When it comes to nuts, almonds pack a punch. By weight, they rank the highest in protein, calcium and fiber. They are rich in magnesium, potassium and iron and even contain the brain-boosting nutrients riboflavin and L-carnitine. Studies have shown almonds to help keep the nervous system functioning well, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, improve bone health and boost immunity amongst other things. And because almonds are so high in protein and healthy fats they have been associated with helping with weight loss because they leave us feeling satiated. In other words, there are a lot of good reasons to chow down on some almonds.
Almonds are the seeds of the almond tree and although these trees are native to the Middle East, North Africa and the southern region of Asia, California is now the largest producer of almonds, followed by Spain and Italy.
With more and more people eating vegan or vegetarian, or even focusing on a more plant-based diet, almonds stand out as a healthy solution for protein with the bonus of containing healthy fats, calcium and fiber. One serving of almonds is equivalent to 23 almonds or roughly one ounce or 1/4 cup.
A serving contains 162 calories, 14 grams of unsaturated fat (the healthy kind) and just under 6 grams of protein, which is similar to a hard boiled egg, which also contains 6 grams of protein. Considering that the Institute of Medicine suggests men eat approximately 56 grams of protein a day and women 46 grams, one serving of almonds can give men 11% of their daily protein and women 14%.
An ounce or serving of almonds is also on par with the protein found in one ounce of filet mignon. Although almonds may be higher in calories this is mainly from unsaturated fat. Whereas steak contains more saturated fat.
Almonds are super easy to incorporate into your daily diet. They’re easy to take with you wherever you go or add them to a homemade trail mix or granola. Blanch them to remove the skin. Grind them up to make protein balls or almond butter or slice them for salads. Soak them and you can make your own almond milk. They are simple to work with.