Category Archives: Health

15 Health Benefits of Almonds According to Science – and 8 Delicious Almond Recipes

This post is brought to us by Jen’s Reviews*

Almonds have an amazing profile of antioxidant and nutritional benefits, making them a great candidate for fighting disease.

They can improve brain function, hinder the onset of cancer, and much, much more.

Pound for pound, fresh nuts might seem expensive – not when you consider the many health benefits.

1. Almonds can benefit your intestinal health
Regular consumption of almonds can benefit the production of helpful bacteria in the intestines.

Stool samples were collected from study groups after consuming almonds regularly for a period of time. There were notable increases in Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp.

These changes were noted with daily doses of as low as 56 grams of almonds – or ten grams of almond skins. The bacteria in question are responsible for a number of health factors. Promoting their growth can help prevent dangerous intestinal diseases, and promote the development of healthy tissues and metabolism.

Almonds – even just the skin – can modify the efficacy of intestinal flora, leading to better health.

2. Almonds can lower LDL cholesterol, limiting heart disease
Despite having a relatively high fat content, almonds are known to eliminate cholesterol from the body. The fat content of almonds is largely monounsaturated – the ‘good’ type of fat that helps lower the risk of heart disease.

When substituting almonds in a high-carb diet, researchers found that the risk of heart disease was decreased by up to 30 percent. The benefits stack when almonds are included with other healthy foods, as well. If they’re included in a diet plan that includes foods from all groups, the decrease in cholesterol and heart disease can be increased.

Almonds are high in potassium. Potassium is a mineral that’s responsible for opening up veins and arteries, allowing for more efficient blood flow. This helps clear the cardiovascular system of cholesterol and further reduces the risk of coronary disease.

Magnesium – another mineral that almonds are full of – is also responsible for maintaining a proper blood flow. The content of these two minerals, along with almonds having a high antioxidant content, ensures that they can effectively fight off cholesterol and heart disease. They’re also useful in fighting off recurring or chronic diseases.

The combination of antioxidants, minerals, and monounsaturated fats make almonds a powerful fighter against heart disease.

3. Almonds are powerful fighters against diabetes
Almonds are shown to decrease spikes in blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes are linked to damaging cholesterol, which leads to the creation of free radicals.

A free radical is an atom missing an electron in its outer shell. To compensate, it will steal an electron from its neighbour atom, creating another free radical. This creates a destructive chain that can result in cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

A study done on fifteen participants involved feeding them five meals and monitoring blood sugar before and after. The statistics taken after the meals containing almonds showed a moderate blood pressure and an increase in antioxidants. The statistics taken after subjects consumed meals with bread (high in carbohydrates) showed a decrease in antioxidant density.

Almonds can help alleviate and potentially even prevent diabetes.

4. Almonds can help keep your skin young and healthy
Almonds contain a range of antioxidants and nutrients that can be useful in combating aging skin. These benefits are most obvious when almonds are extracted and used as an oil.

Of particular note, almonds are very high in vitamin E. There are other skin-benefiting antioxidants in almonds, but vitamin E is very good for the skin. It fights of free radicals that can affect that dermis, leading to cancer or prematurely aging skin. Vitamin e also acts as an anti-inflammatory which can prevent inflammation-related skin issues.

If you want to keep your skin looking young, add almonds into your diet.

5. Almonds help regulate blood sugar in healthy individuals
Studies have shown that almonds are amazing at maintaining a healthy glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure that can show a person’s blood sugar level.

During a study in which subjects were given white bread (filled with empty carbohydrates – high on the glycemic index)

The effects seem to start with consumption of two or more ounces of almonds. Eating one ounce of almonds along with the bread showed no decrease in the glycemic index. However, eating two or more showed decreases in the G.I. directly proportional to the amount of almonds consumed.

Eating almonds with high-carbohydrate meals can help you maintain a healthy glycemic index.

6. Almonds are a great cognitive supporter
Almonds are one of the best brain foods you can buy! They contain both L-Carnitine and riboflavin – two nutrients that are very important in maintaining brain health. These help reduce inflammation that can lead to brain disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Almonds stimulate the production of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for helping your neurons ‘fire,’ or communicate, effectively. A deficiency in acetylcholine can lead to things like ‘brain fog,’ in which thinking becomes unclear or confused. It can also lead to headaches and eventually, cognitive decline that can turn into disease.

Acetylcholine is also hugely responsible for an individual’s memory. When studied after consuming almonds for an extended periods, rats were shown to have greater memory recall. When neurons fire faster, it’s easier for them to create or recall ideas and memories – leading to better memory retention.

Eating almonds can help improve brain function.

7. Almonds can help you lose weight!
Research suggests that overweight folk who supplement their diets with almonds will lose weight more effectively. With a low-calorie diet, the almond’s intense array of nutrients and monounsaturated fats help a person shed unnecessary weight.

The study group found that people using almonds in their weight loss program consumed more fat, but 25% of that fat was monounsaturated. This is the fat that helps clear the cardiovascular system of cholesterol. The other group, eating a carbohydrate rich diet, consumed less fat – but only 5% of it was monounsaturated.

Both diets had the same amount of calories. After the study period was over, the group that had consumed almonds instead of carbs showed significantly more weight loss than the other group. Their blood pressure was also reduced, whereas the control group saw no difference in blood pressure.

Including almonds in a low-calorie diet intended for weight loss can amplify the effect of the program!

8. Almonds not only help you lose weight – they can prevent weight gain!
Despite nuts being associated with weight gain, recent studies show the opposite. The high amount of monounsaturated fats in almonds can help you lose weight by regulating cholesterol and blood sugar.

Not only that, but a study shows that simply including almonds in your diet can inspire people to be healthier. A study group was told to add almonds into their diet. They were given no other instructions. At the end of the study, they were evaluated again. A significant number of test subjects had made their own positive changes to their diet!

The levels of certain key nutrients and vitamins were measured to be much higher than they would be simply from supplementing almonds.

