Stay Healthy With Almonds
Not only are almonds crunchy and delicious, they are extremely good for you. They are a great source of fiber, monounsaturated fats, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals keep the cells in your body healthy by fighting free radicals.
The thin brown skin that covers almonds are a rich source of polyphenols. Polyphenols are phytonutrients that are very good for your body. Studies suggest that roasting almonds with the skin on will increase the amount of polyphenols.
There are two different types of almonds - sweet and bitter. The ones found in supermarkets are usually sweet almonds. Raw bitter almonds are toxic, which is why their sale is prohibited in the United States. Processed bitter almonds are used to make extracts and liqueurs.
Nutritionists recommend eating a one ounce serving of almonds or other nuts each day. A single ounce is about 23 nuts, or about 165 calories.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E and have significant amounts of manganese, magnesium, copper and other minerals. Manganese, an antioxidant, helps heal wounds and keep bones strong. Magnesium assists in various biochemical reactions in your body. The formation of healthy blood cells requires copper.
Almonds have these health benefits:
- Lower cholesterol: Almonds are a good source of phytosterols. Phytosterols are a plant version of cholesterol that helps your body control cholesterol levels. The vitamins and minerals in almonds are also good for your heart.
- Prevent anemia: The copper and manganese in almonds act as enzymes in energy producing chemical reactions in your body. The copper also assists the production of red blood cells.
- Lose weight: Almonds cannot be considered low-calorie. However, their fat content is monounsaturated fat so they still help increase weight loss. Plus, since they are full of fiber and protein, almonds will fill you up and help you eat less.
- Maintain prostate healthy: Almonds have a phytosterol which can reduce the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH occurs when the prostate gland enlarges. It is a fairly common condition that causes problems with urination and sexual performance.
- Protecting against diabetes: The vitamin E and polyphenols in almonds help prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Almonds also prevents the rise in blood sugar associated with carbohydrate-rich meals.
Almonds can be bought in most supermarkets. Look for almond shells that are unbroken and do not have mold. Almonds always test best immediately after being de-shelled. The taste is worth the mess from the shells.
Be careful with adding roasted almonds into your diet. Most roasted almonds are roasted in unhealthy oil and have extra salt added. These unhealthy additives can turn a good snack bad.
Instead of buying roasted almonds, you can toast your own. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced almonds. Stir while they cook for three to five minutes or until golden brown. You can also bake them for 15 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees. Toasting almonds is a simple way to enhance the flavor of almonds.
Almonds can be frozen and will last a long time. You may also keep them in the refrigerator, which will help preserve the healthful fats.
Almonds make a perfect between meal snack since their protein and fiber will help keep you full until dinner. You can also add them to a wide variety of foods to give them an extra crunch. Here are some other suggestions:
- Instead of peanut butter, try almond butter sandwiches
- Combine an apple with a handful of almonds for a great snack
- Sliced almonds can be added to salads or vegetables
- Top yogurt or parfaits with chopped almonds
- Add slivered almonds to fish
You can get a lot of nutrition from a small amount of almonds. Even though they are relatively high in calories, they are a very healthful snack.
Chris has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in diet, fitness and weight loss, he also helps his friends publish websites related to the subject. You can also check out her latest website on weight loss smoothies which gives great advice and recipes for smoothies for weight loss. Visit www.myweightlosssmoothies.com.
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