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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Almonds and Almond Meal

Almond meal is a great way to add good fats to your meal plan without having to munch on handfuls of nuts. You can add almond meal to just about anything even when baking foods. It has a mild flavor and is basically just ground up, powdered almonds. I use it in oatmeal, cereal, salads and just about everything else. When you combine this with fish oil, flaxseed meal and extra virgin olive oil, your good fat intake is pretty much covered.

One teeny ounce of almonds contains 12 percent of your daily allowance of protein. And absolutely no cholesterol, of course. You'll also get 35 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin E, that valuable antioxidant with so many cancer-fighting qualities. And most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated, also known as the "good" fat.


This little nut is also loaded with minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, as well as lots of healthy fiber. And don't forget calcium and folic acid - they're in there too!
When you get right down to the details, it's no wonder so may people go nuts for almonds!

20-25 almonds (approximately one ounce) contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk, a valuable tool in preventing osteoporosis.

Almonds are the best whole food source of vitamin E, in the form of alpha-tocopherol, which may help prevent cancer.

If you're pregnant, or thinking about it, almonds are a great source of the folic acid you need!

Almonds contain more magnesium than oatmeal or even spinach. Are you listening, Popeye?

Build strong bones and teeth with the phosphorus in almonds.

Almonds are among the earliest cultivated foods in history.
Almonds are thought to have originated in China and Central Asia.
Explorers brought almonds back with them, and before long almond trees flourished.
Almonds, like most nuts, were thought to have too much fat to be a healthy snack.
But research has debunked that belief as an old myth.
One study showed that three ounces of almonds a day actually lowered a person's cholesterol by 14 percent.
Munching on almonds helps people feel satisfied and less inclined to overeat at dinner!
Ninety percent of the fat in almonds is unsaturated fat, and frequent consumption, as a result, could help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Of course, since almonds are a plant based food, they contain no cholesterol.
Almonds are loaded with protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and other antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Almonds have been shown to promote good health, especially when they are part of a healthful diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and low fat whole grain products.
According to one study, almonds are a well balanced food.
They contain the right kind of fats-monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated, so they help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol, while not touching the high-density, or good cholesterol levels.
The folic acid in almonds is believed to help lower levels of homocystein, the amino acid that is thought to contribute to the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries.
And studies have shown links between nut (especially almond) consumption and lower risk of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic illnesses.
In a nutshell, almonds are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, riboflavin, niacin and iron.
Almonds are the most nutritious of all nuts.
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