In addition, the plant sterols in almonds can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Just one ounce of almonds has as many polyphenols as ½ cup of steamed broccoli and a cup of green tea, combined. And when South African researchers reviewed 23 studies to examine the effect of nut consumption on cholesterol levels, they found that adding 50 to 100 grams of nuts (like almonds) daily to a moderately high-fat diet could greatly reduce total and LDL cholesterol. Almonds also benefit diabetics by helping to lower blood sugar.
Keep reading for almond snacking suggestions, plus almond recipes for bars, salads, cake, and more.
With their high levels of heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat, almonds can go rancid quickly. Store them either in an airtight container in the fridge or in the freezer. Try adding slivered almonds to oatmeal, cold cereal, ice cream, or yogurt. Toast almonds quickly (keep a close eye on them so they don't burn) and add them to salads, side dishes, or stir-fries. And to get the most out of these versatile nuts, give a few of these almond recipes from the Rodale Recipe Finder a try.
#1: Almond and Oat Bars. These granola bars make a great portable breakfast or quick snack. Orange, Dried Plum, and Almond Compote is a great wintertime fruit salad with added almond flavor from almond extract.
#2: Toasted Almond Chicken Salad. Toasted almonds top this lightened-up chicken salad made with low-fat yogurt and light sour cream. For another take on chicken salad, try making Chinese Chicken Salad with Toasted Almonds.
#3: Brown Rice with Almonds, Peas, and Herbs. Add sliced or slivered almonds to side dishes like this herby rice, apricot-studded couscous, and ginger-accented carrots.
#4: Crunchy Almond Chicken. Whether you use sliced almonds or crushed, the nuts make a rich-tasting, crunchy coating for chicken or fish. Broccoli and Tofu Stir-Fry with Toasted Almonds makes a nutritious meat-free dinner.
#5: Cherry-Berry Almond Fruit Cake. This glazed cake recipe is great for winter, as it uses frozen fruit. Chocolate fans will fall for this Almond-Chocolate Flourless Cake.