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Do you know that almonds are not nuts?  In fact, an almond is the seed of the fruit of the almond tree.  This tree bears fruits with a “stone-like” seed within.

Fruits with these characteristics are called “drupes”.  Specifically, a drupe is a fruit that has an outer fleshy part surrounding a shell that contains a seed.  Other drupes include fruits from walnut trees and coconut trees.

The seed inside the almond fruit is what is commonly referred to as an almond “nut”, even though it’s not a nut.  Regardless, there are lots of health benefits to eating a.lmonds.  Let’s take a look:

1. Eating almonds can significantly boost levels of vitamin E in the diet and bloodstream. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that defends your cells against damage on a daily basis and prevents artery-clogging oxidation of cholesterol. Eating a handful of almonds a day is a great way to get the vitamin E your body needs to stay healthy.

2. Studies have found that almonds significantly increased the amount of antioxidants in the bloodstream, reduced blood pressure, and improved blood flow. Their findings add weight to the theory that Mediterranean diets with lots of nuts have big health benefits.

3. Some evidence shows that almonds may help keep blood sugar under control. This ability is thought to be due to their high levels of magnesium — containing almost half the daily recommended amount in just 2 ounces of almonds.

4. Almonds can help manage weight.  Because almonds are lower in carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber, they can help people feel fuller for longer; this has the potential to reduce the number of calories taken in overall.

My Almond Bliss muffin is the perfect match for the almond with its cousin the peach!

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