We don’t know about you but we’re so over nuts getting a bad rep for having a “high fat” content. It should be common knowledge by now that there is a huge difference in the different fats out there. Trans fats and hydrogenated fats (found in fried food, packaged cookies etc) are ones you want to steer clear of but monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (think fish, avocados and nuts) are essential for our body to function properly.
One of our favourite ways to get our daily dose of the good fats, is by snacking on almonds. Full of fibre and monounsatured fat, we felt like we needed to share the many reasons you need to start knocking back a handful more regularly (if you don’t already!)
They are amazing for your skin…
Clear, glowing skin doesn’t always come from beauty products, it is often what we put inside our body that gives the best results. Almonds contain vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, biotin and copper which all promote healthy skin.
Studies suggest Vitamin E helps protect the connective elastin and collagen fibers in your skin cells, which, in tern, will help maintain a youthful complexion and reduces wrinkles, fine lines, skin sagging and other signs of ageing.
Biotin is important to maintain healthy fatty acids in the skin cells so your skin is soft and is protected from dryness and flaking which often enhances signs of aging.
Monounsaturated fatty acids can help reduce skin problems such as acne, blackheads and oily skin as it gives moisture balance and moderate sebum production in your skin.
The copper contained in almonds are great for people who suffer with uneven skin tone as the mineral helps to even everything out. So rather than spending a fortune on trying different skin care products, try adding almonds into your diet and you will see positive benefits on your skin!
Almonds promote a healthy heart…
The monounsaturated fats found in almonds such as oleic acid can improve your HDL cholesterol profile and can reduce blood levels of potentially damaging LDL cholesterol, which of course is good news for your ticker. Almonds are also a good source of antioxidant vitamin E, which can help protect against free radical oxidation of cholesterol, which is strongly linked to cardiovascular disease.
They will fill you up for longer…
Almonds are not the lowest in calories but don’t let that put you off! They are packed with so many nutrients that will allow slow burning energy and fill you up for longer, plus reducing unwanted cravings! Just a small handful of almonds will satisfy your hunger because they are full of healthy fats, protein and minerals that make them a particularly high satiety food. A quarter of a cup contains about 200 calories, this sized portion makes an excellent snack as apposed to something sugary which will have you hungry again soon after. (We have been making a conscious effort to reduce our raw chocolate intake by switching to almonds!)
A good source of protein…
Almonds contain a great source of protein, which is very beneficial for exercise as it will enable your muscles to recover faster and encourage muscle growth and strength. Half a cup of almonds contains 10g of protein, which is about the same as your run-of-the-mill (sugar laden) shop bought protein bar. So as a protein boost, go for a handful of almonds pre or post workout!
On our quest to discover the amazing benefits of almonds, we stumbled across a new variety completely! Avola almonds are grown and harvested in Sicily off the coast of Southern Italy and have become a major superfood trend for 2017. They are much larger than a Californian almond and have three times more polyphenol content which is an antioxidant to help prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer. Avola nuts are also more sustainable as they use mainly rain water to grow whereas a Californian almond requires a gallon of water to grow one single nut! They are packed with the same nutritious benefits as Californian almonds, but with the boosted antioxidants and the environmentally friendly tick of approval. Recently launched almond yoghurt brand, Nush, uses exclusively Avola Almonds in their yoghurts. They are seriously delicious and actually don’t contain any artificial sugar which is a huge bonus!