What do our Primal bars and King Tutankhamun’s tomb have in common? Both contain almonds! Yes, believe it or not, almonds were discovered amongst the treasures destined for the young Egyptian King’s afterlife. Deemed a suitable snack to keep the Pharaoh sustained for eternity, we feel pretty safe in betting they’ll keep us modern bunch going till lunch.
Almond consumption has been popular across many cultures for thousands of years — Ancient Indian Ayurvedic practitioners believed in the brain-boosting powers of almonds, whilst the Bible describes them as “among the best of the fruits”. Standing the test of time is no easy feat — almonds must be doing something right, so let’s find out what it takes to earn a place in the hearts (and the diets) of the masses.
ALMOND FAST FACTS
Be prepared to have your mind blown — contrary to common belief almonds aren’t actually nuts, they’re basically peaches. Yes, you heard us, almonds are seeds of the almond fruit which grows on trees, similar to that of peaches, plums and cherries. Botanically speaking, due to their fleshy outer layer these tear-drop shaped seeds are called drupes; nuts differ as they are defined as a dry, hard-shelled fruit.
We can totally relate to the almond tree — it thrives in warm, dry climates, just like our tribe at the den. Native to the Middle East and South Asia, almonds have secured their spot as a staple in the Mediterranean diet. Currently top of the leaderboard for production is California, supplying a whopping 80% of the world’s almonds!
THE NUTRITIONAL LOWDOWN
Historically speaking almonds have won the hearts of many, and scientifically they’ve protected these hearts too. Almonds are packed full of monounsaturated fats that help maintain the good cholesterol (HDL) whilst also lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. Plant-based antioxidants present in almonds also combine with vitamin E to help fight inflammation and improve artery health, whilst magnesium boasts benefits for blood pressure — if you want a heart-healthy hand, these drupes have you covered.
Naturally, people tend to steer clear of high-fat food for fear of weight gain, however research carried out by the British Journal of Nutrition demonstrates why opting for the calorie-dense option can be beneficial. Consumed in moderation, the fat, dietary fibre and protein found in almonds can provide a slow-release source energy that satisfies the stomach for longer, and helps stave off the urge to graze in-between meals. To top it off, almonds are also a major source of magnesium; this mineral helps regulate blood sugar, making almonds a great grab-and-go snack for diabetics.
Food is for the brain as well as the body, and almonds certainly make the cut in maintaining a sharp mind. These nut-like nutritional powerhouses contain L-Carnitine, a nutrient that’s been linked to preventing cognitive decline found in disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
DINE LIKE A KING
When it comes to snacking, keep it simple. The dietary fibre, healthy fat and protein found in almonds make them the perfect ingredient for a wide range of our bars. Whilst they may not keep you satisfied for eternity, they’ll provide you with no-nonsense energy boost whatever the occasion.