Four Amazing Health Benefits of Raw Almonds
When it’s time for a snack, do you reach for a bag or potato chips or pull into McDonald’s for an order of French fries? Although these snacks will stop your hunger quickly, they’re not the best choice when it comes to good health. A better alternative for a quick snack on the go is nuts. Although nuts are calorie dense, they filling so you’re less likely to overindulge. When it comes to choosing a nut, one you’ll want to consider is raw almonds. Although you can buy them roasted, they’re even healthier if you eat them raw. Wild, raw almonds, grown in certain parts of the world contain a glycoside which can be converted into the deadly poison cyanide. To make them non-toxic it’s necessary to roast them. Fortunately, domesticated almonds don’t have this glycoside and they can be enjoyed without roasting.
They’re High in Monounsaturated Fats
Although fats have been demonized in the past, it’s now known that there are good fats and bad fats. The monounsaturated fats found in almonds falls into the former class. These healthy fats have been shown in studies to not only reduce LDL cholesterol, but also lower the risk of heart disease. This is the same “good” fat that makes olive oil such a good choice on a salad.
They’re Rich in Flavonoids
Flavonoids are natural antioxidants found in plant species. They not only protect the plant against insects, but help to offset free radical damage in the animals and humans who eat them. Over twenty different flavonoids are found in almonds, primarily concentrated in the skin rather than the meat of the almond. This is one reason why it’s healthiest to eat raw, whole almonds, rather than roasted ones.
They Help to Stabilize Blood Sugar
Studies have shown that eating a few almonds with a high glycemic food such as potatoes helps to blunt the spike in blood sugar and insulin that normally occurs after eating carbs. This is good news for diabetics and pre-diabetics who want to keep their blood sugars under better control. Plus, almonds are very low in carbohydrates themselves.
They’re High in Vitamin E
Almonds are an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin, vitamin E, and are a good source of vitamin B2.
They May Help with Weight Loss
Studies have shown that people who regularly eat nuts such as almonds have a lower risk of weight gain. It also appears that munching on almonds as a snack can lower unhealthy abdominal body fat and reduce waist circumference. Even though almonds are relatively high in calories, their protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fat content makes them quite filling and satisfying.