Almonds are now the most popular nut in the United states. These little gems have become a fan favorite for taste, health benefits and versatile use. Almonds, which are actually a seed, are a plant based protein high in fiber, and monounsaturated fats. They also are packed with vitamin E, magnesium and potassium.
Let us break the nutritional benefit just a little more. Almonds per ounce, that is about 23 almonds, have 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 35% of our daily intake of vitamin E, 20% magnesium and riboflavin, and 8% calcium and potassium. They are a low glycemic food , which means they will not spike your blood sugar after eating.
Almonds are known to give your heart and weight lost a little boost, not just from all the great nutrients, but those who swap out almonds from other snack reduced risk of heart disease by 30 percent. People who eat almonds stay fuller longer an avoid other snacks that are higher in fat and are simple carbohydrates with the same caloric value. Win, win.
Almonds are also wonderful because they can be eaten in a multitude of ways. We can roast them, put them in yogurt, spread them on a sandwich, add them to a shake, or ground into a flour. Almonds can be added to almost any recipe in leu of many other high sugar thickeners.
So the next time you are super hungry and you are not sure what eat, grab a handful of almonds, spread some almond butter on a rice cake or make banana bread with almond flour. Your heart and waist line will thank you.
Stacie A. Zamperini M.Ed.