Friday, February 1, 2013

Food Facts Friday: Almond Lover!

I <3 Almonds!
Way back when ....when I was about eleven, my uncle became very sick with cancer. Back in those days, when they treated people with radiation, they used such high levels that it destroyed a good deal of soft tissue  - so not only was my poor uncle trying to fight cancer, he was also suffering with radiation burns to his esophagus. With a raspy voice, he tried to squeeze out some words, "Little Half-Crazed, you gotta eat almonds. They're good for you. They will help you fight cancer cells, so you stay healthy." God love him. Uncle Russ also made me promise to never, ever smoke cigarettes - it's a promise I am so proud to say that I have kept!

Since that day, I was impacted by the idea that there was a food-body-health connection. It was my earliest memory of looking at food as Hippocrates did:
 'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food'

Health wise, there are lots of great facts about almonds, but 
here are some fun facts:
Ancient Romans showered newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm!
California produces 80% of the World's Almond supply! 
Chocolate manufacturers use about 40% of the world's almonds!
Almond is one of two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11) - the other is pastachio!

Almonds are jam packed nutrition - they are actually the most nutrient dense tree nut! Ounce for ounce, compared to other tree nuts, they are the highest in ...
Protein (great for muscles), 
Fiber (great pre-biotic food), 
Calcium (great for bones), 
Vitamin E (a great antioxidant), 
Riboflavin & Niacin (energy packed B vitamins)
And 1 oz has about the same amount of polyphenols as 1cup green tea or ½ cup steamed broccoli!
Braggart!
They are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and actually touted as a nut that may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease because the fat in almonds is the heart healthy unsaturated fat kind. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) has certified almonds to display the Heart-Check mark for heart healthy foods  
AHA Heart-Check Mark

What's your favorite nut?
What's your favorite recipe with almonds in them?
I love tossing them into beet and feta cheese salad with a little balsamic dressing!

So, have about a handful of almonds, 
about 23 = 1oz, 
which is only is about 170 calories,
and
Train Smart Today!
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