Almonds aren’t just healthy – they’re inspiring! They can inspire you to make better decisions with your diet.

9. Almonds help with energy production
Three nutrients in almonds are of particular interest in those interested in being efficient at producing energy. These nutrients are manganese, copper, and riboflavin. Copper and manganese help in the production of superoxide dismutase. This chemical helps fight off free radicals that can form in the mitochrondia – the powerhouse of the cell!

Ensuring the mitochondria stays healthy is vitally important for maintaining well-functioning cells. Without mitochondria, your cells won’t producie energy and your body will begin to lose its ability.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2,) has an interesting function. It attaches to certain proteins that allow oxygen-based energy to be produced in the body. This oxygen-based energy production occurs in areas like the lung and hearts. It can be counter-effective if there is a lack of riboflavin, leading to oxidation and the forming of free radicals. Riboflavin ensures that there’s a proper flow of oxygen and that it can be converted effecively to energy.

Almonds play a vital role in replenishing the body of nutrients required for energy production.

10. Almonds can help prevent gallstones
Looking at data compiled over the last 20 years, it’s been shown that people who eat almonds regularly have a 25 percent lower chance of developing gallstones. Certain nutrients in the almonds bind to bile acids in the gut, helping to maintain a healthy amount.

Gallstones are hardened deposits of fluid. They form in yoru gallbladder, which is just beneath your liver. They’re formed when there is an excess of bile. Bile is usually released into the small intestine, but when there is an excessive amount, it can get stuck in the gallbladder and harden. Gallstones are extremely painful to pass.

The studies show that nuts are efficient in doses as low as an ounce a week. That’s like eating two pieces of toast with a spoonful of nut butter on each!

Something as simple as eating toast with almond butter can have a huge impact on preventing gallstones.

11. Almonds are a good source of protein
Almonds are a great source of quality protein. A quarter cup of almonds provides you with five grams of protein, which is about ten percent of the recommended daily allowance. Since almonds are low-carb and contain only quality, healthy fats, this is a great amount of protein.

Protein is the building block for muscles and can help a person maintain strength and energy. With inadequate protein intake, people will grow weak and their muscles will lose strength and quality.

Regular almond intake will help you get enough protein.

12. Almonds have an impressive array of vitamins and nutrients
In a quarter cup of almonds, you will get a varied amount of nutrients. The World’s Healthiest Foods rates almonds to be very good sources of biotin (49 percent of your daily value,) vitamin E (40 percent of your daily value,) manganese (27 percent of your daily value,) and copper (26 percent of your daily value. Almonds actually have the highest amount of biotin, pound for pound, than any other raw food. The contender for second place is the sweet potato, which contains only 29% of your daily value of biotin.

World’s Healthiest Foods also considers almonds to be a good source of vitamin B2, phosphorous, magnesium, molybdenum, and dietary fiber.

Vitamin E is very useful in fighting inflammation. It helps maintain healthy skin structure, elasticity and flexiblity.

Manganese is helpful in the maintenance of bones and teeth, much like the similar-sounding nutrient magnesium. Most diets have plenty of manganese in them, but you don’t need to worry about overdosing – excessive magnesium intake won’t cause you any damage unless it’s very extreme.

Biotin is a B vitamin that’s crucial for the body to properly metabolize food.

Copper is important in a lot of different ways. It helps you maintain strong ntissues, maintains your blood volume, and helps your mitochondria produce energy. Most diets are deficient in copper.

Almonds are an excellent source of biotin, Vitamin E, manganese, copper, magnesium and fiber.

13. Almonds increase the absorption of other nutrients
Certain nutrients and vitamins – such as vitamin A and D – are fat soluble. This means the body needs an adequate supply of fat to absorb them. Good fat – don’t go jumping down to McDonalds to get a burger to increase your nutrient absorption, because the negatives will quickly outweigh the bads.

Fortunately, almonds are chock full of polyunsaturated fats. These are the most effective fats for helping vitamins which are not soluble in water. Additionally, almonds contain some antioxidants and nutrients that can regulate bile production (too much bile can tax your system of nutrients) and promote intestinal health.

Almonds can also help you absorb nutrients better from the rest of your diet!

14. Almonds can protect against osteoperosis
Digested almonds leave behind a kind of residue, known as ash. It’s an alkaline substance, which helps maintain the pH level of our blood. Our blood, at its most healthy, keeps an alkaline pH of around 7.4 Sometimes the pH of the blood is offset by eating foods that are too acidic. This is why alkaline foods are necessary in the human diet.

When the blood becomes too acidic, the blood steals calcium from our bones. Calcium helps return the balance of the blood to its optimal pH of 7.4 – at the expense of making your bones more brittle and susceptible to further disease.

Eating almonds can prevent this by leaving its alkaline ash behind in the body. Additionally, the high magnesium and phosphorous content helps strengthen any bones that may already be damaged by osteopersosis.

Those who struggle with osteoporosis should consider eating almonds. They help alkalize the body and maintain proper blood pH.

15. Almonds help maintain bone and dental health
Phosphorous and magnesium – two nutrients that almonds are high in – are essential for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Almonds also help the body absorb other nutrients, so calcium from other dietary sources will be absorbed more effectively.

Calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium together in sufficient amounts will ensure that your bones and teeth stay strong and healthy long into your life. You will be less likely to develop cavities, broken bones, or teeth yellowing.

Almonds will help your bones and teeth stay strong!

Suggestions for incorporating almonds into your diet
There are ways aside from simply eating almonds to reap their nutrients.

