Food of the Week: Almonds

It’s the turn of the mighty almond… And I’m nuts for these fellas 🙂

Whole, flaked, roasted, ground, butter… Rich in fat, protein and fibre, and a long list of vitamins and minerals. Whatever form you take your almonds in, they pack a seriously nutritious punch 🙂 .

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Technically a seed, almonds are king among the “healthy fats”. We’re talking mostly mono-unsaturated fats, the kind great for heart health, helping to lower blood cholesterol, namely the “bad” LDL (low density lipoproteins) kind.

Almonds are one of the best sources of Vitamin E – the antioxidant. This bad boy helps to fight the damaging oxidative effect on cells which causes ageing, and can lead to cells becoming cancerous. The skin of an almond is full of this wonder-vit.

Potassium and magnesium are mega important minerals for chemical communication between cells in the body, and for blood health. Magnesium is required for over 300 different body processes, one of which is blood sugar control, making almonds a great choice for diabetics. Almonds are a great source of both of these minerals as well as serving up small doses of calcium, riboflavin (boosts brain health), zinc, thiamin, niacin, folate, phosphorus (great for teeth and bones) and iron.

Small but mighty, with their dense structure and tough thin skin, almonds are high in fibre for their tiny size. Great for intestinal health and for increasing satiety.

Almonds are a great source of plant protein. A small handful of nuts holds about 6g of protein. Sweet! 🙂

So go nuts…

With some of our thick skinned fruit and veg choices, selecting organic is not über important. Thick outer skins and naturally occurring pesticides mean that either pesticides are not needed, or simply don’t penetrate into the fruit or veg.

For almonds it’s a different picture. The sweet tasty nut is a magnet for other critters too, so on average almonds are subject to up to nine different pesticides to protect them during growth and transit. That’s a lot of chemicals which can make their way into our bodies. Not cool. Choosing almonds? Choose organic 🙂 .

Almond butter is awesome. Just make sure it’s pure: no added oil, sugar or salt… or anything! The ingredients list should have one, and only one item on it (almonds… just in case you’re confused 🙂 )

snack on them whole with an apple or banana for a balanced mini meal

chop and add to porridge

buy them ground and add to curry

get creative and make protein balls with ground almonds

snack on apple chunks with almond butter

stir almond butter into porridge

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