Good Morning and a Belated Welcome to 2018 You Nuts!
If you are wondering why I have waited until the last weekend of January to write a fitness article when most other fitness “journalists” would opt to seize the opportunity to motivate current, past and potential new clients on the first day of 2018 in order to keep up with the “resolutionists”, it is because today is Tu Bishvat of course! One of FOUR Jewish New Years!!
Now, I know you think I am truly the “Nut” here. But wait, keep reading. It will be worth it. I promise!
On the Jewish Calendar, today marks the New Year for trees. And, according to WinCalendar, since this holiday typically falls when almond blossom trees (which is where our Jewish friends get the model for the menorah) are seen in Israel, and ALMONDS are the subject of today’s installment, I saw a fun connection.
Believe it or not, just one ounce (or a 23 count) of raw almonds provide the necessary combination of fiber, protein and fat to keep you energized throughout the day without increasing your blood sugar. That means that your body’s furnace (metabolism), will be stoked – resulting in more calories being burned over time; leaving you stoked when you get on the scale to check the extra baggage left over from the Holiday Season.
In fact, those lil nuts are such an effective source of energy, a study done of those with Type II Diabetes found a diet including almonds improved the participants’ blood sugar an insulin levels in just four weeks.
Your heart will also love a daily dose of this natural anti-inflammatory food source. It has been reported that adding this nut (along with no other changes) for six months to the diets of the subjects in another study resulted in higher levels of HDL cholesterol and lower levels of LDL cholesterol. In fact, those who started with the highest levels of cholesterol, reduced their risk of heart disease the most.
Need more reasons to eat this seed, which is referred to as “among the best of fruits” in Genesis 43:11? Add them to your daily diet, along with other high-fiber fruits and vegetables, and aid your body’s digestive system which will help cleanse your colon and lower your risk of cancer.
But don’t go overboard! Almonds, like all nuts, are EXTREMELY high in fat. While the fat is heart-healthy monounsaturated, the one ounce serving I am recommending contains 14 grams of that nine (9) calorie monster. Yup! One ounce of Almonds carries 126 calories of fat! That means if you are eating 2000 calories a day and you are keeping your fat ratio to 20% as you should, you will only have 274 fat calories (or 30.4 fat grams) available for the rest of the day. If you are eating less than 2000, then you really need to watch your other fat intake, as your remaining daily available fat will be lower after consuming your almonds.
Oh, one more thing. Quickly. Why in our house do Tracy and I eat Raw vs Roasted?
While roasted nuts are more easily digested, they contain more fat, less protein and fewer antioxidants than if eaten in their raw state. So, as Charles R. Swindoll “famously” said, “Choose wisely, choose carefully, choose confidently.”