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Everydayhealth.com’s Superfood #8: Almonds!

EverydayHealth.com asked five nutritionists to rate the most powerful foods for your health and they found that many of the selections overlapped. Why? Because every food provides something different: Some are a rich source of protein or fiber but void of many vitamins and minerals, while others contain disease-fighting phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, but no protein.

The trick, claim experts, is to get a variety of the best foods. So here are the 13 superfoods as suggested by Everyday Health:

1. Avocados
2. Apples
3. Blueberries
4. Cabbage
5. Salmon
6. Garlic
7. Mushrooms
8. Almonds
9. Eggs
10. Flaxseed
11. Cranberries
12. Red wine
13. Dark chocolate

Everyday Health chose this nut because it is loaded with fiber and monounsaturated fats, both which have been shown to lower cholesterol. They, along with most nuts, are so healthy that the Food and Drug Administration says that eating a mere 1.5 ounces of most nuts -- in addition to a healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol -- may reduce the risk of heart disease. And even though almonds are relatively high in fat and calories, studies show that eating almonds can actually help with weight loss (their protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats provide the feeling of fullness, preventing overeating).

Toasting nuts brings out the full flavor. Plus, it smells terrific, and I think scent is an important part of the cooking experience. Toasting will also keep nuts crisp. To toast, place the nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Nuts can also be toasted in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, but be careful. I have burned many batches in the oven. A perfectly toasted turns a nice golden hue.