In 1 ounce of natural almonds (no added sugar) you will get:
- 160 calories
- Monounsaturated fat (may lower your risk of heart disease)
- 3 grams of dietary fiber
- Vitamin E
Though these nuts are high in total fat, most of the fat in them is unsaturated (healthy fats).
The vitamin E found in almonds acts as a fat-soluble antioxidant. Antioxidants help to protect cells from the free radicals that are damaging to our bodies and play a role in disease processes.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and can help you have a healthy immune system, maintain bone strength, keep blood sugar levels regulated, give benefits to your heart and nerves, and is involved in protein synthesis. These are all major health benefits of almonds, since one ounce of dry roasted almonds provides 20% of your daily need for magnesium!
The combination of nutrients in almonds makes it a food that may help prevent heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Here are some tips for including almonds into your diet:
- Add slivered almonds to your cereal, oatmeal or salad
- Cook baked goods such as muffins, pastries, pancakes and cookies with almond flour/meal
- Use almond butter instead of peanut butter
Almond flour, or almond meal, can be used in place of flour in baking cookies, cakes, and other baked goods recipes. Almond flour/meal is just raw almonds that have been ground into a fine powder. Though a bit pricey, it is a way to reap the many health benefits of almonds! Also, many people use it in place of flour in gluten-free cooking. Though recipes may need to be altered a little, it is a great alternative to those who need gluten-free foods.
(Tip: buy a jar of almonds and divide into snack-size bags to have handy at all times. This will also help you not overeat them, which is easy to do!)