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Almonds: Nutritionally Awesome & Health Benefits, Too

By on September 28, 2015
almonds 3 Photo by Alexa Harrelson

I don’t really like nuts. But I eat almonds. Weird.

Slivers in hot rice cereal or on the top of salads add a nice crunch.

I even eat whole ones as a snack sometimes. LoL

Try it.

Your heart will thank you.


by Jessie Szalay (

Almonds are the most popular nuts in the United States. A favorite of dieters, in recent years almonds have become famous for their versatility and health benefits.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans’ demand for almonds has increased 220 percent since 2005. In 2012, Americans ate an average of 2 lbs. (907 grams) of almonds each, while they ate half a pound (227 g) of walnuts, about a third of a pound (136 g) of pecans and 1.2 lbs. (544 g) of all other nuts, including hazelnuts, macadamias, pistachios, Brazil nuts and cashews.

There’s good reason for the love affair. “Almonds have been studied extensively for their benefits on heart health, diabetes, and weight management,” said Jenny Heap, a registered dietitian with the Almond Board of California. “The unique nutrient combination of almonds — plant-based protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats, plus key nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium — help make them a heart-healthy snack.”
Technically speaking, though, almonds are not true nuts at all. The edible part that we call a nut is actually a seed, and almonds themselves are drupes, according to the University of California Riverside’s botany department. Sometimes called “stone fruits,” drupes are characterized by a tough rind surrounding a shell that holds a seed. Peaches and apricots, close cousins to the almond, are common examples of drupes. Like these relatives, almonds grow on beautiful, flowering trees and thrive in warm, dry climates.

The almond tree (Prunus dulcis), also related to cherries and plums, is native to Western Asia and Southern Europe. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Spanish missionaries brought almonds to the New World, but the nut’s popularity did not rise until the 1900s. Today, the United States is the largest supplier of almonds in the world. California is the only state that produces almonds commercially. This may change, though, as the water supply in California declines.

Nutritional Profile

“Ounce for ounce, almonds are higher in fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin than any other tree nut,” Heap told Live Science. “Every one-ounce serving (about 23 almonds) provides….

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