Crunch your way to a happy heart and a sharper mind
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Though we think of almonds as nuts, technically they’re the seed of the fruit of the almond tree. Nut or seed, this is one high-fat food with serious nutritional firepower. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in almonds are the monounsaturated kind, a healthful fat shown to reduce circulating levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Almonds are also chock-full of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that protects against cognitive decline and several cancers. The fiber in almond skins may exert a prebiotic effect and increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut to improve digestion and bolster immune defense. To keep your calorie intake in check, limit yourself to 1 ounce (about 25 almonds) per serving.
Choose It & Use It
Almonds are classified into two categories: sweet and bitter, with the former most often sold in stores. Enjoy them as a snack, or toss into granolas, oatmeals, salads, and pilafs. Eating almonds with their skins intact provides more antioxidants. Spread almond butter on hearty whole-grain crackers and bread.