We know foods impact on the body is huge – inside and out. Since the beginning of the wholefood for the whole body journey, we have proven the brilliance of the avocado, discovered why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is referred to as liquid gold; explored nature’s very own multivitamin – the egg, we’ve found out how to cure-all with chamomile, benefited from ‘the fruit of the Angels’ – papaya, and enjoyed nature’s ultimate energy snack of bananas. Last week we asked the question – what wholefood would you like to see featured as our wholefood for the whole body? We covered off the first of those last week, eating and beautifying with a spice that has been used to treat a variety of ailments for more than 4000 years – turmeric. This week has had us going nuts as we fulfil your second request.
Although all nuts are different when it comes to the nutrition credentials and the health benefits they offer. One thing that they all have in common is that they are packed full of protein, fibre and essential fats, making them the perfect power snack.
This week we focused on the almighty almond:
The versatile almond nut is technically a seed, the seed of the fruit that grows from the almond tree. The almond tree produces fruits called drupes; a seed is encased in the fruit and this is what we refer to as the almond nut.
Nourish from within:
Maintain strong, healthy bones with the calcium contained in this yummy nut.
Improve the condition of your skin by benefiting from the high vitamin E content of almonds.
Keep your heart healthy and consume the whole almond, including skin. The skin of the almond is full of flavonoids; flavonoids are compounds that help protect the heart.
Drink them. Almond milk is an incredibly delicious alternative to other milk options. If you are intolerant to dairy, have read up on the potential ill effects of soy, or you just fancy a change to your usual, give almond milk a go! It is so simple; this is how I do it:
½ Cup of almonds soaked in filtered water overnight
2 Cups filtered water
Pinch Himalayan sea salt
Cheesecloth or a nut milk bag
After draining and rinsing the nuts, place them in to a blender with the water and other ingredients; blend for 2 – 3 mins. You may have to stop and start this process if your blender gets too warm. Pour the mixture in to the cheesecloth/nut milk bag and squeeze the liquid in to a clean, glass bottle. You can discard the left over pulp, or get savvy and use it in other recipes. One of my fave ways is to use the left over pulp as the ground almond component in my choc malt protein balls – two treats for the price of one! You can find the recipe here
Tip: Keep your milk in the fridge and it will last for 3-5 days.
Enjoy them with friends: Bring a little something new to the traditional share plate with this super-duper healthy recipe that never fails to impress: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/mediterranean-almonds
Tip: When preparing any nuts be sure to soak them over night beforehand, or purchase them activated. This will make them far easier to digest and ensure you enjoy both the taste and nutritional benefits.
Morning/afternoon tea with them: What is better than a scone for morning or afternoon tea? An almond scone packed full of nutritional benefits and no nasties, that’s what! And here is how: https://www.thehealthychef.com/2012/05/paleo-scones/
Treating the outside:
Vitamin E is renowned for its exceptional effects on the skin. Being one of the main ingredients in almonds it is a no wonder that almonds are great for skin too.
Treat pigmentation and dark circles.
¼ cup whole milk
Soak almonds overnight. After soaking, remove the skin from the almonds and then crush in a pestle and mortar. Gradually add the milk to the almonds to form a paste (you may not need the entire ¼ cup). Once you have a thick paste work the mixture in to the areas of concern, or the entire face and neck, relax with the mask on the face for 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly and following with your usual moisturiser.
Final thought: As you can see from the above, nuts are a great addition to any balanced diet and skincare routine. However, they are a calorie dense food and can cause digestive issues for some. Aim to keep servings to a handful (30g) to ensure you don’t turn this food friend in to food foe.