February is chock-full of occasions to show your heart some tender, loving care. We celebrate American Heart Month, Valentine’s Day, and last but not least, National Almond Day! How does a one-ounce serving (23 almonds) love your heart? Let’s count the ways:
Replacing saturated fats from red meat, butter and full-fat dairy with mono- and poly-unsaturated fats can help lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. When elevated, LDL cholesterol collects in the arteries, leading to a greater risk for heart attack and stroke. One serving of almonds has 13 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat and just 1 gram of saturated fat. They’re also cholesterol free.
Ease Blood Pressure
Potassium counteracts the effects of sodium in your body to promote healthy blood pressure levels. Visit the produce department for plenty of potassium-rich foods like citrus fruits, bananas, tomatoes, strawberries, spinach, potatoes and almonds! Almonds supply 200 milligrams of potassium per serving, which can help you reach the daily recommended intake of 4,700 milligrams. Choose plain, unsalted or lightly varieties for the most heart-smart choice.
A waist circumference of greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men is a risk factor for heart disease. Carrying excess weight around your mid-section may also contribute to elevated cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Eating nutritious, calorie-controlled snacks that include protein and fiber can help to satisfy your appetite and may promote healthy weight management. One serving of almonds provides 160 calories, three grams of fiber and six grams of protein.
Eat 23 almonds today and every day!
Almonds make a great on-the-go snack because they’re easy to tuck into a purse, lunchbox, desk drawer or suitcase. Click here for your chance to win a stylish tin from the California Almond Board with 10 winners selected every day through February!
Beyond snacking, there are many tasty uses for almonds in your everyday recipes. Savor their crunchy texture and nutty flavor as a garnish for salads, quick breads or desserts, a crust for chicken or fish or mixed with dried fruit for a home-made trail mix to get your 23 almonds a day.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy almonds?
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