Word Count: 574 NF Difficulty: Beginner
Looking for a quick and easy snack that doesn’t require any preparation and is extremely good for you? Almonds, my friend. Almonds! Today’s post is short and sweet because I don’t think 1000 words on almonds would appeal to anybody….and I don’t really need 1000 words to explain them.
Let’s talk about why Almonds are so great for you:
- High in Monounsaturated fats – Look at the nutrition label on a bag of almonds – high in fat, but extremely low in saturated fat (the bad kind). What’s left? Monounsaturated fat has been linked in multiple studies to a reduced risk of heart disease. Heart disease is a real bummer, so any time you can eat something and reduce your risk of getting it, do it.
- Lower cholesterol – When you substitute almonds in place of the bad fats (saturated and trans fat) in your diet, you can decrease your LDL-cholesterol (the BAD kind of cholesterol) as well. Lower cholesterol and decreased risk of heart disease? Flippin’ sweet.
- High in Magnesium and Potassium – Magnesium is almost like Drain-o for your arteries and veins, keeping them clean so blood, oxygen, and nutrients can move throughout your body without a problem. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure. Woot.
- High in Protein, low in carbs – You know how important protein is to building muscle – 1/4th cup of Almonds has almost 8 grams of protein in it. Not bad for something that’s ridiculously cheap at the moment and couldn’t be easier to prepare (step 1: open bag. step 2: eat)
- Tasty – Seriously! Grab a handful and go to town. Yum.
- Curb your appetite – Studies have shown that people who eat almonds in moderation have experienced a decreased appetite, which is obviously great for losing weight.
- Healthier Skin? Some say that almonds can also improve your skin quality! I’m not sure on this one, but not a bad side effect to have if it’s true…better than “may cause your arms to fall off.” That would suck.
- Dozens of other health benefits – there are way more great thing about almonds that I won’t get into; if you haven’t realized they’re good for you by now, it’s a lost cause.
One thing to keep track of: almonds are high in calories, so if you’re on a low calorie diet, don’t start eating two full bags a day. Instead, take a look at your diet and see if an extra 200 calories (1 serving) can be spread throughout your day. Remember, if you are eating too little, your body goes into starvation mode and your diet can actually backfire (read why here). One of my friends is losing weight at the moment and is struggling to eat enough healthy calories every day. Because he doesn’t want his body to go into starvation mode, he’s added a serving of almonds to his diet.
If you have a Kroger or Ralph’s Supermarket in your area, big bags of almonds are on sale for like $3.99. Just make sure you buy the natural ones without extra stuff added (like sugar). Try Almond butter (instead of peanut butter) or almond milk if you’re looking to mix things up. Raw almonds too boring? Try the dry roasted, unsalted kind (this goes for peanuts too). As long as they were roasted in oil and covered in unhealthy stuff, you’re good to go.
Take the bowl of Skittles off your desk and replace it with a bag of almonds. You can thank me later.