Almonds are darn delicious and recent recommendations from the United States Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services name them as an essential nutrition, resource. From snacking on them whole, to consuming them as milk and even butter it is a nut that keeps you coming back for more. Today being National Almond Day makes it a good time to figure out how to incorporate them into your diet. Plus it being Heart Health Awareness month there is no time like the present to incorporate foods that can keep our tickers, ticking.
Although Almonds have gotten a bad rap as to being high in fat, there is a difference between the high caloric fats one consumes from deep fried foods and the ones we get from nuts. In study after study scientists have touted that the monounsaturated fats, found in nuts, have a positive effect on our hearts.
Almonds are also pretty darn high in vitamin E, which based on a study published in the American Dietetic Association links consuming Almonds with an increase in vitamin E levels in the plasma and red blood cells and also lowers cholesterol levels. Vitamin E is a fantastic antioxidant and having higher levels in our blood stream allows for protection against cell damage as well as improve our immune system defenses.
Reaping the benefits are as easy s popping a handful daily. Tossing them on your salad, throwing a little almond butter in your smoothie, mixing them in with your cereal in the morning or just simply grabbing a bag like ones offered by Wonderful Almonds is one of the best and easiest things that you can do for your health. Here is a quick and darn easy recipe that can help add these delicious nuggets to your diet.
1/2 cup arils POM fresh pomegranate arils
1 lb. salad greens
1/2 cup sliced WONDERFUL ALMONDS
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 ripe d’Anjou pears
POM Honey Dijon Dressing:
1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
POM Honey Dijon Dressing:
Prepare fresh pomegranate juice.* In a large mixing bowl, combine the pomegranate juice, white vinegar, lemon juice and zest, honey and Dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in the oil, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss the salad greens with just enough dressing to lightly coat. Top with Wonderful Almonds sliced, blue cheese crumbles and sliced pears. (Slice the pears at the last minute to prevent browning.) Garnish with fresh pomegranate arils. Serve.
Nutrients Per Serving (4 oz. salad, 2 oz. dressing): 248 calories (165 calories from fat), 6g protein, 19g total fat (4g saturated), 17g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 13mg cholesterol, 11g total sugars, 0mcg vitamin A RE, 230mg sodium, 324mg potassium, 15mg vitamin C