My family likes to substitute almond butter for the less desirable peanut butter. Almonds are less likely to cause allergy problems and have plenty of desireable nutrition benefits over peanuts.
For instance, almonds have lots of vitamin E. They are high in fiber and low in digestible carbohydrates. Almonds have healthy fats that can help satisfy an appetite. Research has shown almonds to lower low density lipoproteins (LDL’s) and raise high density lipoproteins (HDL’s) which are the supposed bad and good cholesterols respectively. They are believed to have anti-cancer and immune boosting benefits. They can help reduce pain by supporting an anti-inflammatory diet. The skins are high in “flavonoids”, a group of phytonutrients that have strong antioxidant properties.
But the almond story isn’t all rosy. Most almonds in the USA come from California. A couple cases of salmonellosis led to laws requiring almost all California almonds to be pasteurized. The laws don’t apply to exported almonds or to small amounts sold by farmers directly to the consumers. Controversially, almonds treated with steam or propylene oxide as their pasteurization process can still be labeled as “raw”.
Another problem with almonds is the genetic modifications that have taken place. Changes to the almond trees made it possible to lower production costs by making “self pollinating” trees. The almonds from these trees were initially not as voluminous; however, further modifications supposedly “fixed” that setback.
Play it safe. Only buy organic almonds.
Dr. Michael Haley, Pompano Beach Chiropractor