Almonds have been cultivated for thousands of years, and early references to them include a passage from the Bible dating to 1400 B.C. Over the centuries, almonds have been enjoyed as a delicacy, revered as a fertility charm, and traded along the ancient Silk Road between the Mediterranean region and China. In the mid-1700’s almonds made the journey from Spain to California, where they eventually became a vital industry.
- Almonds and Your Heart Once considered a simple party snack, today almonds are recognized as a nutritional powerhouse. They represent one of the richest natural protein sources of any nut. In fact, with an average of ten percent protein, one ounce of almonds1 provides the protein equivalent of a large egg.2 Yet, almonds have no cholesterol, and little to no sodium. They also contain monounsaturated fats, which have been identified as beneficial for helping to reduce one of the multiple risk factors associated with heart disease.
Recognizing these benefits, the FDA has approved a qualified health claim regarding almonds and the risk of cardiac disease. Specifically for use on the package labels of qualifying almond products, this claim states: “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
- Weight Management In the same Loma Linda University study referenced above, researchers determined that nut consumption helped participants manage their weight, possibly due to the “good” fat and protein content in nuts helping to satisfy the participants’ appetites and reduce their caloric intake. 3 Similarly, studies at both Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health found that people on a Mediterranean-style diet of mono and polyunsaturated fats like those found in nut butters and healthy oils, may be more successful in keeping weight off for a longer period than people on a traditional low-fat diet. 4
- Part of a Healthy Diet
Almonds are a good source of fiber, and they contain many other key nutrients, including calcium, riboflavin, niacin and the antioxidant alpha-tocopheral vitamin E.3 Scientific studies have linked regular almond and almond butter consumption to success in helping to manage weight4 and helping to control normal blood sugar5 levels as a part of a healthy diet. Preliminary research suggests that almonds have prebiotic properties that can help to maintain a healthy GI tract.
- Adding Almond Butter to Your Day A great way to reap some of the nutritional benefits of almonds is by adding almond butter to your diet as a spread on toast and crackers, a dip for fruits and vegetables, or a flavorful ingredient in smoothies, hot cereals, sauces or soups. Delicious, versatile and easy to store, almond butter provides a nutritional boost that’s hard to match. For more information about the health benefits of almonds, or to find recipes, obtain research and learn more fun almond facts, please visit: