Aside from being a staple heart healthy snack, almonds can be used in a variety of ways to make consumption a bit more exciting. An article published in MindBodyGreen.com listed five unique ways in using almonds.
- Coffee creamer – Almond creamer can serve as an excellent replacement for regular coffee creamer. Unlike heavy coffee creamers, almond creamers are dairy- and gluten-free, making it an ideal healthier substitute.
- Protein-packed snacks – According to the article, almond pulp or almond meal can be used in making fiber-rich crackers. These crackers could use some flaxseeds and additional flavors such as nutritional yeast and rosemary. The article suggested making almond-based energy balls in different combinations such as almonds, dates and maca. Almonds, cherries, and cacao also make for an ideal combination.
- Almond meal and butter – The article suggested adding almond meal or almond butter into a variety of foods including morning oats, soups and stews. Almond meals and butter can also be incorporated in smoothies and gluten-free bread to increase fiber and protein intake.
- Exfoliating agent – Both ground almonds and almond meal are excellent exfoliants that help eliminate dead skin, according to the article. In addition, the almond’s high vitamin E content could greatly benefit the skin. The article suggested combining almond meal with honey and jojoba oil in making the exfoliant. In using the treatment, simply apply the exfoliant onto the skin and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
- Skin treatment – Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which helps revitalize the skin. According to the article, almond oil can be used as a regular body oil, an eye-makeup remover and a facial moisturizer.
Almonds: The superfood you need to start taking now
Almonds have become an increasingly popular superfood due to its many health benefits. In fact, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that almond consumption in the U.S. grew by 220 percent since 2005, practically beating other nuts such as pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, macadamias, and peanuts. A vast number of studies have also established that almonds are packed with essential nutrients that may help bolster the body’s overall health. Almonds are known to contain high levels of biotin, and riboflavin, as well as the essential minerals manganese, copper, and magnesium.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, almond consumption promoted vitamin E levels and helped reduce blood cholesterol levels. Another study carried out by researchers at the University of California’s Department of Nutrition revealed that almonds helped reduce the risk of colon cancer. The findings were published in the journal Cancer Letters. One study published in the journal Circulation even revealed that almond intake may help keep coronary heart disease at bay. According to the researchers, “almonds used as snacks in the diets of hyperlipidemic subjects significantly reduce coronary heart disease risk factors, probably in part because of the nonfat (protein and fiber) and monounsaturated fatty acid components of the nut.”
In addition, a study carried out by researchers at the Aston University in Birmingham, U.K. found that almond consumption led to higher blood antioxidant levels, lower blood pressure levels and better blood flow. “Our study confirms that almonds are a superfood. Previous studies have shown that they keep your heart healthy, but our research proves that it isn’t too late to introduce them into your diet – adding even a handful (around 50g) every day for a short period can help. You could replace a daytime snack with a bag of almonds or add them to your regular meals like porridge or muesli to help reduce your risk of heart problems,” the researchers wrote in MedicalNewsToday.com.