Almond flour is one way to reap the benefits of almonds. Look for simple ingredients – preferably, you want a flour with almonds as the sole ingredient. You can use almond flour to replace white flour in most instance – making bread, thickening soups, whatever floats your boat. Some of the nutrients are destroyed in the processing, but almonds are so filled with vitamins and antioxidants that you’ll still be getting a ton of beneficial ingredients.
Almond butter is a great way to consume almonds. It’s creamy, delicious, can be spread on toast or mixed into smoothies. Again, you’ll want an almond butter that’s got a minimal amount of ingredients – no added oils or sugars. You can also make your own almond butter by blending a bunch of them in a food processor and maybe adding a little bit of coconut oil or olive oil for texture.
Tips for ensuring your almonds maintain their maximum nutritional benefit
You want to buy almonds that aren’t baked or roasted. Raw almonds can be hard to come by in the states, since the FDA mandates that all almonds be processed for preservation. This often involves high-heat processing. Unfortunately, a lot of the essential fatty acids in almonds are sensitive to heat, and can turn bad when baked or roasted – even turn into carcinogens.

You can, however, increase the already amazing potency of almonds. If you soak them and sprout them, some of the almond’s protective enzymes will diminish. Some of these are known as antinutrients and prevent the full nutrition of almonds from being absorbed. You can soak them for as little as 24 hours. Make sure to rinse them before eating them.

Regardless of whether your almonds are soaked or not, you’ll want to store them in a cool, dry place. This will ensure the maximum amount of preservation for the vitamins and minerals.

Delicious Almond Recipes For You To Try Out
These are a few of my favourite almond recipes. You might not want to supplement your diet or healthcare program with handful after handful of raw nuts. Fortunately, almonds are highly versatile. They can be used in a huge number of dishes, from western chickens to eastern styled stir fries to curries.

Almond butter is a great substitute for peanut butter and can be used on toast, or as a substitute for peanut butter in a number of recipes. It packs just as good of a flavour with a higher nutritional profile.

Most of the recipes included have a quick prep time and a quick cooking time. They’re simple and efficient ways to get a good dose of the antioxidants and nutrients available in almonds.

The first recipe I’ll start you off with is one for a simple almond butter. You can use this in any other recipe that requires almond butter – or replace the peanut butter in your own favourite recipes with this!

1. Almond butter recipe
Almond butter is simple to make and easy to pair with lots of different foods. Peanut sauce? Try making almond sauce instead. You can use it as a topping on toast, or put it with different fruits – I like it with apples. I like to use unsalted, dry roasted almonds.

You’ll need

3 cups of almonds. That’s it! (You might need a teaspoon or a tablespoon of oil.)

Throw the almonds in a food processor and pulse them until they become a thick consistency. If they don’t stick together and get ‘buttery,’ you can throw in a teaspoon to a tablespoon of your favourite vegetable oil until the consistency is more appropriate.

This will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks. You can add cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, or any of your favourite spices to change up the flavour or tweak it to your personal preference.

2. Overnight oatmeal with almond butter
This is an interesting recipe that uses a slow cooker to make oats. It really brings out the natural flavour of the oats, and infuses the flavour of the cinnamon, spices, and honey. It’s a good way to get a protein and carbohydrate loaded breakfast that will keep you full at least until lunchtime. You can top it up with your favourite fruits or seeds for extra nutritional benefit and flavour.

This recipe makes enough for two or three people.

You’ll need

Two cups of water

One cup of milk

Half a cupOne pinch of salt

A quarter cup of almond butter

Two to three tablespoons of honey

The process!

Get a four-cup measuring cup. Mix the water, milk, oatmeal and salt together in it. Put all this in a slow cooker and cover it with enough water – around two cups. If you don’t measure this exactly, that’s okay – less is better than more, though.

Turn the slow cooker on low.

When you wake up, your oats will be nice and cooked. Stir in the almond butter and honey. You can now add any spices you want – cinnamon, nutmeg. Serve with milk if you prefer, or have it by itself or with chopped up fruits or berries on to.

This meal will keep you nutritionally satisfied for at least half the day!

The recipe I based this off won the best porridge contest award on Food52!

3. Almond Butter Soba Noodles With Garlic Shrimp
This dish is an amazing blend of a lot of different flavours. It’s also one of the reasons I suggest using almond butter instead of peanut butter – a lot of people would glance over this recipe and expect peanut butter to be used in place. The almond butter makes it lighter, creamier, and more nutritious. This recipe cooks fairly quickly, but only serves two people.

You’ll need

For the garlic shrimp:

One and a half teaspoons of vegetable oil

Eight to ten white prawns

Two cloves of garlic

Half a teaspoon of salt

A quarter teaspoon of black pepper

For the sauce:

A quarter cup of almond butter

Two tablespoons of ponzu sauce

Two tablespoons of honey

One and a half tablespoons of rice wine vinegar

A tablespoon and a teaspoon of soy sauce

Two teaspoons of sesame oil

For the rest:

Eight ounces of soba noodles

One carrot

A third of a cucumber

Three leaves of cabbage

One teaspoon of black sesame seeds (pre-toasted, or you can do it yourself)

One teaspoon of toasted almonds

The method:

To cook the garlic shrimp, put all the ingredients listed under the garlic shrimp section in a large bowl. Marinate them for half an hour. If you bought sesame seeds that aren’t pre-roasted, you can roast them in a skillet by turning the heat on medium high, putting the seeds in the skillet, and heating them while stirring/shaking until the aroma begins to rise.

To cook the shrimp, heat the skillet up. Saute the shrimp for five minutes or until they’re cooked. Take them away from the element and put them in the fridge.

Now make the sauce. Place all the ingredients listed for the sauce section in a bowl. Mix them until they’re combined. Put the sauce in the fridge with the shrimp for half an hour.

To make the meal, first shred your cabbage, peel and julienne your carrot, and julienne your cucumber. Toss the soba noodles in the sauce, then put a handful of your cabbage on a plate and put the noodles on top of them. Garnish the noodles with your julienned carrots and cucumbers, and finally put the shrimp on top. You can heat the shrimp up prior to serving, if you’d like. Lightly decorate with your roasted sesame seeds, and – voila! The meal is ready.

