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INGREDIENT HIGHLIGHT: ALMONDS

Posted by Chuck Chuckles on

In the next few posts, I will highlight some of the ingredients included in NuIT and provide an overview of their function and benefits. 

Why Almond Butter? 

First, we chose almond butter as the base ingredient due to its portability, versatility and shelf stability. In addition, we wanted something familiar, that people really enjoy and consume on a regular basis, making it more user-friendly.  

A second consideration was the “local food” factor. The almonds we use are grown in California, which isn’t exactly local to Vancouver BC, but certainly closer to where almost every other type of nut originates, and in the grand scheme of our food system might as well be considered local. 

And third, these days there seems to be a growing number of people with dietary allergens and intolerances. Trying to be considerate of this, we avoided using peanuts and gluten. However, not an insignificant amount of individuals are allergic to tree nuts, including almonds, which is something we are looking to address in the future.  

We strive to make NuIT as accessible and sustainable as possible, however, we acknowledge there are areas for improvement. Almond butter is a starting point and one we are working to evolve to provide a more adaptive and personalized nutrition profile. 

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Health Benefits of Almonds: 

Note: I briefly outlined some of these in the previous post, but here I’ve also provided links to studies for further reading if interested ;). Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that I tend to be very skeptical of nutrition studies, as nutrition science is very complex and sometimes the limitations of studies outweigh the plausibility of their results. This is one reason why I think it’s super important to try different foods and dietary patterns, and evaluate as much as possible what works best for you. 

-Nutrient Dense: Almonds are naturally high in a number of nutrients, including vitamin E, riboflavin (vitamin B2), biotin, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and calcium (1).

-Heart Health: A good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, fibre, phytosterols and plant-protein, regular almond consumption has shown to have cardioprotective benefits, including lowering LDL cholesterol levels (2,3). 

-Weight Maintenance and Loss: High in both protein and fiber, almonds can enhance satiety and suppress hunger supporting a healthy weight (4,5,6,7). 

-Gut Health: High in fiber which acts as a prebiotic to promote intestinal gut health, regular almond consumption has shown to improve the composition of the gut microbiome (8,9). 

-Antioxidants: The skins of almonds are rich in polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and are thought to play a role in the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress (10).

-Blood Glucose Control: Regular almond consumption has shown to help lower levels of fasting insulin and blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity (11,12). 

-Brain Function: Results from recent studies indicate that regular almond consumption may improve memory function and retention. Almonds are also high in a molecule called l-carnitine, which is known for its neuroprotective benefits (13,14). 

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Steph 

Photo Credits: Remi Yuan and Dulcineia Dias

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