9 Reasons to Eat Almonds

Do you tend to choose almonds/almond butter or peanuts/peanut butter? Here are nine things to consider next time you go shopping:

1. Peanuts are actually acid-forming (almonds are not). If you suffer from acid reflux, peanuts may not be the best choice.

2. And, well, they are not really nuts but legumes, which might make digestion tougher, as well.

3. Almonds are less toxic and allergenic than peanuts. Peanuts grow in the soil and their soft shell is a hotbed for pesticides and herbicides. Some people that are allergic to peanuts may be able to tolerate almonds.

4. Even organic peanuts (mostly grown down south) are susceptible to mold contamination during travel.

5. Though their (great) protein amounts are similar, nut for nut, almonds win every time. Just a handful -- all you need a day -- provides tons of magnesium, and more calcium than an equal amount of milk! They are filled with vitamin E, potassium, folic acid, some selenium (helps keep your cells healthy) and fiber.

6. Studies have shown almonds may lower bad cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, lessen post-meal blood sugar surges (important for diabetics), and protect against colon cancer.

7. Most peanut butter is processed within an inch of its itty bitty life. Roasted (rather than raw) peanuts processed using high heat will be missing many nutrients.

8. There are less ingredients. Try and look for a nut butter brand where nuts are the only ingredient (no added sugar, salt, oils). Right now I have Once Again Organic Raw Almond Butter in my pantry. MaraNatha Organic Raw Almond Butter is pretty yummy, too.

9. They are the perfect 3pm pick-me-up! Spread some almond butter on brown rice cakes or mix with a sliced banana and you have instant energy!

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