Tree nuts like raw almonds appeal to many consumers who appreciate easy ordering. Concession managers, specialty retailers and other types of businesses will want to keep them in stock to please – and impress – customers and patrons.
Raw and natural almonds are not the same thing. In fact, the difference between raw and natural is distinct. Nuts are always raw when they haven’t been cooked or prepared in any way. However, when it comes to almonds, “raw” isn’t exactly what you think.
In 2007, the USDA passed a mandatory program for almond pasteurization as a precaution. That happened after two, identified cases of salmonellosis were linked to the nut. So, today, raw almonds have been heated enough to kill harmful organisms, but not enough to be considered roasted. Still, raw almonds boast more health benefits.
“Natural” describes a nut that has skin on it, whether it has been cooked/roasted or not. So, almonds may be roasted, but they are still natural if they haven’t been blanched of their skin.
5 Health Benefits of Almonds
Raw nuts aren’t just a convenient snack for consumers. They’re loaded with plenty of nutrition and diet advantages, which makes them a popular choice among tree nuts. Here are some examples:
- Weight Control: A one-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) is a nutritional snack with 3.5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and other nutrients. These increase the feeling of fullness and reduce hunger. That can help you eat fewer calories. Some research also suggests that eating nuts may slightly boost metabolism.
- Cell Health: Almonds are high in Vitamin E and other antioxidants. These protect your cells from oxidative damage. Interestingly, almond’s powerful antioxidants are mostly found in the brown layer of skin. That makes unblanched almonds a healthier choice.
- Blood Sugar Control: Because they are low in carbs and high in healthy fats, protein and fiber, nuts are a good snack choice for people with diabetes. They are also high in magnesium which helps lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin function.
- Blood Pressure Control: Magnesium helps lower blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of other health conditions. Adding almonds to a diet low in magnesium can lead to blood pressure reductions.
- Cholesterol Control: LDL cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol and is a risk factor for heart disease. Some studies have shown that almonds effectively lower LDL. It seems that eating a handful or two of almonds daily may lead to mild reductions in LDL.
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