Everything you ever wanted to know about almonds
It's the beginning of the New Year, so as such, I'm making my second 2012 HERS blog a little different. I've scoured the internet for the last hour or so to learn everything I could about my little devilishly addictive friend called the almond.
They're expensive, so I'm thinking ... should I plant an almond tree in my backyard so I can reduce grocery costs?
Almond trees live up to seventy years, producing almonds for at least fifty of those years. They are related to cherries, plums, and peaches, and come in sweet and bitter variety with hard and soft shells. They are part of the rose family therefore they bloom flowers that have five petals, just like roses (minus the thorns). An almond tree would definitely add a touch of natural beauty to anyone's backyard. Sadly, I live in New Jersey, were frost and snow is expected during the winter. Almond trees don't like that kind of weather, they thrive in warm climates, loving to be planted in dry, sandy soil. Almond trees are not self-pollinating, so you'd need bees to do the job. I'm squeamish with the little amount of bees I have in my backyard during the summer, so placing bee hives about, in order to cross pollinate, doesn't sound like something I want to do.
Other fascinating factoids about one of my healthy addiction the almond:
- On February 16th, 2012 don't forget to celebrate National Almond Day!
- Historians generally agree that almonds and dates, both mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, were among the earliest cultivated foods.
- According to superstition: If you eat almonds before taking a drink, you will reduce your chances of getting drunk and avoid having a hangover. Hey this is great to know, so make sure you put a little zip lock bag in your bag before going out for drinks.
- The Romans distributed sugared almonds as gifts to great men at public and private events.
- It takes 1000 pounds of almonds to make 1 pint of almond oil.
- Native to the Mediterranean countries, the almond was introduced to America from Spain in 1769.
- California is the almond capital with over 110,000 acres of almond trees.
- Harvested in September each year, almonds are grown on trees resembling peach trees.
- Chocolate manufactures currently use forty percent of the world's almonds...hmmm.
Health benefits with eating almonds: This is something important to know because every time I read about the incredible healthy benefits Almonds have I feel better snacking on them. It is definitely a “must have” with you at all times, at home, office, car, purse, gym bag etc.
- Almonds are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phytochemicals.
- Almonds are a rich source of energy and nutrients. They are especially, rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids that help to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol."
- Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E.
- Almonds are free in gluten and therefore, are a popular ingredient in the preparation of gluten free food formulas.
- Almonds are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
- Almonds are also a rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- The sweet almond oil obtained from the nuts helps to keep skin well protected from dryness.
Nutrition facts: Here is what we really need to keep in mind when snacking on almonds…Yes, they are delicious and a great snack but they can, if eaten in excess, throw off you weight – loss plan. So be careful!
** Based on eating twenty-three almonds:
- 162 Calories
- 14 g Total Fat
- 6 g Total Carbs
- 6 g Protein
- 3.5 g Fiber
One really good thing about Almonds is that they also have fiber and fiber is an important nutrient for improving weight loss because it controls the rate that the body absorbs carbohydrates, which helps maintain a balance blood glucose level. So consuming a few almonds with your meals is actually a great way to keep a healthy/balance diet. So, yes, almonds are excellent for snack but as we all know to much of anything is not good. Self control and portion control is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
I hope you enjoyed reading these important points about almonds, I know that when dieting for a show, photo shoot, or just because we are trying to lose weight things could get a little boring but once we reach that goal is so worth it….so keep training hard, be smart about what you eat, research on the types of foods that you are eating, learn about the benefits and negative points of anything that you feel you are eating too much or not enough. Knowing and understanding how food works in our body will help us keep everything under control. Are you addicted to Almonds? Or any other healthy snack? I want to know!
"Interesting Facts about the Almond Tree", Heidi Cardenas, eHow home
"Celebrate National Almond day", gojibuzz.com
"Almond nutrition facts", Power your diet