4. Almond Butter And Spinach Smoothie
Winter has never been revered for being the best season for smoothies. However, a lot of people let their diet get away from them in winter! This is a nice way to add a cupful of nutrients into your daily intake. The preparation is quick, and the product worthwhile. Having this alongside the powerhouse oatmeal would be enough to keep you going all day.

You’ll need

A tablespoon of almond butter

Two cups of spinach

A cup of almond milk – vanilla flavour preferred

Half a banana

A quarter cup of frozen, chunked pineapple

The process

As I’m sure you imagined, the process is quite simple – just like any other smoothie. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend away. When everything’s fully combined, your smoothie will be a beautiful, bright green and the spinach will be completely blended. It should still be cold, so drink it up right away!

5. Roasted eggplant with a rich, creamy, almond-coconut sauce
This is another amazing recipe that does a perfect job of blending all sorts of different flavours together. Using almond butter instead of peanut butter adds a level of depth to the eggplant that couldn’t otherwise be obtained. The cooking of this recipe is quite simple, but you’ll want to start prepping early as you need to salt the eggplant and let it sit for an hour.

You’ll need

The method

Cut the eggplant into half-inch slices. Both sides should be sprinkled with salt. Use your hands to press the salt so it sticks. You can let them sit in a colander so there’s airflow reaching most part of the eggplant. Let it sit for an hour.

Preheat your oven for 450 degrees. AFter they’ve sat for an hour, take the eggplant slices out, rinse the salt off and pat them dry.

Grab a baking sheet and cover it with tinfoil. Put the eggplant on and brush both sides with oil. Once the oven’s preheated, roast it for 20 to 30 minutes or until it’s tender to the touch and taste.

While it’s baking, you can make the sauce. Mix the almond butter, coconut milk, sugar, lime juice, chili garlic and fish sauce in a blender or a food processor. Blend on pulse until the mixture’s smooth and creamy.

Pour this mixture into a saucepan on low heat. Stir it until the sauce warms up and is a bit thick. This shouldn’t take more than seven minutes at low heat.

To serve, simply put the slices of eggplant on plates and pour the sauce overtop.

6. Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Granola Bars
Taken from this recipe here, these incredible, sweet, yet healthy granola bars make a great dessert or a great snack. They’re sweet and sticky, crunchy yet soft, and very rich. The almond butter and walnuts add a great layer of depth to the dark chocolate. I’ve modified the recipe slightly for my own tastes, but the original holds up just as well. The recipe is incredibly simple, the cook time is fast since you don’t need to bake them, and depending on how you slice them, you can get enough servings for quite a few people.

You’ll need

A cup of dates

One and a half cup of oats

Three quarters of a cup of walnuts

A quarter cup of dark chocolate chips

A quarter cup of almond butter

A quarter cup of maple syrup

The method:

If you like an extra bit of crisp, toast the oats in the oven at 350 degrees. It’ll take about 15 minutes for them to reach an optimal level of crispiness.

Put the dates in a food processor. Blend them until they’re processed enough to roll into balls. Transfer the dates into a big bowl, and throw in the oats, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips.

Begin mixing and crushing the dates using a spoon. As you crush them, mix them with the other ingredients until everything is fairly well mixed. The dates should be distributed evenly among the other ingredients. Don’t worry if there are little clumps.

In a small pan, heat up the honey and the almond butter on low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour this mixture over the date mixture, and stir right away. Ensure everything’s evenly coated. The chocolate chips should melt a little bit, allowing you to shape the product easier.

Line a baking pan with parchment. Transfer the mixture to the pan, and cover it with plastic wrap. You can use a mold if you like, but it’s easier to shape the mixture by hand. Turn it into a square or a rectangle about half an inch thick.

You can cool them in the refrigerator, or for almost-immediate snacking, throw them in the freezer for fifteen minutes. When they’ve hardened, you can slice them into whatever size you like.

7. Almond Butter Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream
This recipe makes some incredibly rich, flavourful treats. They can be made with peanut butter, but the almond butter adds texture and depteh to the recipe. The cook time is fairly average for cupcakes, and this recipe yields about twelve.

You’ll needOne and three-quarter cups of flour

Three-quarters of a cup of sugar (use brown sugar or sugarcane for a healthier option)

A teaspoon of baking powder

A teaspoon fo baking soda

Half a teaspoon of salt

A cup of milk

Half a cup of canola oil (I prefer to substitute coconut oil for extra flavour)

A teaspoon of vanilla

A tablespoon of vinegar

Half a cup of almond butter

Mocha Buttercream

A quarter cup of butter

A teaspoon of espresso

A quarter cup of cocoa

A pinch of salt

Two cups of powdered sugar

Two tablespoons of milk

The method

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Get a cupcake tin and line it with muffin cups. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda & powder, and salt. Once these ingredients are evenly distributed, add the milk, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and almond butter. Continue to mix until the product is smooth.

Fill the baking cups with the batter. They should each fill about three quarters of the way to the top – even if you have extra batter, don’t overfill the muffins or they will rise over the top of their wrappers and become misshapen.

They only take twenty minutes to bake – perhaps less. Do the toothpick test to be sure (stick a toothpick into one of the muffins. If it comes out clean, they’re done.) Let them cool. While they’re cooling, you can make the buttercream.

Put the butter, espresso, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Beat them until they’re smooth and evenly mixed. Once the ingredients are evenly dispersed, you can ad the powdered sugar and milk. Beat again until evenly distributed. You can continue adding powdered sugar if the mixture is too soft for your tastes, or doesn’t look like it would spread easily. If it’s too hard, add more milk.

By the time the buttercream is ready, the cupcakes should be cool enough to spread. Evenly coat the tops of each muffin with buttercream and enjoy!

8. Tandoori-roasted Cauliflower with Almond Butter
This recipe is a perfect testament to the versatility of almond butter. It blends amazingly with the array of indian spices, adding richness to a regional cuisine that’s already known for being rich. The meal serves four to five people and has a quick prep time.

