5 Reasons You Should Be Eating Almonds

What do you look for in the perfect snack? Filling, tasty, crunchy, healthy, versatile? almonds hit all those markers beautifully. And yes, almonds. There are a few reasons to eat almonds over conventional almonds, given the chemicals that may be used on non- almonds. Plus, there are lots of health perks and delicious reasons to snack on almonds and include them in your baking and cooking. 

We use roasted almonds in a few of our BumbleBars: Mixed Nut Medley, Amazing Almond, and Chai Almond (the last two being on sale this month!). Our Apple Crisp and Brownie Batter JunoBars both contain creamy, almond butter.

Let’s jump into five reasons to eat almonds:

1. Non- almonds can be pasteurized with propylene oxide.

Because of some trouble with salmonella, all almonds are required to be pasteurized. The use of propylene oxide (PPO) is banned in products, but it is often used to pasteurize conventional almonds. Other common uses of PPO include building insulation, foams in furniture, and aircraft de-icers. Yum?

The Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as a “probable human carcinogen” and the American Cancer Society puts it on their list of chemicals “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens”. The National Institutes of Health says PPO “may cause genetic defects” and “may cause cancer”

Not all brands use PPO on their conventional almonds. Pasteurization can also be done by steaming or dry roasting. But if a non- brand doesn’t let you know they avoid PPO, there’s a high likelihood they use it. 

 almonds on almond tree inside husk

2. Non- almond crops are treated with glyphosate and pesticides. 

Glyphosate is the infamous main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. The EPA says 89% of almond crops are treated with glyphosate. It’s known in the state of California to cause cancer under Proposition 65, and civil cases are still playing out in court, with people who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma suing the company. 

We also need to think of the bees. The majority of U.S. almonds are grown in California, and more than half of America’s honeybees are used to pollinate those almond crops. Usage of pesticides threaten the honeybees because some are lethal or toxic to the bees. Unfortunately, many factors besides chemicals harm our bees, but growing crops ally is a good place to start with protecting them.  

 almond blossoms on an almond tree

3. Eating almonds provides tons of nutrients.

On the lighter side of things, let’s look at how eating almonds benefits your health. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, fiber, monounsaturated fat, and biotin. They also contain phytonutrients, as well as minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. 

When you eat a serving of almonds—1/4 cup, about 23 almonds—you get 165 calories, 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat (mostly monounsaturated), 6 grams carbs, and 4 grams fiber.

4. Almonds can reduce heart disease and lower the risk of obesity.

 almonds in a white bowl

Studies show the effect almonds have on lowering LDL cholesterol. Additionally, almonds produce anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, all of which can reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Even though almonds are calorie-dense, research shows eating almonds regularly can lower the risk of obesity. One reason might be the fiber and fat content of the nuts contributes to feelings of fullness. 

5. They’re versatile!

Person holding almond above a plate of almonds, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries

Here are a few of the ways we like to use almonds:

    • Eat them plain for a snack. It’s easy to grab a handful, and they’re low-carb. You’ll get some protein and fiber to make you feel full.
    • Make a healthy trail mix with dried unsweetened fruit, other nuts, and maybe some dark chocolate.
    • Using almond flour in your baking is a great, gluten-free way to add protein and reduce carbs in desserts and breads, like in this chewy almond bar recipe from Big Tree Farms.
    • almond butter is an excellent alternative to peanut butter. Spread it on a rice cake, make an almond and jam sammie, or mix it into your unsweetened yogurt (How about non-dairy almond milk yogurt?).
    • Of course, at BumbleBar, we use loads of almonds and almond butter each year to make our Mixed Nut Medley, Amazing Almond, and Chai Almond BumbleBars (the last two being on sale this month!), as well as our Apple Crisp and Brownie Batter JunoBars.
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