Simply put, I’m nuts about the health benefits of nuts. You see, nuts contain a lot of nutrients that are good for your heart, not to mention your overall health. Nuts can be an excellent source of fiber, protein, and other crucial minerals.
Almonds, in particular, are a great source of monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy fat that doesn’t promote an insulin response or cause excess blood sugar.
In one study, participants who ate almonds regularly also experienced a drop in cholesterol levels, including LDL cholesterol which when oxidized contributes to the development of heart disease.
Almonds are also a great source of the gamma tocopherol form of vitamin E and glutathione, both very powerful antioxidants that help combat free-radical damage to cellular membranes. On top of all of that, almonds are chockfull of calcium, which supports bone and tooth health as well as healthy blood pressure.
How To Add Those Almonds
Almonds can be consumed in a variety of ways. Eat a handful as a snack or add them to your cereal or yogurt at breakfast. Throw almonds on your lunchtime salad for extra crunch or garnish your dinner entrée with them.
Also, try whipping up a batch of my delicious and almond-rich Harvest Trail Mix with the recipe below. (Get even more heart-healthy recipes.) On busy days, I’ve been known to eat a large helping of this mix as my lunch. When preparing, include about 1–2 ounces of each ingredient and try to choose organic nuts and seeds (and avoid genetically modified ones) whenever possible.
Harvest Trail Mix
- Dry-roasted soybeans
- Dried apples
- Dried cranberries
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Mix the ingredients together in roughly equal proportions and store in an airtight container. Use within a month, because the oils in nuts can go rancid. One serving equals 2 ounces.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 236, Total Fat 16 g, Sodium 18 mg, Carbs 19 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 9 g
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Video courtesy of HeartMDInstitute