Natural, unsalted almonds are a tasty and nutritious snack with plenty of health benefits. Loaded with minerals, they are also among the healthiest of tree nuts. Just a handful of nutrient-rich almonds a day helps promote heart health and prevent weight gain, and it may even help fight diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Although almonds are commonly referred to as a nut, they are actually teardrop-shaped edible seeds that are the fruit of the almond tree. You can buy them shelled or blanched, which is when shelled almonds have been treated with hot water to remove the brown outer coating, leaving behind a smooth white interior.
Almonds are a high-fat food, but they are largely a monounsaturated fat which helps to protect the heart by maintaining levels of (good) HDL cholesterol versus (bad) LDL cholesterol. They are a great source of fibre and protein, and contain important nutrients including vitamin E, selenium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, especially folate and biotin (vitamin B7).