Having nuts and seeds everyday is a good habit and can lead to living a healthy lifestyle. It is a popular fact that almonds are one of the most nourishing and wholesome nuts. It contains all the essential nutrients that are important for your body. Almonds are a good source of fiber, fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. A lot of people believe that the best way to eat almonds is early morning after soaking them in the water overnight. However, there are many other methods of incorporating these nuts in your everyday meals. Nuts such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, raisins and walnuts give an appropriate needed amount of nutrients to our body.
Even when you want to have a balanced and nutritious diet, nuts are always the healthiest and wisest choice. Talking about almonds, you can consume these healthy treats through various methods including almonds and oats, almond milk, almond butter and add it into a number of desserts. However, even if almonds are healthy, they should not be consumed in abundance and you should set an intake limit for yourself. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Leena Saju, Division Head Dietetics, Artemis Hospitals, Gurgaon, about the side effects of overdosing almonds and the right quantity fir consumption.
Side effects of overdosing almonds
Almonds have a different flavor and crunch and make up for an excellent snack. They are an important addition to a balanced diet, just like the other nuts. Remember to consume them in moderation after consulting your doctor. If you have any specific medical condition, please stop use and consult your healthcare provider. According to Dr. Leena, here are the main side effects of eating too many almonds:
1. Allergic reaction
If nut allergy or sensitivity is there, then almonds should be avoided surely. After walnuts and cashews, almonds also lead to most tree nut allergies in a lot of people. A protein Amadin present in almonds, has been proved as an allergen that can result in an allergic reaction. Almonds may cause oral allergy syndrome in some people. The symptoms are itchiness in mouth, scratchy throat, and swelling of the tongue, mouth, and lips. Almonds can also result in a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This condition shows signs such as shortness of breath, hives, nausea or vomiting, confusion, impaired voice, low blood pressure, and lightheadedness.
2. Weight gain
If consumed in excess quantity, almonds add to the over all energy intake and weight gain. So, one should consume it in moderation to enjoy all the health benefits. They cannot a problem alone in this side effect, but if you eat a lot of almonds adding on to your regular diet, then it can increase your weight. This specifically happens with people who are not in a habit of exercising daily. There are very less chances that almonds by themselves can cause any weight gain. Consuming them in large quantities along with poor lifestyle habits, it can make you an easy target of weight gain.
3. Can interact with medicine
Another side effect of overdosing almonds is that it can interact with your medications. Even 100 grams of almonds contain 2.3 mg of manganese, which is the exceeding limit of your daily requirement of the mineral. The average requirement of manganese in normal human body is 1.3 to 2.3 mg per day. And while consuming other sources of manganese like whole grains, leafy vegetables and teas, adding excess almonds in your diet can be harmful if you are on medications for any medical condition. A manganese rich diet can interfere with your intake of laxatives, blood pressure medication and some antibiotics.
4. Vitamin E overdose
People taking regular vitamin E supplements and taking high amounts of almonds can give birth to an overdose problem. Vitamin E is an important antioxifant for both skin and hair, but an overdose can lead to various side effects. Any deficiency or overdose of nutrients cannot be good for your health. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, but having a lot of them can easily cause a vitamin E overdose. Although, overdosing on vitamin E by just eating almonds is almost impossible, but it is important to be aware about all the side effects. If you are already consuming other foods that are high in vitamin E content, then excess of almonds can cause some problems. Excess vitamin E consumption can interrupt blood coagulation and result in hemorrhage. However, this side effect is seen more in people who are already on excess of vitamin E supplements.
5. Digestive issues
There are 13 gms of fiber in 100 gms of almonds. So, if you take a lot of these nuts all at once, gas and bloating will be there. Enough water should be taken with fiber rich foods for proper digestion. Almonds are rich in fiber and this is considered good for your health but excess intake of fiber can lead to constipation several other gastrointestinal problems if not paired up with plenty of water intake. Other gastrointestinal symptoms caused by excess intake of almonds include bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Fiber rich foods can help in keeping you full for longer hours and in improving the digestive system, but should be taken in correct quantities.
6. Decreases nutrient absorption
Having too much fiber one the body can also get combined with other minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron) and interfere with their absorption in your body by decreasing it. You should have almonds as an individual snack or in between meals to enjoy all the benefits of almonds. Having too many almonds can affect your small intestine, which is responsible mainly for food absorption. It is good to have only 4-5 almonds a day. Phytates, that are present in certain seeds and nuts can decrease the absorption of many minerals as it interferes with the normal nutrient absorption.
7. Can cause kidney stones
Kidney stones develop when there is a high level of calcium oxalates in the body that is not even getting secreted. Oxalates are present in almonds, so if you take more of them and that too regularly, you have the tendency of stone formation and it can precipitate kidney stones. Almonds are rich in intestinal soluble oxalates, which are compounds that are responsible for renal failure and kidney stones. According to a lot of reports, oxalates from almonds have a high bioavailability.
8. Increases toxins in the body
Almonds, especially the bitter ones can even lead cyanide poisoning. The HCN level is very much higher in bitter almonds as compared to the other sweet almonds. After enzymatic hydrolysis, hydrocyanic acid (HCN) can result in breathing problems, nervous breakdown, choking, and can even be fatal. Therefore, they are restricted for pregnant and lactating women. Almonds are very healthy, but just like every type of food, moderation is the the best way out. This side effect is restricted to intake of bitter or lethal almonds. They have proved to be effective in easing spasms and pain, but if you consume them in excess, it can cause toxicity in your body.
So, these were the side effects of almonds overdose. The daily requirement of almonds given by ICMR is 7.5 to 10 mg per day. The energy value for 100 gms of almonds is 609 kcals. Therefore, it is advised to consume these nuts in moderation as told by your dietician. Nuts and seeds are extremely beneficial and provide a number of health benefits, but should be consumed in small quantities as suitable for your body.
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