Nuts, although small, are packed with an amazing amount of nutrition. These bite-size items contain proteins, vitamins, minerals and – most important – healthy fats. Eaten as a snack and in the right proportions, nuts provide nutritional value while suppressing your appetite in between meals. In general, all nuts are healthy. But if we pay attention to how the nuts are processed and what they are coated with, we can maximize their nutrition.
This week’s #bebetter52 challenge focuses on one specific type of nut, almonds. Remember, although there are benefits in eating all types of nuts, if the nuts are paired with sugary or salty toppings or mixes, they can go from nourishing to detrimental in seconds. If eating almonds is already something you enjoy, we encourage you to take it one step further by challenging you to eat almonds, specifically raw or “dry” roasted, because they have the most nutritional value.
Raw nuts have the most nutritional value. Why? Well, according to Judy Caplan, a registered dietician and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, roasted nuts have been heated in unhealthy fats or at a high temperature, which destroys their nutrients.
What does dry roasted mean? When a nut says “roasted” on its packaging label, check the ingredients. Oftentimes that means it is roasted in vegetable oil and salt. Dry roasting does not use oil. The best practice is to buy raw nuts and roast them yourself using olive oil – or roast them sans oil in your oven or toaster oven
Too often we are on the go and barely stop to notice our bodies’ needs before we hear our stomach growl. It is so important to have snacks to keep our bodies satisfied so we can keep up with our busy days. Luckily, nuts, like almonds, are super high in protein and healthy fats to keep us full longer. Almonds contain healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. The health benefits include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. They can also reduce hunger and promote weight loss.
There are many ways to eat almonds:
By the handful
Using almond flour.
Drinking almond milk
By adding to smoothies, salads, yogurts
And our favorite, almond butter.
Suggested ways to use almond butter:
Spread almond butter on toast and top with banana
Drizzle almond butter over yogurt or oatmeal
Put 1-2 spoonfuls of almond butter in a fruit smoothie
Dip carrots and celery in almond butter.
Enjoy it straight off the spoon!!
Eating almonds as a snack will help energize your body and mind between meals. We hope you love this week’s challenge. Disclaimer: Before going to the store to buy nuts, be aware that nuts are a common food allergy. Please be cautious of those around you who might have nut allergies. If you are allergic to almonds, please complete the challenge eating any other type of healthy nut or seeds.
What’s in the Box: Barney Butter
At #bebetter we strive to help you receive all the tools to not only finish our challenges, but also to live a happy and healthy life. For this week’s #bebetter52 challenge about incorporating almonds into your diet, we found a company called Barney Butter that strives to sell non GMO, organic, and fair trade almond butter. They support local farmers, buying 100% of their almonds from local growers, thereby reducing the carbon waste produced from shipping the millions of pounds of almonds they process annually. On barneybutter.com they even have recipes for breakfast, smoothies, snacks, entrees, and dessert. We challenge you to check out our My Be Better Box which features Barney Butter, or look at their recipes to make yourself a delicious almond snack!