You’ll need

A head of caulifower

Half a cup of almond butter

Two tablespoons of olive oil

Four teaspoons of tandoori seasoning

Salt

Lemon or lime juice

Fresh cilantro

Toasted nuts

The process

Whisk the almond butter with the oil and tandoori seasoning in a big bowl. If the consistency is too thick, you can squeeze some lemon or lime juice in. You can use water or oil as well, depending on your preferences. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s distributed evenly among the mixture.

Put the oven on a low broil setting and let it preheat. While it’s heating up, cut your cauliflower into florets. Mix them until they’re coated in the almond butter mixture. Spread the cauliflower on a baking pan covered in tinfoil.

Once the oven’s heated, roast the cauliflower for about ten minutes. It should start browning lightly by the time it’s done. When it’s cooked, sprinkle salt over it. Try and squeeze lemon or lime juice evenly over the cauliflower, and sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and ground nuts.

These recipes should be enough reason for you to include almonds in your kitchen. Whether using almond butter or fresh/roasted almonds, it’s clear that they can be used for a great number of different recipes from different cultures.

Almonds: Growing Up Sustainable

This article is brought to you by Jen’s Reviews.

In addition to providing a safe and stable supply of almonds, California’s community of more than 6,800 almond farmers is committed to using sustainable agricultural practices that are economically viable and based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees. The result is a plentiful, nutritious, and safe food product.1

Almond Board of California (ABC) has been investing in research since 1973 and, to continue to help farmers navigate complex challenges, this year ABC invested $4.7 million in 82 independent, third-party research projects exploring next-generation farming and sustainability practices. These research projects cover a range of sustainable topics including irrigation efficiency, air quality, honey bee health, farming practices, the development of innovative production practices that lead to continued improvement in efficient and, and so much more.

When it comes to following sustainable agricultural practices, California Almond farmers and processors are progressive and continuously challenging themselves to do more. The California Almond Sustainability Program was established in 2009 in part to better understand the ongoing sustainability improvements of farmers across all production practices and to provide continuing education on these topics.

To date, nearly 450,000 acres of California Almonds are represented by completed assessments.

Water Matters: More Crop per Drop

All food takes water to grow and produce. So efficient water use and irrigation management have always been high priorities for California’s almond farmers. In fact, innovative farming and production developments over the past two decades have reduced the amount of water needed to grow a pound of almonds by 33%.2

How have they done it? Research shows that:

More than 70% of almond orchards report using water-saving micro-irrigation systems, far above the 42% average reported for California irrigation methods statewide.3,4
More than 80% of farmers report using demand-based irrigation in their orchards, which means they review a combination of weather, soil moisture, and the trees’ needs to determine irrigation strategies, rather than watering on a predetermined schedule.3
Working to Restore Groundwater

To help replenish depleted aquifers, ABC has partnered with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Davis, Land IQ, and Sustainable Conservation to determine the role California’s almond orchards can play in California’s sustainable water future. By harnessing excess seasonal floodwater and letting it flow onto dormant almond orchards, on-farm groundwater recharge may not only benefit underground aquifers, but the greater community as well. Preliminary findings indicate that 675,000 acres of California Almond orchards have moderately good or better soil suitability for groundwater recharge.5

Minimal Waste

Did you know that almond trees grow multiple products? In addition to the kernel that we eat, almond co-products include the almond hull, which is used to feed livestock, and the shells, which are used as livestock bedding. Even the trees are utilized at the end of their productive lives, creating alternative energy or being used to improve soil quality.

Almonds are not sold with waste products like skins, pits and shells. This means that the industry, not the end user, is responsible for and able to take advantage of high value, beneficial, uses of the hulls, shells, and woody material, rather than sending them to a landfill.

In addition to these traditional uses, ABC is focusing research investment on innovative new uses for these co-products including manufacturing needs across food, automotive, pharmaceutical and plastics.

Carbon Footprint

In addition to the continuous improvement of almond farming and production practices, California’s almond orchards provide inherent benefits as found in almond Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) research from UC Davis. This study demonstrated that California’s 130 million almond trees6 accumulate and store significant amounts of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, during their 25-year life cycles, and the utilization of almond co-products is key to reducing carbon emissions and environmental impact.

Should production advances and policy changes work hand in hand, the California Almond community could become carbon neutral or even carbon negative. At present, 50 percent of the industry’s carbon emissions are offset by the trees’ inherent carbon storage and current farming practices.7

Within the larger context of food, researcher Dr. Alissa Kendall states, “California almonds have a lower carbon footprint than many other nutrient-dense foods.”

A Perfect Home

California is one of the few places on earth with the Mediterranean climate necessary for growing almonds. Others with suitable climates include the area around the Mediterranean Sea, Australia, South Africa and Chile.

The climate, coupled with California’s rich soils, water availability and infrastructure, innovative technology, and research opportunities make it the most productive almond growing region in the world. In fact, California grows more than 50 percent of the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Creating Economic Value

Because of these ideal conditions, California produces more than 80% of the world’s almond supply and accounts for 99% of domestic supply.8 This creates a comparative advantage, which in turn creates economic value not just for farmers but for California as a whole. According to a study by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, the California almond industry as a whole generates about 104,000 jobs statewide.

To put that into perspective, that’s about as many people as General Motors employs throughout all of North America. These jobs are generated across multiple industries resulting in more than $21 billion of gross revenue in California and adding about $11 billion dollars to the size of the state’s total economy.9

Farming for the Future

Over 90% of California almond farms are family farms, many owned and operated by third- and fourth-generation family farmers who live on the land and plan to pass it down to their children.10 Almond farmers recognize the need to carefully manage resources for current and future generations, and offer continued work for their employees while protecting their families, neighbors local communities and the environment.

For more information about our sustainability efforts, visit AlmondSustainability.org.

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Sprouted Raw Almonds May Improve Nutrient Value

The latest trend in food consumption may be sprouting various vegetables and nuts.

