Is there any better snack than a handful of almonds? Especially when there are so many varieties out there to sample.
Dark chocolate almonds! Garlic and rosemary almonds! Yogurt almonds! Tamari almonds! Sure, some seem a bit daring, but since you don’t see peanuts thinking outside the box and offer your taste buds a brand new experience, let’s give credit where credit is due.
Almonds offer a lot of impressive health benefits, so it’s no wonder they get so much attention as a healthy snack. Besides being a great source of fiber and protein, they’re also high in vitamin E, calcium, potassium and magnesium. While they’re caloric, most of their calories come from unsaturated fat, which is great for your diet. Raw almonds have more beneficial fats, but even eating your almonds roasted won’t truly negate their positive qualities. Not only have nuts been linked to keeping a healthy weight and helping reduce heart disease, but they help make you feel good as well.
But should you eat almonds all day? Probably not. They make a great snack and will help keep you full in between meals, but it’s always important to vary the types of food you eat and remember that almonds alone shouldn’t be a substitute for a healthy, well-portioned dinner. While overeating anything will probably hurt your stomach, having too many almonds on a daily basis might also interfere with your medication. Eating too many almonds could give you an overdose of manganese, a dietary mineral that can counteract the effects of antipsychotic drugs, antibiotics and other medications. The recommended serving per day is about a handful, but this varies with each person’s individual weight and exercise routine.
If you truly want to add almonds to your diet, find a few healthy dinner recipes that incorporate almonds for added flavor or texture. Chopped almonds are a great addition to any salad, and can also be a delicious coating on chicken breast.
Nuts are also paleo-approved, but be careful, as they contain more than 500 calories per cup. Almonds and other nuts can be easy to overindulge in, especially if you’re mixing them with dried fruit or grinding them into flour for baking. Measure your portion sizes and aim for a ¼-cup serving, which yields about 140 calories. Like any other food, the key to enjoying almonds is eating them in moderation.
Photo credit: Harsha K R via Flickr
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