Almonds may be considered an ‘everyday’ food, but they have some surprising qualities. Here are some of the reasons we’ve chosen almonds as a key ingredient in our brand new Ombar Coco Almond.
Almonds contain around 12 per cent fibre – the same amount as whole grain wheat flour, and much more than most other nuts including walnuts and hazelnuts. Not only is fibre good for your digestion, but it helps fill you up, too – especially when combined with the protein and healthy fats in almonds. And by helping to balance your blood sugar, almonds could also reduce cravings for sugary snacks and carbohydrates. So, although almonds are high in calories themselves, you may end up eating fewer calories overall by adding them to your meals or snacks.
If you’ve read our previous posts on the benefits of raw cacao, you’ll know cacao is a good source of magnesium. Well, almonds are too, providing around 20 per cent of our daily quota in two tablespoons. Magnesium is essential for energy and helping our muscles to work properly, and it works with calcium to build strong bones. It’s also often described as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’, as it helps our muscles to relax, and may help us cope better with stress. It can even improve our sleep!
Also like cacao, almonds are high in antioxidant nutrients. This may be surprising, as we tend to associate antioxidants with strongly flavoured or brightly coloured foods – such as cacao itself, green tea, and vividly coloured vegetables and fruit. But the humble almond is powerful in its own way! Almonds contain lots of vitamin E, which acts directly as an antioxidant in your body to protect your cells against damage. They’re also rich in manganese, which is used to make the body’s ‘supreme’ antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (SOD). Antioxidants such as SOD and vitamin E help protect us against illness and disease, as well as the effects of ageing.
Almonds are a superfood for your heart, too. They contain a high percentage of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, exactly like those found in olive oil. Their vitamin E protects LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol against damage that can trigger the build up of artery-clogging plaque. And the magnesium they provide could help keep blood pressure down, by helping artery walls to relax and dilate. What’s more, studies have found that almonds may be good for our cholesterol levels, both helping to lower LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol1, and increase percentage of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol2.
Almonds are one of our best natural sources of biotin – a B vitamin-like nutrient that’s essential for healthy hair and skin. One of the symptoms of biotin deficiency is skin rashes – so if your skin is flaky, irritated or inflamed, it can be worth increasing your intake of biotin. Vitamin E in almonds is also vital for healthy, glowing skin.
Almonds and Ombar
So now you know about the benefits of almonds, how about combining them with raw cacao? Try the newest member of the Ombar family: Ombar Coco Almond, made with raw cacao, coconut and raw almonds.