It’s hard to visit a local farmer’s market or health food store without finding sprouts of broccoli, radishes or other healthy veggies. The young plants contain all the nutrients unlocked from the seed, in a form that can be easily digested by humans.

But recently retailers have begun marketing sprouted almonds as the best way to get all the nutrients contained in your favorite snack – raw organic almonds. After all, the almonds we enjoy are really just the seed of a fruit tree which could easily be planted and grown in the back yard.

The sprouting process is done commercially by many processors but can easily be done in your own home, if you pay attention to the proper methodology. The almonds are simply soaked for 12-18 hours in water, or until they begin to germinate. They are then removed and dried in a low temperature and low humidity environment.

Most experts recommend soaking almonds only up to 24 hours, making sure that you change the water 2-4 times.

Once they are dried the raw nuts can be stored much like the un-sprouted varieties – up to six months. But if you don’t want to take the time to dry the almonds they should be stored in your refrigerator for two or three days at most, before they should be eaten or converted to another almond product, such as almond paste or almond milk.

Some experts recommend using salt water to speed the process and enhance the final flavor but you can also use purified water, allowing the almonds to swell and germinate.

What’s the difference between raw nuts and the sprouted version? The answer lies in the enzymes. Many of the valuable nutrients in almonds are stored in forms that are not easily digestible. For example phosphorous is stored in an almond as phytic acid.

Phosphorous is an important nutrient because it increases energy levels and is promotes the functioning of other vitamins. A typical handful of almonds can contain over 350 mg of phytic acid. Phytic acid, can be processed by the human body but it restricts the amount of phosphorous the body absorbs and can also bind to other minerals and make them difficult to digest.

The germination process breaks down the phytic acid and leaves the phosphorous in a form which is easier for the human digestive tract to process and absorb. In fact, many experts recommend soaking almonds before making almond milk to remove the phytic acid.

These days, store shelves are filled with a variety of products from nutrition bars and breads that boast the use of sprouted almonds.

But whether you want to look for sprouted raw almonds or simply raw organic almonds you can be assured they contain a wealth of vitamins and nutrients that should be an essential part of your diet.

American Export House supplies organic and conventional almond varieties to customers throughout the United States. For more information contact AEH.

Make Sure to Include Raw Organic California Almonds in Your Wedding Plan

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Believe it or not, almonds have been part of wedding celebrations for centuries.

As far back as the Middle Ages, brides were known to give their guests small bags of raw almonds for luck. These almonds were the genetic relatives of raw California organic almonds we see grown throughout the state’s Central Valley.

The tradition of giving almonds was standard at Italian weddings in the 15th century when sugar was expensive and a small gift bag of almonds coated with sugar was considered a luxury, showing off the host’s wealth. Gradually, as sugar became more common, the practice became widespread.

Known as confetti to the Italians, these treats have become known as Jordan almonds and when encased in an organza bag, or even a metal box, are called bomboniere.

Other nationalities have also included almonds in their wedding ceremonies. Greek weddings also feature almonds or koufetta, placed in small bags placed on a silver tray. Middle Eastern weddings also feature almonds and consider them an aphrodisiac. Tradition also suggests that if a single woman places a small bag of almonds under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband.

Regardless of the nationality, the gift is always an odd number of almonds –sometimes 3 and often 5. Three almonds cannot be divided evenly and were thought to symbolize the strength of the union which could not be divided. Five almonds, on the other hand, represent the five wishes for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.

The sugar coating is said to symbolize a wish that the couple’s life together will be sweet.

These days, almost every wedding continues to include a bag of almonds as a small favor. The small organza bag adds a decorative touch to any table and they show guests that the bride and groom appreciate their attendance.

So, if you’re starting to plan your spring or summer wedding, include raw California organic almonds as a favor and continue a 500-year-old tradition.

American Export House supplies raw California organic and conventional almond varieties to customers throughout the United States. For more information contact AEH.

Almond Oil: The Newest Beauty Aid

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Almond Oil: The Newest Beauty Aid

The next time you’re looking for something new to revitalize your skin or hair, turn to something old – almond oil. Better yet, look for almond oil made from California organic almonds .

Almond oil has been used as a skin and hair care product for centuries but recently it’s been making a comeback for anyone looking for a natural, organic way to better skin health. Researchers have found that almond oil has been in use almost as long as wild almonds, which grew over 2000 years ago in the dry arid regions of Central Asia.

These wild almonds contained more oil than our modern varieties but they were also bitter and, in many cases, poisonous. You can still find bitter almond oil, but it is only for use externally and most experts suggest it should only be used under supervision of a medical professional.

In most cases, we suggest you stick with the sweet almond oil made from California organic almonds.

Experts say the almond oil can be used for everything from making your skin healthier to curing dry skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

Many of the elements that make almonds a healthy nutritious snack also make it great for skin care. Vitamin E, and Magnesium make it the perfect oil for a mild-hypoallergenic skin treatment.

Almond oil can be used regularly as an after-bath treatment since a gentle application is absorbed directly into the skin to restore moisture and provide essential nutrients. For best results we recommend warming the oil slightly so that it’s closer to skin temperature to aid absorption.

Some pediatricians also recommend almond oil for use on babies, who may be allergic to synthetic products. You can even create your own personal fragrance by adding a touch of lavender oil, if you want to mask the natural almond scent.

Almond oil can also be used as a skin cleaner. When applied with a cotton pad, it can easily be used to remove makeup and revitalize the skin. One application can remove dirt and makeup while a second, 2 minutes later, renews and restores your skin. Some dermatologists even add a teaspoon of sugar to create a natural skin scrub.

Almond oil can also be used to remove dark circles under your eyes or even to smooth wrinkles. When used every night, you should see an improvement in about two weeks.

