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Raw almonds are nutrient dense nuts that are a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron, manganese and magnesium. They also contain notable amounts of zinc, selenium, copper, folate, riboflavin and niacin. Unlike most other nuts, almonds are alkalizing to the system and actually encourage fat burning. This helps increase energy, and along with its fiber content, aids digestion.
Almonds not only help alkalize the digestive tract, they are also known to reduce acid buildup. A healthy pH level is crucial for proper digestion, immunity and disease prevention. Additionally, the nutrients present in almonds may help regulate digestive enzymes that are involved in nutrient extraction, cholesterol synthesis and bile acid production.
One almond contains 0.25 grams of protein which translates to approximately 6 grams of protein per 1 ounce or 24 almonds. Almonds are a great source for the amino acids: lysine, methionine, cysteine, l-carnitine, arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, valine and tryptophan.
The tryptophan content of almonds helps with brain development, relieving stress and balancing mood swings and sleeping patterns. L-carnitine along with the B vitamin riboflavin is known to increase brain activity, resulting in new neural pathways and a decreased occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.
Almonds are also touted as a heart healthy food. The healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (abbreviated as MUFAs, the same kind of beneficial fat found in olive oil) are known to reduce inflammation. Almonds specifically supply antioxidant flavonoids found in the skins that work with vitamin E to improve artery health and prevent factors of cardiovascular disease. Magnesium is also a mineral known to help prevent heart attacks.
Almonds help reduce the presence and impact of C-reactive proteins which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Folate along with the amino acid cysteine, help reduce homocysteine levels which cause fatty plaque buildup in arteries. High homocysteine is the number one indicator of heart disease.
Vitamin E isn’t the only effective antioxidant in almonds. Almond skins are rich in antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are typically associated with vegetables and fruits. A one ounce serving of almonds has a similar amount of total polyphenols as a cup of steamed broccoli or green tea.
Almonds are frequently considered to be a healthy solution for relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, coughs, heart disorders, anemia, impotency, and diabetes. They are also said to help in maintenance of healthy hair, skin care (psoriasis), and dental care.
It is essential to soak and dehydrate raw nuts. Roasted nuts are not recommended.
It is helpful to dry out nuts and seeds at a low temperature in order to preserve the greatest amount of natural enzymes and fragile unsaturated fatty acids possible. 150° F is the maximum heat you would want to apply, although temperatures around 110° F are truly best.
Try them in this recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Bread Bites