Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's All About Almonds

Almond products are nutritious and delicious. Recent studies show that almonds are one of the most nutritionally complete foods. Almonds are cholesterol free, low in saturated fat, low in carbohydrates, high in dietary fiber, high in antioxidant Vitamin E, and high in Calcium, Riboflavin, Copper, Zinc and Magnesium.

Additional health benefits of almonds -
• high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease
• substituting nuts for an equivalent amount of carbohydrate in an average diet resulted in a 30% reduction in heart disease risk. Researchers calculated even more impressive risk reduction--45%--when fat from nuts was substituted for saturated fats (found primarily found in meat and dairy products). 
• improved complexion
• improved movement of food through the colon and the prevention of cancer. 
• healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains almost 99 mg of magnesium (that's 24.7% of the daily value for this important mineral), plus 257 mg of potassium.
• decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar, but also provide antioxidants to mop up the smaller amounts of free radicals that still result. 
• the inclusion of almonds in the diet with elevating the blood levels of high density lipoproteins and of lowering the levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL). Lowering LDL-Cholesterol can reduce your risk of heart disease. (LDL is the form of cholesterol that has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease). 

• the more almonds consumed, the lower the meal's GI (glycemic index) and the less the rise in blood sugar after eating.
"It's all the components working together," explains Gene Spiller, Ph.D., director of the Health Research and Studies Center in Los Altos, California. "It's the fiber, the unsaturated fats, the arginine, the plant sterols and other phytochemicals. They all work together to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease." 

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