If you’ve ever been out in the sun too long and need something to reduce redness and pain, or even if you want to lighten a tan, you can combine a teaspoon of honey with a mixture of almond oil and lemon juice. Just rub the mixture in and let it sit for about an hour, before washing it off. It can reduce the redness and burning feeling associated with too much sun exposure.

Eczema and Psoriasis are often caused by the body’s own reaction to internal problems. But the best cure, at least for the external skin issues, is to rehydrate the affected areas. Almond oil, which will not add to the inflammation, can be the perfect product to prevent moisture loss and seal the skin to prevent infection.

And finally, many hairdressers recommend an almond oil treatment on your hair to restore the natural oil that is lost after regular washing. Just a few drops on a comb or brush will help return the natural body and luster – and reduce split ends. Repeated use on the scalp can also enhance hair growth.

So, the next time you’re looking for a ‘new’ treatment for your skin or hair, why not try something that has been used for centuries – pure California organic almond oil.

American Export House supplies organic and conventional almond varieties to customers throughout the United States. For more information contact AEH.

Which are the Healthiest Nuts ?

There is no doubt that nuts are among the healthiest foods you can eat. Their combination of protein and nutrients combined with relatively low fat make them a perfect snack or ingredient.

According to Judy Caplan, RD, at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, all nuts are about equal in terms of calories per ounce and are healthy additions to any diet. She points to the omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber which will help to suppress your diet.

Almonds are the lowest calorie nuts with about 160 calories per ounce (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat).

Of course this assumes the nuts are dry roasted with no added oil or salt.

As we have detailed in previous posts, almonds have more calcium than other nuts, are rich in fiber, vitamin E and contain other nutrients that your body needs.

Healthy nuts

What makes nuts so healthy?

According to the Mayo Clinic it’s thought the unsaturated fat or so called “good fat” lower cholesterol levels. The Omega-3 fatty acids seem to help your heart by preventing irregular heart rhythms that can lead to a heart attack.

The fiber in nuts lowers your cholesterol and makes you feel full so you eat less and may also play a role in preventing diabetes. Nuts also contain Vitamin E which can retard the formation of plaques in your arteries which leads to coronary artery disease or heart attacks.

Finally nuts contain plant sterols and a substance called L-argentine. Fiber aids in lowering cholesterol and L-argentine improves the health of artery walls by helping them retain flexibility.

While almost all nuts contain these compounds there are some differences.

For example, macadamia nuts have the highest fat and lowest protein and carbohydrate content, but they also contain large amounts of vitamin B1, magnesium and manganese. About 60% of the fatty acid in macadamia nuts is Oleic acid, about the same level as olives, which are known for their health benefits.

Pecans, which contain 19 vitamins and minerals, are close to macadamia nuts in the fat and protein scale but they also contain phenolic antioxidants

A one-quarter-cup serving of walnuts can provide 100% of the omega-3 fats the average person needs, along with high amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin. The antioxidants in walnuts are so powerful that researchers have called them “remarkable,” and the polyphenols may help prevent liver damage.

The outermost layer of the shelled walnuts has a bitter flavor but it’s thought that up to 90 percent of the antioxidants are found in the skin.The skin of an almond is also one of the healthiest parts of the nut since it’s rich in antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry revealed that a one-ounce serving of almonds has a similar amount of total polyphenols as a cup of steamed broccoli or green tea.

Additionally, research has shown that almonds may help prevent both prostate and breast cancer.

Almonds are also notably beneficial for your heart health. A study in the journal Circulation found people with abnormally high level of lipids, such as cholesterol, in their blood were able to significantly reduce their risk factors for coronary heart disease by snacking on whole almonds. Almonds, rich in the amino acid L-arginine, can help you burn more fat and carbohydrates during workouts, a study printed in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found.

Brazil nuts are noted as an excellent source of selenium, a powerful anti-oxidant which may be beneficial in the prevention of cancer. Just two of the tiny nuts provide more than a day’s worth of the mineral. Selenium not only plays a key role in metabolism, immunity and reproductive health, but also helps the body absorb vitamin E, which can ward off cataracts later in life. Brazil nuts rank just behind macadamia nuts and pecans in their fat to protein content.

Pistachios are high in lutein, beta-carotene and vitamin E when compared to other nuts. Eating one or two servings of pistachios a day can increase anti-oxidants in the blood which lowers LDL cholesterol. Theses nuts can also reduce blood pressure and vascular responses to stress. Like most nuts they are excellent for weight loss.

American Export House supplies organic and conventional almond varieties to customers throughout the United States and the World. For more information contact AEH.

Why Almonds Are Boon for Women’s Health – Infographic

We all consider Organic Almond as super food; in addition, when used in the different form, it is also having incredible health benefits. Read through this infographic for certain helpful tips and simple steps to know about them.

Female, individuals who may know about the basic elements of almond usage can have positive results in their overall fitness such as – controlling body fat, enhancing physical beauty, maintaining high bone density and also for healthier pregnancy period.

Almonds-Womens-Health-Infographic

Contact us, if you looking to buy Almonds.

3 Reasons why Almonds are the Best Nut for Women Health

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“let the food be thy medicine And let thy medicine be food”
Quoted – Hippocrates (Ancient Greek Physician)

OUR SIMPLE SUGGESTION `KEEP YOUR HAND OUT OF THE COOKIE JAR`

Our bodies are often under attack from factors such as environmental pollution, stress and careless eating habits. Of all these, the easiest and simplest to control is our food consumption behavior. Excessive intake of high fat and carbohydrate diet or even irresponsibly eating unnecessary low nutrient foods, all have one end result. The body is the victim.

The question to ask is how many people would rather put recycled mobile oil in their cars, or how many people prefer viruses attacking their cell phones and computers? Perhaps None! So why is it that people choose to put such poisons in their body instead of the proper fuel it needs?

Mother Nature has provided all nutrients required by our bodies in various forms and structures. All we need to do is choose the combination that suits us. We at American Export House offer our solution in form of delicious, wholesome and super nutritious California Almonds. We consider it our modest contribution to the World`s good health.

