Some of the highest antioxidant contents of all plant foods are found in nuts. And my favorite nuts are almonds, which I cannot literally live without.
Almonds are, like avocados, high-fat food that are actually good for your health.
1 ounce of almonds (30g), which correspond to about 23 kennels, have about 164 calories, 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of heart healthy unsaturated fat.
Despite the fact that the fat content in almonds increases its calorie count, some studies recommend the consumption of almonds when dieting, because of the power they have to reduce hunger and the desire to eat later in the day.
These highly nutritional nuts are also an excellent source of Vitamin E and magnesium, a mineral needed as a cofactor for more than 300 enzyme reactions in the human body. One ounce of almonds contains about 77 milligrams of magnesium, 18 percent of the daily recommendation for men and 24 percent of the daily recommendation for women.
Also, almonds are a good source of iron, calcium and potassium, having about 312 mg of potassium in 1 ½ oz. Potassium, the important electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction, is another essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.
What is it Good for?
LOWER CHOLESTEROL. These cool seeds are rich in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fatty acids, such as the oleic and palmitoleic one.
Regular consumption of them helps to increase HDL levels (good cholesterol) and reduce the levels of low-density lipoproteins, LDL (bad one).
HEART HEALTH. The high content of healthy fats and antioxidants flavonoids makes almonds, as avocados, a superfood against heart diseases and stroke. Furthermore, as a result of being a good source of potassium and having basically no sodium, these nuts help promote blood pressure control.
A study conducted by Harvard University found that people who regularly ate nuts, such as almonds, have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
SKIN HEALTH. Thanks to the high content of antioxidants and Vitamin E, almonds can help keep your skin healthy and reduce signs of aging.
SUPPORT BRAIN FUNCTION. Often are called “brain food”, almonds are a rich source of important nutrients which help in the development and general health of the human brain. They can actually boost specific brain functions, preventing cognitive decline and memory.
HELP LOOSING WEIGHT & PREVENT DIABETES. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders that included 65 overweight and obese adults suggests that an almond-enriched low calorie diet (which is high in monounsaturated fats) can help overweight individuals shed pounds more effectively than a low-calorie diet high in complex carbohydrates.
Also, their high fiber content helps regulate blood sugar levels.
PREVENT CANCER. Almonds contain a number of bioactive nutrients and antioxidants agents, as the powerful gamma-tocopherol, that help fighting free radicals and oxidative stress that are linked to cancer.
Also, the high fiber content, help the food movement through the colon preventing in this way colon cancer.
How do I use it?
EAT IT RAW. There’s nothing more nutritious and energetic than a handful of raw, organic, unsalted almonds. It can boost your morning energy or can be a smart fuel before your workout.
Pay attention: when snaking on almonds, portion control is the key.
A VERSATILE INGREDIENT. Almonds can be a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes from salads to baked goods, sweet and savory.