Almonds are basically a superfood when it comes to our health!
Because of their numerous health benefits and high nutritional values, everybody who is aiming to eat a balanced and healthy diet should include almonds in some way. And luckily for us, they are very versatile, delicious, and there are numerous ways how to eat almonds that go just beyond munching them just as they are – though that is also delicious!
But, before we go any further, if you’re not familiar with this tree nut (which isn’t technically a “nut” at all) you may be wondering why you should even bother. Well, here are a few quick facts that prove almonds should definitely have a place on everyone’s diet:
Why should you eat almonds?
Almonds are the edible seed of the Prunus dulcis fruit which comes from the almond tree and is native to the Middle East, India, and North Africa. They are small in size, but very dense in nutritional values. Most of their health benefits come from their high content of Vitamin E, which works as an anti-oxidant, guarding against oxidative stress – a causing factor for a number of illnesses like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and some types of cancer. They are also rich in magnesium, making it beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, as it lowers blood sugar levels.
Almonds have a high fat content, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from them, because the fats present in almonds are monounsaturated and heart-healthy fats which our body needs. They also contain protein, fiber, copper, calcium, and riboflavin, copper, vitamin B2, and phosphorous.
However, just because they are good for you, that doesn’t mean you should eat them with no restraint. Just like other types of nuts, they are very high in calories as well. The suggested daily serving is one ounce (about 23 almonds), which has approximately 160 calories. But, despite being rich in both fats and calories, almonds are also beneficial when it comes to weight loss, and especially shedding belly fat, as it has been proven in a number of studies that people who included almonds in their weight-loss diet and daily calorie intake lost more weight than those who did not.
So, now that we know you should eat almonds, it raises the question of how to eat almonds.
How to eat almonds?
You can eat almonds on its own as a quick snack, add them in a trail mix with other nuts or dried fruit, or crush them and add them to another dish. Other than that, almonds can be eaten raw, roasted, or soaked.
Raw vs. roasted almonds: What’s the difference?
Almonds are very nutritious whichever way you decide to eat them, and the nutritional value does not change at a high rate depending on which way you prefer. The biggest difference between raw and roasted almonds comes down to taste preference since many people prefer the toasted, salty taste of roasted almonds over eating them raw. There are two ways you could roast almonds:
1. Roast almonds in the oven by placing them in an unoiled baking sheet spread out in a single layer (not piled on top of each other). Preheat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and cook them for 15-20 minutes, stirring them often, but gently, with a spatula. You should know they’re done when they’re golden in color and release a nice odor.
After they’re done roasting, place them in another baking sheet or another type of dish to avoid getting them burned from the hot sheet, and once they cool you can store them in a plastic container for up to 12 months.
Because they already have their own oil, there’s no need to add any extra. But if you prefer extra taste and fragrance, you could coat them in olive oil and whatever spices you like (sugar, cinnamon, honey, sea salt, rosemary etc.) prior to placing them in the baking sheet.
2. Roast almonds in a frying pan with oil (olive, sesame, herb) and any spice or ingredient you prefer. You could make them salty, sweet, or even spicy, by adding sugar, sea salt, honey, chili powder, cinnamon, or rosemary. Mix your ingredients in a separate mixing bowl before placing them in the skillet that’s been preheated on medium-high heat. Cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring them frequently.
After they’re done, cool them in a baking sheet and then store them in a container in room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks.
A lot of people also like to soak almonds in water overnight before they eat them and that is done for two reasons. One, it changes it’s texture and makes it easier to chew them, and two, it allows for us to fully absorb all of almonds’ nutritional proponents. A study from 2016 suggests that we actually consume fewer calories than we thought from almonds, depending on what form we consume them because the almond’s outer layer contains an enzyme which prevents our bodies from processing them fully.
Just soak half a cup of almonds in two cups of water, cover them, let them soak for 8 hours before draining them and storing them in a plastic container or jar in the fridge. They will last for up to 1 week.
But regardless of whichever way you decide to eat them – raw, roasted, or soaked – almonds will provide you with a host of benefits to your wellbeing.
Other ways to eat almonds
Almonds can give many different dishes additional texture and taste. You could sprinkle some crushed or sliced almonds on your morning smoothie or cereal, add them to your yogurt, to a salad, and even pasta. Due to almonds being high in protein, this will also serve in making you feel full faster and for longer and could lead to more efficient weight-loss.
There are many different desserts which require almonds or other nuts – or you could simply decorate a cake with a few strategically placed almonds. Not to mention almond milk and almond butter which can be found in most stores.
The possibilities are endless – and endlessly delicious! So, go enjoy your healthy and delicious almonds on your way to a healthy life.
Keep in mind:
Allergy to almonds is rare, but not unheard of. The symptoms of almond allergy include: stomach pain or cramps, nausea and vomiting, problems swallowing, diarrhea, itching, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
If you have any of these reactions, seek medical assistance immediately!
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please, ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider or cosmetologist with all the questions you may have about any medical condition or beauty regimen.