Almonds are the oldest, most widely cultivated and extensively used nuts in the world. Almonds are one of the most nutritious of all nuts. And technically speaking they are not nuts; they are the seed of a fruit.
Almonds are low in saturated fat and contain many other protective nutrients - calcium and magnesium - for strong bones, vitamin E and compounds called phytochemicals, which may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
Dr. Gary Beecher, of the USDA-ARS, has analyzed the phytochemical content of almonds and states, "I have never seen this diversity of phytochemicals in a single food source."
A Loma Linda School of Public Health study showed those who consumed nuts five times a week had a 50% reduction in risk of heart attack.
These tasty tidbits pack a nutritional punch, combining tons of essential nutrients in one very delicious package.
One teeny ounce of almonds contains 12 percent of your daily allowance of protein. And absolutely no cholesterol, of course. You'll also get 35 percent of your daily allowance of vitamin E, that valuable antioxidant with so many cancer-fighting qualities. And most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated, also known as the "good" fat.
This little nut is also loaded with minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, as well as lots of healthy fiber. And don't forget calcium and folic acid - they're in there too! If you're pregnant, or thinking about it, almonds are a great source of the folic acid you need! 20-25 almonds (approximately one ounce) contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk, a valuable tool in preventing osteoporosis.
Almonds are the best whole food source of vitamin E, in the form of alpha-tocopherol, which may help prevent cancer.
Almonds contain more magnesium than oatmeal or even spinach.
Next time you need a snack, reach for the almonds. Use the raw unsalted kind, they are even better.