It is well known that nuts are nutritionally great for us, and a source of healthy fats. Munch has previously considered the health benefits of almonds generally in a posting on Linseed, sunflower and almond (LSA), last year. I thought that we would explore the health benefits of almonds specifically, and then in future posts move onto some other nuts.
Almonds are a tree nut and - probably the most nutrient-dense one at that. Almonds provide an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, phytochemicals and a good source of protein and fibre. They also contain phosphorus, folic acid and zinc and are low in saturated fats.
Nuts somtimes get a bit of bad rap for being high in fat, and therefore possibly leading to weight gain. However, there has been some interesting research recently about almonds and weight.
A recent study conducted by the University of Toronto on people with high cholesterol found one ounce (c 30 gm) of almonds a day, along with other heart-healthy foods, reduced participants bad cholesterol. Even better the research has found that up to about two ounces (c 60 gm) of almonds daily does not cause weight gain - but could instead help with weight management. It's hypothesised that the fibre in almonds may block some of the nuts' fat and calories (about 160 calories per ounce (30 g)) from being absorbed by the body. One ounce or 30 gm is approximately 23 almonds!
All this sounds really exciting to me and I think I am going to strive to include lots more almonds in our meals. Have you got any suggestions on yummy ways to eat almonds?
Mummy to three small boys