As we age, being able to enjoy life to the fullest means that we want to make sure our bodies are as healthy and as strong as they can possibly be, so that we can experience all that life has to offer. Be that climbing mountains, walking for miles, or travelling and exploring the world, we want to know that we are ready for anything!
There are many ways to insure that our bones are healthy and strong. Most of us already know that calcium is crucial for strong bones, so armed with that information; I set out in search of a new snack food. I have come to the conclusion that one of my new favourite snack foods are almonds. They pack a powerful punch! A word of caution though, the calories add up quickly, so watch how many you nibble on through out the day.
Here are a few things to know about almonds; the small but mighty nut.
- It is best to eat them raw or dry roasted. There is no point in adding any extra sugar or salt, especially if you are being careful about your calorie intake.
- Delicious as they are, the calories do add up quickly, so a small handful daily is enough. According to Almonds.com, think 1-23. A 1-ounce serving of 23 almonds provides the recommended daily amount. Pretty easy to count them out in the morning, and snack on them through the day. Just remember to count them out! It’s easy to over-eat them, because they are such an easy snack.
- If you are thinking about increasing your calcium intake:
1 ounce of almonds = 75 mg of calcium
- They are an excellent source of Vitamin E, which is necessary for the proper functioning of many organs. As well, it’s an anti oxidant, which means it helps slow down processes that damage cells.
- They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which help in lowering the LDL ‘bad cholesterol’, and increasing the HDL ‘good cholesterol’.
- There is debate about whether it is best to soak them before you eat them. The brown skins can be hard to digest, but if you do eat them, they provide ‘roughage’ through your digestive tract. However, your body is more easily able to absorb more of the nutrients if you do soak the nuts in water for about 10 to 12 hours. A combination of sometimes soaking and then not soaking them seems to create a happy medium. For more information about ‘to soak or not to soak’, here are a few resources: Naturallifeenergy, Livestrong
Interestingly, I wanted to call this article, ‘soak yer nuts’ because I had been informed by a dietician that soaked nuts are so much easier to digest and so much better for us. Also, I thought it was a slightly funny title. Anyhow, after researching this article, I can see the advantages of soaking them before I eat them, but it seems that there are still many benefits of eating non-soaked nuts. If you find them too hard to chew, then soak them for sure. If you feel too full after you eat them, maybe you are having trouble digesting them; again, soak them to make them easier to digest. Either way, increasing your daily intake of almonds, soaked or un-soaked will provide your body with health benefits, which is always a good thing!
Let’s not take our healthy, strong bones for granted. Adding a few almonds a day to your daily intake does provide many good benefits, and is another step in ensuring that we are taking good care of ourselves.
Till next week,