Are Almonds good for you? They’re known in health circles as one of the most widely available nutrient-dense foods around, but is there any reason you should hold back on taking a crack at these popular snacks? We’ve been through the research, and now we have the answer you’re looking for.
What Are Almonds?
Contrary to popular belief, almonds are not nuts. Almonds are actually drupes and that makes them more closely related to cherries, peaches, plums and apricots than to actual nuts, like hazelnuts. However, they are most commonly regarded as tree nuts. The almond was first brought to America from Spain in the 1700’s, when the Franciscan Padres made their way to California with the almond tree. It would take some time for production to take hold, but once it did, the almond’s life as a food item soared.
Over the next 300 years, California would become the strongest producer of almonds on earth, providing 82% of the globe’s almonds as of 2014, with 70% of that shipping overseas. Currently, almonds rank as the largest U.S. specialty crop export  and are a key part of California’s economy.
Are Almonds Good For You?
Almonds are without a doubt one of the healthier food choices found today. Much like pistachios, almonds are calorie-dense but also full of fiber and protein, which helps to curtail hunger and encourages you to eat less despite their fatty properties. As a result, evidence suggests that almonds do no increase the risk of weight gain and are a healthy snack option for dieters.  Almond milk is also a great for weight management for a similar reason.
Along with aiding in weight regulation, almonds can also help lower cholesterol  and are well-known for their nutrient density, containing roughly 6 grams of protein per ounce, 13 grams of “good” (monosatured) fats and 12 different vitamins and minerals. Most notably, almonds are high in Vitamin E, which is a powerful antixodiant that protects cells from free radicals.  Certainly, if you had any concerns about whether or not almonds are good for you, you can put them aside, because they certainly are healthy.
Which Almonds Should You Get?
While it’s certainly true that almonds are good for you, you do have to be careful to make sure you’re buying the right ones. As with any mass-produced food item, it’s common for corners to be cut to meet demand and keep profit up. Often times, this means spraying dangerous chemicals on crops to keep away pests and protect yields, while in other instances it could mean loading up the product with salt and sugars to enhance the flavor at the cost of nutrition. To help you avoid the headache of finding the healthiest almonds, we’ve gone ahead and done the work for you.