almondsAlmonds are a relative to the peach, apricot, and cherry. Classified into two categories, sweet and bitter, sweet almonds are the variety that is consumed, while bitter almonds are used to make almond oil. Almonds are thought to have originated in western Asia, and North Africa. In Egypt, almonds were a prized ingredient, and baked into breads served to pharaohs. The tradition of giving bags of sugared almonds at weddings; date back to Ancient Rome, where newlyweds were showered with almonds as a symbol of fertility. Almond trees were original brought to California by missionaries, where they were planted at the many missions along the California coast.

Nutritional Highlights:

  • Almonds are an excellent source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, protein, potassium, and, magnesium.
  • They also contain calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin E.
  • A 1/3-cup serving of almonds contains 280 calories.

Health Benefits:

  • Almonds are extremely effective at fighting heart disease, by helping to lower low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, and total cholesterol.
  • Studies have shown almonds to be effective at fighting cancer, particularly colon cancer.

Packed with protein, almonds are a great snack to help you power through your day. Start your day off by adding almonds to yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast. Almond butter and milk are great alternatives to their traditional counter parts. Try spreading almond butter on bread, and topping it with butter and drizzled honey for a sweet yet healthy lunch or breakfast.

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