 Almond Oil
It helps in reducing hair loss and provides nourishment to the hair follicles. Regular massaging with almond oil makes the hair strong and shiny.
6.5 Almond Flour or Almond meal
It comprises finely ground almonds and is gluten-free and low in carbohydrates.
To sum up, People should consume almonds since they are a very rich source of protein and amino acids which help in building muscle growth and muscle mass. It prevents muscle breakdown by lowering levels of a sinister cellular protein called tumor necrosis factor-a.
The high-quality protein and vitamin content in them helps one in a lot of health aspects such as low blood sugar levels, low blood pressure levels, controlled LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, healthy hair, good eyesight, good brain power, etc.
So Is almond good for muscle building? The answer is Yes. The health benefits of eating almonds are immense and they should surely be incorporated into one’s daily diet in ample quantities.
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