Almonds – the eighth wonder of the world?

I like almonds at the best of times – one of my absolute favourite snacks is with an equal mix of raisins. I also drink quite a lot of almond milk (that and hemp millk), and in between snacking and making smoothies, pancakes and cups of tea with almond milk, I was hearing various accounts of how wonderful almonds were, so I decided to do a little research myself. And I can confirm, they are pretty awesome. Here’s 13 reasons why:

Almonds are high in:

  1. Vitamin E – which is an antioxidant and will combat free radicals
  2. Calcium (and phosporus) – good for the bones
  3. Magnesium – apparently good for preventing heart attacks and hypertension
  4. Protein (a whole 13% of them are protein!) – for building up that muscle!
  5. Fibre (good for the old gastrointestinal tract)
  6. Iron – for making red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body
  7. Folic acid which, combined with flavanoids in the almond skin is especially great for arteries and helps prevent fat building up around the arteries
  8. Riboflavin and L-carnitine – good for the brain
  9. Potassium – important for nerve transmission and muscles (including the heart) and controlling blood sugar, which can help reduce hunger cravings

And they also:

  1. are the lowest calorie of all nuts
  2. are low in saturated fats (the ‘bad’ fat) and high in the ‘good’ fat (monounsaturated fat)
  3. help reduce bad cholesterol and keep good cholesterol
  4. are good for the skin (hence why there are so many oils and lotions which contain almonds)

Finally, some random facts about almonds:

  • wild almonds are poisonous as they produce cyanide – even just eating a few could be fatal
  • you can freeze almonds
  • almond skins contain over 20 antioxidant flavanoids – which is why you should always eat them with skins on!

almondinesAll of these fascinating facts about have been found on the wonder that is the internet, and generally corroborated across at least a couple of sites. However, while doing my research I came across the Organic Facts article on almonds which I’d highly recommend for further reading.

Finally, possibly the best cake I’ve ever made (which is also very paleo, flour, sugar and dairy free), please look at Tom Kerridge’s Spiced Orange cake. If you do make this, I’d highly recommend making the plum sauce in the recupe as well (although it’s nowhere near sugar or dairy free but it is great fun to make).

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