Of all the nuts to eat while watching your weight, you’ll get the most benefits from almonds while on a diet. Almonds are one of the most popular nuts these days, and one of my personal favorites. I bet you didn’t know they’re also a superb food to eat to prevent aging - what a bonus! Of course, they’re delicious too, but be sure you choose raw and organic varieties for the best benefits. You don’t want to heat the precious fats in almonds, which ruin their benefits, plus, almonds are one of the crops highest in pesticide content in conventional form. Aside from those issues though, the reasons to consume almonds while on a diet, are almost limitless. Sure, they’re high in calories, but overall, they’re one of the lowest calorie nuts of all. Read on to find out some of the other benefits of consuming almonds on a diets, and let me know if you have any of your own!
Almonds are incredibly high in magnesium, which is one of the best reasons to eat almonds while on a diet. Considering weight loss, magnesium is crucial. First, it controls blood sugar levels, which keep your insulin levels steady. Insulin stores fat in your body when you have low blood sugar. Magnesium is also responsible for over 200 enzymatic actions within your metabolism, and it helps relax your body when you’re stressed. It can provide energy if you’re tired, keep you from eating out of stress, help you sleep, and even help prevent constipation. Magnesium is that nutrient that quells stress almost as soon as you consume it. Ever notice on how noshing on almonds lowers stress? You can thank magnesium for that! Almonds are one of the best plant sources you’ll find of this powerful mineral.
Potassium might not be a nutrient you think of when considering weight loss, but you should. Potatssium and sodium are two minerals in the body that you need for healthy electrolyte balance. Potassium helps beat water weight gain, while sodium can cause water retention. Both are essential for a healthy metabolism, and overall health though. The best sources of sodium aren’t refined salts though, so don’t stock up on the salted almonds just yet! Sodium is best when consumed from whole foods, and rock sea salt or rock salt. Potassium, however, is something you’ll find an abundance in within many plant foods, like almonds. Potassium will reduce water weight gain, keep your joints feeling healthy for exercise, prevent and treat headaches, and even help regulate your digestive tract to keep you regular.
3. B Vitamins
Another stress-busting reason to eat almonds is they boast large amounts of B vitamins, namely Vitamin B5 and B6. These B vitamins fight stress, give you energy, and contribute to healthy hormone production necessary for losing weight on a diet. Just one quarter cup of almonds is all you need!
4. Easy to Find
An unconventional, yet still noteworthy way almonds are great to eat while on a diet, is they're easy to find. This makes them perfect for travel, since you can toss them in your purse in a baggie, find them in any convenient store, pick some up at the grocery store while you're on running errands, or pick them up at the airport. I used to keep little 100 calorie packs of plain almonds in my purse, at my office, and still to this day make beeline for them at a convenience store or at the grocery store if I'm out and get hungry. Paired with a water-rich food like an apple, carrots, celery, or red bell pepper slices, they're incredibly filling and squash hunger fast and effectively. This is important since one reason so many people have a hard time sticking to their plan while on a diet is due to the inconvenience of finding healthy foods on the go. Almonds take care of that in just a few deliciously crunchy bites!
5. Low Calorie Nuts
As I mentioned, though almonds are considered a high calorie food, they’re the lowest calorie nut overall, just outside of pine nuts. Per one quarter cup, which is a typical serving of almonds, you’re only looking at 160 calories. This, is of course, for almonds not roasted, and that are plain and natural, not flavored or coated in oil.
6. Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats are one of the best belly-fat fighting nutrients you can eat. Monounsaturated fats help to reduce waist circumference better than any other type of fat. All nuts and seeds, along with avocados and olive oil, are rich in monunsaturated fats. Almonds are incredibly rich in this fat, making it one of the best foods to eat to cinch in your waistline, in no time!
7. High Protein
I’m a huge fan of naturally high protein foods that are meat-free. Almonds are a fabulous source my friends! With 7 grams of protein per quarter cup, almonds make a wonderful little nut to get in your daily dose throughout the day. Have one serving for a snack, and power on through your afternoon. I like to pair them with a few raw carrots for a double crunch effect with added sweetness, or a little raw celery too.
8. Sweet and Low Carb
Almonds have a fabulous, naturally sweet taste. This makes them excellent to eat on a diet to fight a sweet tooth, and a craving for fatty foods. The great thing is, almonds are low in sugar, despite their naturally sweet taste. They have only 1 gram per quarter cup, which is all natural sugar. Plus, they have 3 grams of fiber, which is fantastic for your weight loss efforts. Overall, almonds are also the best low-carb nut to eat, since they have only 3 net carbs per serving, and a higher fiber content than most all varieties.
9. Seed Power
Did you know almonds are actually a seed, not a nut at all? They’re the seed of the almond tree, not an actual nut, by definition. Since they are a seed, they’re less dense, and often tolerated better than, dense nuts like walnuts or pecans. This can make them more weight loss friendly, since the easier your body digests food, and the less dense overall, the better it is for weight loss in the bigger picture. Your metabolism speeds up when it can process and digest foods much easier. Either way though, seed or nut, almonds are still a fantastic food, whatever you decide to refer to them as.
My favorite way to eat almonds these days, is to soak them in water overnight and rinse them the next day. I then place them back in a small glass jar of water to sit in the fridge for a few days, and just drain them when I want to eat them. Why do I do this? Well, they say it helps make them easier to digest since the skins can be hard to digest for many. I’m not sure if this works for everyone, but it does for me. Overall though, I soak them because after you drain them and eat them, they’re incredibly plump and more sweet! They soak up some of the water which makes them so hydrating and filling! Plus, they take on this delicious flavor when doing so. Have you ever tried this? Do you eat almonds?