Almonds are a nutritious nut that originated in Asia and North Africa. They’re thought to be an ancestor of fruits such as plums and peaches and are technically a seed. These little nuts (seeds) are a great snack to keep on hand as they are loaded with health benefits.
Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
By substituting unhealthy fats in your diet with the heart healthy monounsaturated fats, contained in almonds, you can lower your risk of heart disease. Studies show that eating almonds helps to raise HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering LDL (bad cholesterol). Almonds are also high in heart healthy nutrients like magnesium and Vitamin E.
Help Regulate Blood Pressure
Almonds are high in potassium, a mineral that’s important to the body’s ability to maintain healthy blood pressure. You can be certain that almonds contain a good amount of this essential mineral; if the nutrient is lacking in the soil, the trees will not bear good crops.
Protect Against Diabetes
The high protein content contained in almonds, over 7 ½ grams per ¼ cup, helps to prevent spikes in blood sugar. Research indicates that if you eat almonds with foods that typically raise blood sugar, the effect will be lessened.
Snacking on almonds can satisfy your appetite and help you to prevent overeating. In one study, participants that added 2 ounces of almonds to their diet lessened their intake of unhealthy foods.
Boost Energy Levels
Almonds high protein and mineral content make for a perfect energy boosting snack. The manganese and copper that they contain helps the energy producing cells of the body to function properly.
Prevent Gall Stones
Data collected on over 80,000 women showed that those that ate 1 ounce of nuts or peanut butter per week had a 25% lower risk of developing gall stones.
With all the health benefits that almonds provide, you’ll want to be certain to keep some on hand. Almonds stay freshest in the shell, but you can store shelled almonds in the refrigerator or freezer to extend their shelf life. If you like the flavor of roasted almonds, select dry roasted over regular roasted as these are not cooked in oil.
There are many ways to add almonds to your diet. Consider snacking on raw almonds throughout the day to ward off hunger pangs; you can put them in a zip lock baggie and toss them into your purse so you’ll always have healthy snack on hand.
Adding slivered almonds to your morning oatmeal is an especially yummy treat; throw in some fruit and you’ll have a nutritionally balanced meal. You may want to try adding sliced almonds to your chicken stir fry recipe. Put in some chopped almonds the next time you make chicken salad; this gives it a more interesting texture.
However you decide to do it, just get some almonds into your diet; these nutritional beauties are too good to pass up.