Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm Nuts for Almonds

I love almonds!  When I was a little girl in the 60's, the only time we ever got to eat them was in at Christmas.  But you had to work for them because they were in the shell:  I would always pick the almonds out of the mixed nuts and leave the Brazils and filberts for my Mom.  We had a system!
Thankfully, you can buy almonds everywhere these days; they're affordable and really good for you.  In fact, they are a powerhouse of good nutrition!

They are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and are packed with phyto-chemicals.  They're good for your brain and your heart, they help protect against diabetes, prevent certain kinds of cancer, lower your bad cholesterol (while boosting good), regulate blood pressure and boost your energy.  They're are gluten free and contain "good" fat.  

Some of my favorite ways to eat almonds;
but we're talking health here .......
so forget I mentioned this! 

Just a handful of almonds can provide you with most of your recommended daily levels of minerals, vitamins and protein!

However, anyone having kidney or gallbladder troubles should avoid eating almonds because they contain oxalates which can cause crystallization.  And regardless of good fat, it's still fat, right!  So, how about that?  Well, here's an excellent article I came across online recently.

Health Benefits of Almonds despite the High Calories

Almond Benefit: Weight Loss  (http://www.squidoo.com/Calories-in-Almonds)

A diet low in calories and high in monounsaturated fat can promote weight loss more effectively than a comparable diet high in complex carbohydrates, even if the amount of total calories consumed is identical! In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders those on an almond-enriched diet had greater reduction in weight, body fat, and systolic blood pressure. Those eating almonds also experienced a 62% greater reduction in their weight/BMI (body mass index), 50% greater reduction in waist circumference, and 56% greater reduction in body fat compared to those on the low calorie high carbohydrate diet!

Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that despite the high calories in almonds, they actually promote eating healthier. While eating almonds in their diets, study participants' intake of health-promoting monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vegetable protein, vitamin E, copper and magnesium significantly increased. At the same time, their intake of trans-fatty acids, animal protein, sodium, cholesterol and sugars significantly decreased.

Almond oil is great for baby massages and for us "women of a certain age" as it keeps our skin protected from dryness.  
Almonds are a delicious addition to your baking and cooking -- muffins, cakes, cookies -- yum yum!  Sometimes I'll sprinkle a little ground almonds on yogurt and fruit or I'll toss toasted, sliced almonds on top of salads or stir fries.  And whenever I use Almond extract, I swoon!  
Most mornings at work, I eat 5 almonds -- which are just 1Weight Watchers PP+;this helps me maintain a feeling of fullness and gives me all those lovely health benefits.
And recently, I discovered the deliciousness of Almond milk.  This is my favorite brand so far, and it adds such wonderful taste to my morning green smoothie!  (Or purple in this case.)

I'm sure Martha would say "It's a good thing!"


Diana said...

I love smoked almonds. They are the best! Love Di ♥

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I love almonds and just about all types of nuts. Most are really good for you. Almond joy bars are my most favorite candy bay and I think I'll have to get some next time I'm out. It's been awhile since I had one. Hope your Tuesday is a terrific one


I've not tried the almond butter or the milk but now I will. Sounds delicious.
Hope all is well on the home front at your house.
I too love almonds but then again I have to admit I love nuts. Blessings, Barb

Nezzy said...

I too am a lover of almonds. They are just plain good for a body!

God bless and enjoy your day sweetie!!! :o)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.

wendy said...

Oh My...almond joy's ...my Favorite candy bar.
and I snack oon almond, but in moderation as you mentioned the calories can add up.


You SOLD me. Almonds it is. No more cashews or Brazil Nuts for me. PS) I've used Almond butter and and alomnd oil instead of vanilla in my baking for years. It tastes so much better. take care.

Snowbrush said...

I like almonds. My wife likes walnuts. We both like pecans and cashews.