Food Friday: Almonds
Today's Food Friday focus is on Almonds. You may have had them in the form of butter, they may have topped your favorite salad or dessert, or you may have just eaten a handful of them raw. No matter how you eat your almonds, you should eat them, and often. Here's why...
Almonds are in the "nutrient dense" category which means there are plenty of good things in them for every calorie. First on this list of good things is vitamin E and almonds have plenty. Vitamin E seeks out free radicals (cancer causing chemicals) to lessen their effect on cells and to reduce their overall activity. This is key for overall health and cancer prevention. Almonds are also good sources of dietary fiber and fiber of course is extremely important with regards to digestive health, weight loss, and healthy cholesterol. Another benefit of almonds is their high concentration of "good fats". Good fats include poly and mono-unsaturated fats which may have bad cholesterol (LDL) lowering affects. Vitamin E isn't the only antioxidant in almonds; manganese is also highly concentrated in almonds. Manganese can be effective in preventing/treating bone diseases like osteoporosis and blood conditions like anemia. Let's not forget protein though. In today's culture many people still believe meat is the ONLY way to get protein. Well per 100 grams, almonds have around 22g of protein, and that plant protein is ALWAYS more digestible than animal protein. Additionally, almonds are rich in copper, b-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium which are all considered essential nutrients.
As I mentioned before, almond butter, adding almonds to dessert and salads, or just eating almonds raw are all easy ways to add them to your diet.