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Wellness Wednesday: Big Benefits of the Little Almond

Weekly tips to bring island-inspired wellness into your everyday life from Rosalie Bay Resort wellness resort coordinator Laura Lund.

Almonds are rich in monosaturated fats, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and loaded with antioxidants. This little nut has been proven to be cardio protective and even reduce cholesterol within as little as two weeks, according to many studies including the Nurses Health Study. To reduce your risk of heart disease, replace meat or dairy (foods high in saturated fats) with 1/4 cup of almonds on a regular basis.

In addition to heart health, almonds can lower the risk of diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels and releasing antioxidants. When eaten with a meal that has a high glycemic index, almonds significantly reduced the glycemic index and help control blood sugar.

The best way to get the benefits of almonds is eating it in a pure form. Raw is best, with the skin, as this is where many nutrients are found, especially the vitamin E. Almond butter is also beneficial. But avoid roasted almonds, which often contain added fat and salt.

In Dominica, the almond is called zamaan (and the inspiration for our Zamaan Restaurant). The trees are often found fringing the beach on the island, including the black sand beach at Rosalie Bay. The almond is actually a seed of the inedible fruit. The fruit falls from the tree and once the fruit has dried, it is broken open by hitting it with a stone. (Check out this video where Juliana demonstrates how to open the fruit.)

The process of getting to the almond from the tree makes it impossible to eat too many. A handful or a 1/4 cup is a good serving size that will provide many health benefits, just be sure not to over indulge.

 

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