We are so excited about this month’s vision boosting ingredient: almonds. Almonds are not only one of the most delicious nuts, but they have incredible eye health benefits. Almonds have long flown under the radar, but they are definitely a superfood to consider introducing into your diet.
Not only do they provide numerous health benefits for your eyes, but almonds are super easy to cook with or just use as a topper or garnish. This versatile little nut may help save your eyesight.
Almonds: The Origin Story
Almonds are enjoyed all over the country now, but they didn’t originate in North America. Like many other seemingly superfoods, almonds are originally from the East, specifically India and regions of the Middle East. Over time, they made their way to the Americas.
Now, Almonds are found pretty much all over the world in all sorts of dishes. But, when we began incorporating almonds into our everyday meals, we had no idea the benefits of them.
It is an antioxidant, which means it helps our body fight off free radicals. Free radicals destabilize atoms in our cells that eventually lead to irreparable cell damage. In some cases, the cells may even die. Vitamin E works to stabilize the cells and ward off the unstable free radicals.
Vitamin E is also essential in the forming of red blood cells. It helps to widen blood vessels to prevent clotting. This is especially important for the elderly, or people who may suffer from frequent clotting. This is also helpful to those with diabetes who may be at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Vitamin E is such an important vitamin for the eyes that a vitamin E deficiency actually causes vision impairment.
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As a result of their high content of vitamin E, almonds are known as an anti-aging food. Vitamin E is known to help prevent age-related diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Didn’t you ever wonder why almonds seem to be the key ingredients in anti-aging creams? Vitamin E is essential for fighting those pesky wrinkles. Or shampoos with almond extract that strengthen the hair and prevent damaging?
Aesthetics aside, almonds can help to delay the progress and development of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Age-related macular degeneration is something that will affect everyone eventually. As we age, it’s only natural that our eyes begin to deteriorate. The macula, which is the part of the retina that allows us to have precise vision, will begin to experience blurred vision.
Although this disease is inescapable, it is possible to delay it. Eating foods such as almonds is one way to do this.
Cataracts on the other hand, though very common, do not always affect everyone. You can prevent the disease from ever developing by living a healthy lifestyle and eating vitamin E rich foods. This will help to stabilize the cells in the eye and make them stronger and less prone to diseases as you age.
Do you want to have healthier skin, healthier hair and eyes that stay younger for longer? Then one way to do this safely and naturally is by making the best use of the almond.
Almond Recipes and Things to Watch Out For
Incorporating almonds into your diet is easy enough. All you need to do really is to buy a bag on unsalted or lightly salted almonds and voila! However, this can get a little boring and eating too many almonds can cause weight gain.
Although almonds are packed with healthy fats, that doesn’t mean that they’re low in calories. Almonds are very high in calories. Eating half a cup of almonds would be the caloric equivalent of an entire meal. So if you’re going to snack on these nuts, do so in moderation. Too much of anything is never a good thing.
When buying your almonds, try to buy them unsalted and organic. Unsalted is the way to go because salt can negatively damage the eyes. When almonds are organic, you’re guaranteeing that no chemicals were used during the pasteurization process.
Homemade Almond Butter
Snacking on almonds is all good and fun, but sometimes you just need to change it up. Almond butter is an awesome replacement for your typical peanut butter. Almond butter has less fat than peanut butter and has twice the nutrition. And, it’s easy to make, but you’re going to need a little patience.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 cups of almonds
And that’s it! That’s how easy this recipe is!
First, you’ll want to soften the almonds by roasting them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the three cups of almonds flat on a baking sheet. Then place them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. They should be hot to the touch when they come out.
While those almonds are toasting, get your food processor ready with the S-blade attachment. Once the almonds are out of the oven, dump them all into the food processor.
Next, you’re going to set the processor to blend the nuts together. You may need to stop the processor every few minutes to push the almonds down as they get stuck to the sides.
You’re going to do this for about 20 minutes. By the 20 minute mark, you should be getting a smoother consistency. Blend until you’ve reached your preferred consistency.
You can use this almond butter on toast, bagels, apples or anything that you’d typically use peanut butter for.
The best part about this almond butter is that it is a fraction of the cost of store bought almond butter. On top of that, you’ll have full control over everything that goes in there. If you’re feeling adventurous, you may want to add spices such as cinnamon or chili to give the butter a little extra flavor.
Protecting your eyes has never been so delicious!