As I child, I can remember my paternal grandmother (who lived with us till the ripe age of 96), soaking a handful of almonds in their skins overnight and then inviting me to help her peel them in the am to enjoy with her breakfast of chai and stewed fruit.
She’d share with me the numerous Ayurvedic benefits of eating blanched almonds as part of a balanced breakfast. According to Ayurveda, almonds are sattvic in nature and aid in the production of ojas. The top five reasons that I always remember her mentioning:
1. Eat your almonds. They are a great brain food and are energizing. They will help you improve your test scores, as almonds are known to boost your memory. And boy, can I remember eating a few extra ones during finals.
2. The high levels of vitamin E and phytochemicals, along with the low levels of saturated fats help in reducing the risk of cancer.
3. Blanched almonds are easier to digest, increases their nutrient density and release an enzyme inhibitor which aids in the body’s digestion of fats.
4. Almonds are a great source of nutrition. Being rich in vitamin E, B-Complex vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
5. Eating a handful of blanched almonds will keep your heart going strong. As the monounsaturated fat content found in almonds is known to prevent heart disease and reduce cholesterol levels.
Plus, she’d always tell me that almonds will keep your skin glowing, as she often massaged her skin with almond oil, known to improve skin tone.
Note: When purchasing almonds, go for the whole organic kind. Soak about ten of them overnight in a glass of water. Peel the skins in the am, mix them into a bowl of oatmeal and enjoy. Never eat almonds alone on an empty stomach, as this may create a pitta imbalance.