In the times when self-care is necessary, we often hear how mindfulness can help us to combat the everyday world. You hear about all the different ways how to practice mindfulness, noticing things, slowing down, using all your senses to acknowledge the present situation.
For me, it is usually my switch-off time, when I get time to do something for myself, like putting on a face mask or do my nails. Silly as it sounds, activities when you physically take care of your body can help us to get a bit more grounded, acknowledging the different parts of our body and actively taking care of parts that need it the most.
Many of us including me use our hands on an everyday basis, therefore taking care of them, especially now, when we are more vigilant about handwashing and using alcohol-based sanitising products is an important part of our self-care routine. As I started noticing the increased demand of hand care, the person I am, I came up with another way how to take my self-care routine to another level and made some almond flour biscuits, which will help me to support my skin, nails and hair health from the inside, too.
Almonds and Nail, Hair and Skin health
Almond flour is a great gluten-free alternative for both savoury and sweet baking, even if you are not coeliac.
It is a great source of nutrients, from B vitamins to a variety of minerals such as Calcium, Copper, Iron, and others (Huang et al., 2013). Therefore, almond flour as a substitute for regular wheat flour in meals and snacks will bring a variety of different nutrients to your balanced diet and is more likely to keep you full for longer, along with other benefits.
Almonds are also a source of protein, fibre, and fatty acids, which will improve your satiety level, as well as balance your blood sugar and cholesterol.
This makes them perfect snack material as they will help you to balance your energy levels until you’re ready for a meal. This also acts as a way how to support your cardiovascular system and prevent its related health complications over time (Kalita et al., 2018) (Mattes and Tan, 2013).
Consuming almonds is also a great way how to support hair and nail health. This is thanks to a vitamin called Biotin, which you may have noticed as an ingredient in many beauty supplements. Biotin is present in almonds, therefore their consumption can help your nails to prevent from becoming brittle and soft and your skin will get the support to prevent different skin conditions such as dermatitis, rash and others (ODS, 2020) (Dahdah et al., 2007).
Almonds are also a source of Calcium and Magnesium, which are key nutrients in bone but also nail health (Meredith-Jones et al., 2018), along with vitamin E, which deficiency can lead to unwanted pigmentation (DiBaise, M. and Tarleton, 2019). Having almonds on an everyday basis also deems to have the potential to reduce wrinkles and have anti-ageing properties (Burney et al., 2019). Especially for women going through menopause or after, consuming almonds as a source of Calcium protein and other nutrients can support their bone health, which is often at risk, as well as their hair and nail health.
Gluten-Free Almond Shortbread with Lemon and Thyme
200g Almond flour 100g Butter (unsalted) 70g Buckwheat flour 60g Cane sugar One lemon Fresh thyme leaves
Preheat your oven at 150°C.
Mix butter at the room temperature with sugar, so the sugar at least partially dissolves. Before zesting the lemon, make sure you wash it thoroughly or leave it in some water and two tablespoons of vinegar and dry. Then zest the whole lemon and add it with thyme leaves and few drops of lemon juice to the butter. Add the rest of ingredients and mix, then roll the dough and cut into wanted biscuit shapes.
Place on a tray and bake for 20 minutes. Leave the biscuits to cool down on the tray to prevent breakage. Once cooled down, the biscuits are ready to be consumed. However, if you prefer them softer, like with the shortbread, they will soften over days and will keep for about a week.
Burney, W., Chodur, G., Foolad, N., Newman, J., Rybak, I., Sivamani, R., Steinberg, F. and Vaughn, A., 2019. Prospective randomized controlled pilot study on the effects of almond consumption on skin lipids and wrinkles. Phytotherapy Research, 33(12), pp.3212-3217.
Dahdah, M., Scheinfeld, N. and Scher, R., 2007. Vitamins and minerals: Their role in nail health and disease. Journal of drugs in dermatology, 6(8), pp.782-7.
DiBaise, M. and Tarleton, S., 2019. Hair, Nails, and Skin: Differentiating Cutaneous Manifestations of Micronutrient Deficiency. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 34(4), pp.490-503.
Kalita, S., Khandelwal, S., Krishnaswamy, K., Madan, J., Pandya, H. and Sesikeran, B., 2018. Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review. Nutrients, 10(4), p.468.
Huang, G., Lapsley, K. and Yada, S., 2013. Natural variability in the nutrient composition of California-grown almonds. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 30(2), pp.80-85.
Mattes, R. and Tan, S., 2013. Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomized, controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(11), pp.1205-1214.
Meredith-Jones, K., Saeedi, P. and Shavandi, A., 2018. Nail Properties and Bone Health: A Review. Journal of Functional Biomaterials, 9(2), p.31.
ODS, 2020. Office Of Dietary Supplements - Biotin. [online] Ods.od.nih.gov. Available at: <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/> [Accessed 24 May 2020].