Almonds are proven to be the most nutritionally dense nuts and considered as the King of Nuts in many cultures around the Globe. This is one of those foods that promote both internal as well as external health (Appearance). Women of all ages can immensely benefit from Almonds, be it enhancing physical beauty, controlling body fat, maintaining high bone density or experiencing healthier and easier pregnancy.

Almonds and Facial Beauty

Almonds are replete in Vitamin E and more essentially have a skin penetrating quality when applied in different ways. Therefore can prove to be an effective moisturizer and help exfoliate dead skin cells.

Almonds and Facial Beauty

Almonds also contain a natural form of Olein Glyceride called Linoleic acid that helps prevent acne, blackheads and arid skin. No wonder Almonds are now being readily used as an ingredient in various cosmetics, complexion serums and other skin care products that highlight high vitamin content. Simple homemade face packs made from Almonds are an effective beauty aid and may result in a rejuvenated and clear face. The ancient East Indian Ayurvedic science prescribes a simple yet effective facial pack.

The recipe is as follows-

  • Soak 5 to 6 Almonds overnight in water.
  • Crush and turn into paste.
  • Add two Tea spoons of Milk cream (collected by boiling whole Milk to the point cream rises on top).
  • Add one Teaspoon of Sandalwood Powder.
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Apply as face pack and leave until dry.
  • Wash off with like warm water.

Some people substitute Sandalwood powder with a pinch of Turmeric powder as the former may be a little difficult to find in certain parts of the World. In the absence of both a simple pack made of Almond paste and Milk cream is by itself quite sufficient.

We recommend using Organic Almonds for making this face pack.

ALMOND OIL presents itself as a remedy for many skin ailments. Unwanted tan, dark circles and bags under the eyes etc can be treated with regular application of almond oil. One teaspoon of almond oil mixed with a teaspoon of Honey and a few drops of lemon juice, applied regularly for a few hours may do wonders in a few days in improving such conditions.

(Related Post: How to Make Delicious Almond Milk in Just 15 Minutes)

Almonds are rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium and Zinc. All these are essential for the health of our hair. Hair lose and thinning of hair are common occurrences caused by factors such as stress, environmental pollution and nutritional deficiencies. Almond oil applied on a regular basis result in stronger, healthier hair and dandruff free scalps. All one needs to do is gently rub at least two spoons of warm Almond oil into the scalps and leave it overnight and washing off in the morning. This simple procedure may help maintain or regain your Crowning Glory, without expensive hair products.

Almonds and Weight Loss

Almonds are rich in healthy unsaturated fats. There are 14gms of unsaturated fat and 6gms of protein present in 1oz of Almonds. These properties together with the inherent solid nature of Almonds provide a high level of satiety. When consumed as a snack they curb cravings and consequently result in lesser overall food intake. Therefore, regular Almond intake may prove to be a simple weight control procedure.

Almonds and weight loss

Women on an average require at least 12gms of unsaturated fat per day to lower triglycerides and reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol. A single 1oz serving of Almonds sufficiently fulfills this requirement. The monounsaturated fat, in form of Oleic Acid present in Almonds, helps the body better absorb vital nutrients such as vitamin A,B,E and K. In conclusion, it may be beneficial for women to cut down on other sources of fat and raise Almonds as their primary source of Monounsaturated fat.

Almonds skin contains natural pigments called flavonoids, which have potent antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids work together with vitamin E and C contents of Almonds to increase antioxidant activity and lower harmful cholesterol.

Benefits of Almonds During Pregnancy:

Women the Mother of Mankind, shoulders the greatest responsibility known to the human species, giving birth to children. It is vital for an expectant mother to monitor food intake for her own as well as the health of the unborn baby.

Almonds contain Folic acid (1oz= 14micrograms) which is essential for cell growth and tissue configuration. Folic acid is therefore important for the healthy growth of the fetus and lowering risks of birth defects.

Almonds are a complete food and contain numerous nutrients that support a healthy pregnancy. A good calcium content (1oz= 75 mgs) helps promote proper formation of the baby`s bone structure and density. Folate (vitamin B9) present in Almonds is critical for healthy formation of brain and nervous system of the unborn baby. Folate also provides protection against Neural tube defects.

Benefits of Almonds During Pregnancy

You may be surprised to know that Almonds also benefit controlling mood swings. A natural substance called Phenylalanine present in Almonds can alter our mood and cognitive function. This natural substance gets easily absorbed into the brain and in turn starts producing hormonal chemicals such as Adrenaline and Dopamine. These relax the body and boost brain function. A common Ayurvedic recipe from the Far East to help ease symptoms of nervousness and anxiety is as follows.

  • Grind 8-10 soaked Almonds into paste.
  • Add a tea spoon of Nutmeg.
  • Add a pinch of Ginger powder.
  • Mix it all in a glass of warm milk and drink.

Raw Almonds in some cases may be a little difficult to digest for expectant Mothers. It is recommended to soak Almonds overnight to lower the chances of indigestion. The Almond skin contains a potent enzyme inhibitor with the natural function of protecting the seed until it receives moisture to germinate. Soaking deactivates this inhibiting compound and initiates the release of an essential Lipase (enzyme) that helps in proper breakdown of fat. This promotes enhanced digestion and absorption of all nutrients of this natural super food. Soaking also makes Almonds softer and more chewable. The skin of the Almond should never be discarded. It contains essential minerals, antioxidants and nutrients that make Almonds whole and complete.

The recommended method of soaking is as follows:

  • Take the required amount of Almonds in a bowl.
  • Add clean potable water enough to completely submerge all Kernels.
  • Cover with a thin cloth to allow oxygen flow. Do not place a tight lid or completely seal.
  • Soak overnight at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
  • Drain water and enjoy the Almonds.

For all gestational use we recommend preferably using Raw Almonds that are completely free from all chemical interference.

Contact us, if you looking to buy almonds.