Granted, we are not all health nuts, but some of us are nutty about our health. Striving to eat a variety of foods while meeting nutrition needs can seem daunting, yet have no fear the petite, yet powerful almond is here!
How can something so small be packed with nutrition and provide numerous health benefits? It’s simple; almonds are a tasty choice that can make a big difference in the way you feel each day. You may be surprised in just how much a handful of almonds can bring to the table. Ounce for ounce, almonds are one of the most nutrient-rich tree nuts on earth. Compared to other tree nuts, almonds are highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin. Ounce for ounce, almonds contain more dietary fiber (3.5 g) and protein (6 g) than any other tree nut.
Heart Smart: Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fat, almonds are a great way to get your heart pumping. What’s not to love about that? Try adding a handful (about 23 almonds) per day as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle; your heart will thank you.
Tipping the Scales: Maintenance of a healthy weight is important, but there is no need to feel hungry all day long. Almonds to the rescue! That’s right-adding almonds to your daily intake can be satisfying as they provide fiber, protein and healthy fats to keep you full throughout the day. Almonds provide great flavor and crunch that can be added to many dishes to keep your cravings at bay.
Antioxidant Powerhouse: Foods rich in antioxidants can help prevent damage to your cells and tissues; which makes consuming a wide variety of these foods important. California Almonds are one of the leading sources of alpha-tocopherol Vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Data shows that most Americans get only half of their recommended vitamin E per day and almonds are the ideal way to close that gap. In fact, just one ounce of almonds (about 23) contains 35% of the Daily Value for vitamin E.
Sugar, Sugar: Research has grown over the last decade indicating that almonds can be an excellent addition to a diabetes-friendly diet and can improve certain risk factors for the disease. Adding almonds at breakfast is a great way to start the day off right by stabilizing blood sugar levels with a source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Try out different forms of almonds including whole almonds, almond butter, and slivered almonds to keep you on your toes.
It is important to remember proper portion sizes when consuming almonds and strive to add a variety of foods to your diet as part of a balanced approach.
Here are a few ways to measure the perfect portion every time:
- 23 almonds = ¼ cup
- 23 almonds= shot glass
- 23 almonds= 1 handful
- 23 almonds= 3”x3” sticky note
The next time you need something to satisfy your hunger, reach for a handful of almonds to give your body what it needs. Packed with numerous nutritional benefits, go out and get nutty with almonds. For more information on almonds, visit the California Almond Board where all of the nutrition benefits are backed by Registered Dietitians!
ALMOND TIN GIVEAWAY!
Six lucky readers will win a portable perfectly-portioned almond snack tin from The Good Calorie! Fill these tins with almonds and throw in your backpack, purse, or gym bag for a protein and fiber-packed snack to fuel your day!
Here’s how to win:
- Make sure you “like” The Good Calorie on Facebook
- Share this article on Facebook with your friends
- Tell TGC on Facebook or Twitter your favorite way to use almonds by commenting or tweeting using @TheGoodCalorie AND #ilovealmonds
Winners will be chosen from the pool of folks who comment or tweet. The more you comment and share, the higher your chance of winning! Winning period closes April 20th
Tin will be mailed to preferred address of winner (if within continental United States). You will be notified by private message on Facebook or Twitter.
By Meghan Windham, MPH, RD, LD