Over the past couple of years I have become a lot more health conscious than I used to be. I wouldn't call myself a health freak, but maybe a health enthusiast. I read as much as I can about fitness, food, and nutrition. I find it simply astounding how much the things we eat effect our bodies, minds, and moods. I used to be a very picky eater and I still am, but I am trying to make myself branch out. My newest food obsession is none other than.....the almond.
Almonds scared me for awhile. I have never really liked nuts plus I didn't want to "waste" calories on a few little nuts when I could save them for ice cream! Half a cup of Cherry Garcia or 28 nuts?? Cherry Gracia all the way! Not anymore. I still love my Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, but I have found there is room in there to go a little bit nuts. (Don't you love my play on words?) For those of you who are still resistant, I would like to give you a little background and information about the almond. Here are my top 10 reasons to love almonds:
10. They are high in fat AND good for you. That's because most of the fat is monounsaturated which is the same good for your heart fat that is in olive oil. Yum yum.
9. Women that eat at least one ounce of almonds a week have a twenty five percent fewer chance of developing gallstones.
8. Romans referred to the almond as "The Greek Nut", because the Greek's were the first civilization to cultivate them. I'm part Greek so I have to support my ancestors.
7. You can store almonds frozen for up to a year and in the fridge for months so you don't have to worry about them going bad.
6. Almonds are really the seed from the Almond Tree which is a cousin to the Peach, Cherry, and Apricot tree. What a tasty family! Here is what it looks like....
5. They taste good with dried fruit.
4. They protect your heart against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
3. The Bible mentions the almond ten times.
2. They don't ever go "out of season" so you can buy them all year, although they are the best during the summer.
1. The almond skin has flavonoids. I think that sounds neat.
For those of you who are trying to improve your health or just branch out a little bit when it comes to food, try the almond. Throw some in a salad or chop them up and put them over pasta. Live dangerously, but protect your heart in the process!