Wild morning! Almond benefits for skin, hair, health, and nails are many and very useful. Whether dealing with blackheads, irritated scalp or need a healthy snack, almond products are a natural remedy for many issues. Eat them raw, or apply almond oil topically, the results should be visible with a little patience. Let me present February’s plant of the month: almonds!
WE'LL TALK ABOUT...
- Almonds love story
- Almonds as a source of nutrition
- Almond health benefits
- Almonds as a beauty product
- Almonds as a kitchen ingredient
Almonds love story
I’ve always been a big fan of almonds, their crunchy structure and the fact that they go well with everything. Really, almonds are tasty, but the only thing I despise about them is the marzipan. And I do really detest marzipan; I am strongly convinced that making marzipan is all about ruining the almonds.
On a more serious note, the almonds come from the almond tree, known as Prunus dulcis, native to the Middle East, India and North African region. The almond trees were one of the first domesticated fruit trees. They were known as “Greek nut” by the Romans, but they were also mentioned in the Bible and various historical texts. There are two types of almonds; sweet (the one we’re talking about here, Prunus dulcis tree) and bitter (Prunus amara); the latter are used as a flavor boost in liquors and food but are otherwise inedible.
Almonds as a source of nutrition
It is in these components that the almond benefits for skin, health, hair, and nails lie. Eating just a handful daily is an easy way to get necessary nutrients from your diet, improving your heart health and prevent weight gain.
- Vitamins E and B-complex (biotin and riboflavin, thiamine and folate)
- Minerals (manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous)
- Rich in unsaturated fatty acids (mono- and polyunsaturated fats)
- Rich in dietary fiber
- Contain protein and antioxidants
- Contain phytosterols
Almond health benefits
Adding almonds daily to your menu will help your body maintain a strong immune system. Almonds also boost nutrient absorption, ease the headaches, and boost the memory among others. A healthy and tasty snack, almonds used to be on the on the menu of the wealthy, but now as accessible as they’ve become, they should be a must for you as well (unless you’re allergic. In that case, feel free to ignore me).
Lower cholesterol levels
Almonds help increase the levels of HDL (high-density lipoproteins), the “good” cholesterol and decrease the levels of “bad” LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol, with regular consumption.
Boost healthy heart (beneficial for cardiovascular system)
Full of powerful nutrients, almonds play an important role when it comes to our heart health. The unsaturated fatty acids, along with protein and antioxidants all work to reduce the risk of heath disease, artery wall damages and supposedly even improve vascular function.
Looking for a healthy brain food? This is it. Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, which have positive effects on brain function and activity.
Regulate blood sugar levels
Almonds help regulate blood sugar levels due to unsaturated fatty acids they contain.
Being rich in fiber means that almonds help prevent constipation; with a decent amount of water they should aid in improving the metabolism and digestion. What’s more, because of the almond’s skin (especially, but the almonds as well), these nuts have prebiotic properties, which results in a healthier and improved intestinal microbiota.
Help maintain healthy teeth and bones
As a good source of minerals such as magnesium and phosphorous, almonds help to prevent tooth decay, help build stronger bones, prevent cavities and decrease the risk of bone fractures.
Almonds as a beauty product
Now that you know why you should add almonds to your diet, let’s have a look at almond benefits for skin and hair. Healthy on the inside usually reflects on the outside as well, but there’s a thing called sweet almond oil, which, applied topically, can improve your skin and hair health.
Almond benefits for skin
In terms of skincare, sweet almond oil has become one of the most popular natural and organic ingredients, whether we’re talking about store-bought products or vegan DIY cosmetics. You can find this oil more or less everywhere because of the powerful almond benefits for the skin. Suitable for all skin types, it is easily absorbed, nourishing the skin with vitamin E and other antioxidants.
Naturally moisturizes the skin
Almond oil naturally hydrates the skin, which can be applied daily before you go to bed. With almond benefits for skin, this oil will leave your skin soft and smooth, but without clogged pores or any greasy feel, because it gets absorbed pretty quickly.
Natural remedy for acne, eczema, and psoriasis
Almond oil is a natural aid when it comes to the itchy skin; this is a mild and hypoallergenic oil which moisturizes the skin but without any additional irritation. For best results add a drop of essential oil, possibly anti-inflammatory, such as lavender, tea tree, chamomile, or frankincense. You can even dilute the almond oil with another carrier oil and apply to your face for better results.
A natural aid in anti-aging and dark circles
Only a few drops of almond oil every night will improve your under-eye area. As a natural aid in dark circles, you’ll be able to notice brighter eyes, with less puff. At the same time, almond benefits for skin promise to remove fine lines and wrinkles because the oil renews the cells on your face, and fights the oxidative stress, which is, according to this article on NCBI:
a disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defences
In other words, the almond oil contains antioxidants that help fight free-radicals and improve the overall health of the skin.
A natural makeup remover
Use almond oil as a natural makeup remover, instead of purchasing the expensive products that at the same time contain ingredients that are not necessarily the best for your skin. I always use my own vegan homemade makeup remover wipes (find the recipe here). If this is too much work for you, simply apply a few drops of almond oil on a cotton pad and remove makeup.
Almond benefits for hair
There are plenty of almond benefits for skin, but its uses don’t stop there. Sweet almond oil is also very beneficial for the hair since it nourishes it with high nutrient content (vitamins and fatty acids) which improve the overall hair health by penetrating into the hair strands, making your hair shiny and strong. Eating raw almonds is beneficial for hair by itself, but adding almond oil to your haircare routine offers an extra boost of nourishment to your hair and scalp.
Boosts hair growth
Almond oil improves circulation. That means the scalp and the hair follicles are better supplied with nutrients so that they can boost the growth of healthy hair. It helps condition your roots as well as damaged hair. The hair will be silky and shiny, looking healthy and strong.
A natural remedy for dandruff
Almond oil nourishes the scalp; it moisturizes the scalp and helps to curb the flakiness. Again, almond benefits for skin come from the fact that almond oil is hypoallergenic oil that it offers a natural protection of the skin with its rich nutritious value (vitamin E!). Perhaps this quick recipe should give you an idea of how easy it is (it’s more or less the same procedure as with this hair mask)
- 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
- add a few drops of essential oil (tea tree, lavender, rosemary) that helps fight dandruff
- apply on a dry scalp, massaging thoroughly
- leave for 2 hours then wash as you normally would
Almonds as a kitchen ingredient
Last on the list but just as equally important are almonds in the kitchen. Here’s how you can enjoy a handful of almonds:
- Raw almonds (add them to homemade granola, smoothie bowls, as a topping to chia pudding and other desserts)
- Soaked almonds (soaked overnight, which even improves their nutritional value. Soak them in a bowl, add water and rinse the next morning)
- Almond milk that replaces other plant-based milk
- Almond flour, which is basically ground almonds (you can easily do that at home yourself)
- Almond butter
What’s your favorite almond use? Do you go for almond benefits for skin or general health?