What’s the best nut to eat? I’m asked that again and again, and my answer is always the same. Packing more protein, calcium,fiber, vitamin E, niacin and riboflavin than any other tree nut out there, almonds are my hands down favorite!
During the low-fat diet craze, one of nature’s most wholesome and nutritionally dense foods was ruthlessly cut from our diets, but I’m here to tell you that it’s time to add that handful of almonds back into your day! Not only will you reap the benefits of great taste but you’ll also be taking steps towards improving your overall health.
Researchers have found a relationship between almonds and reduced cardiovascular risk. This nut has been found to increase HDL (good cholesterol!) levels while decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol!). According to one study, participants who ate almonds five times a week cut their risk of heart attack in half!
And although almonds are rich in fat, they have been shown to help people wanting to trim their waistline. The monounsaturated fats found in these nuts directly target that stubborn belly fat, as well as providing more protein (6 grams) and fiber (3.5 grams) than any other tree nut. These are both very important to increase satiety. Almonds also provide the crunch that researchers have shown also helps to keep you feeling satisfied.
Still need convincing?
Check out these stats for a single serving (~23 almonds):
-Provides 12% of the daily value forcalciumand 14% for phosphorus …both important minerals for dental health and prevention of osteoporosis
-Contains 35% of your daily recommended vitamin E,a key nutrient recognized for its cancer-fighting properties (a nutrient nearly half of Americans don’t get enough of!)
-Rich in antioxidants, almonds have about the same amount of polyphenols found in green tea!
-Excellent source of magnesium(~80 mg) — more than a bowl oatmeal or spinach!
-3.5 grams of fiberper serving to support healthy digestion and 6 grams of protein to keep you feeling ‘full’
-Provides 14 mcg of folate,essential for pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant (aids in proper fetal development)
-High in monounsaturated fat (the good fat!) and cholesterol-free
Enjoy this recipe for my Tossed n’ Toasted Almonds—great for snacking on the go, adding to your salads, or sprinkling over a bowl of morning oats!
Tossed n’ Toasted Almonds
2 cups sliced/slivered almonds
1-2 teaspoons flavor of choice–my favorites are: honey & cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400F degrees and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a separate bowl, combine almonds and spice, and toss to coat.
Spread the almonds out evenly on the baking sheet and place in the oven.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking regularly (and flipping if needed)
Remove from oven, allow to cool, and pre-portion into 1 oz servings!
Note: Dry roasting enhances the natural flavors of the almonds without any added fats! Plus you save yourself money by creating this snack at home.
So tell me, what are some of your favorite ways to enjoy almonds? What flavors/spices would you use in my Tossed n’ Toasted Almond recipe?