I love almonds and they make wonderful kefir. Some people call almonds the healthiest food in all the world and they have tons of health benefits. But I know a thing or two about almonds that perhaps you do not know.
Almonds Provide Protection Against Insulin and Blood Sugar Issues
Researchers fed fifteen healthy subjects three different types of meals. Meal One – almonds and bread, Meal Two – parboiled rice and instant mashed potatoes, Meal Three – different types of breads. They took blood samples after each meal and four hours afterwards as well. The results showed an increase in protective antioxidants after the almond meal but not after the other meals. There was also noted a lowered rise in blood sugar and insulin in the meal that contained the almonds. More research shows that eating almonds along with higher glycemic foods will actually lower the glycemic index of the meal and lessen the rise in blood sugar after eating. (Jones AR, Kendall CW, Metabolism) But this isn’t why I love almonds.
Vitamin E is Heart Protective
In the British Journal of Nutrition, (Kelly JH, Sabate J.) researchers looked at four large groups —the Adventist Health Study, Iowa Women’s Study, Nurses’ Health Study and the Physician’s Health Study. When evidence from all four studies was examined, they found that the subjects who consumed nuts at least 4 times a week showed a 37% reduced risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who never or seldom ate nuts. But it got even better! Each time they had another serving of nuts during the week, it reduced their risk of coronary heart disease an additional 8.3%. But this isn’t why I love almonds.
Do Almonds Keep You From Gaining Weight?
Many people avoid nuts for fear of weight gain. A study published in the journal Obesity in 2007 showed that people who ate nuts at least twice a week were much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never ate nuts. This was a 28-year study with both men and women involving 8,865 people in Spain. Those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than those in the study who never or almost never ate nuts. But this isn’t why I love almonds.
Why I really Love Almonds
I love almonds because they have discovered them to be prebiotics, food for bacteria! Substances in the almonds, and also in their skins, have been found to boost the good bifidobacteria and lactobacillus in the gut.
A total of 48 healthy adult volunteers were split into 3 groups . The first group consumed a daily dose of roasted almonds (56 g). The second group ate almond skins (10 g). The third group took a prebiotic supplement, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), (this is found in Prebio Plus) (8 g) (as positive control). The subjects taking the almond skins and the FOS had an immediate increase in good flora and at six weeks the roasted almonds subjects began to see the same increase, it just took longer. The almonds and the prebiotic FOS increased the bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, they did not increase E coli, and the growth of the pathogen Clostridum perfringens was significantly repressed. So this means if you take almonds and make them into kefir you will increase not only the qualities of colonies of bacteria in your gut, but you will also allow them to multiply and grow, becoming strong and changing you from the inside out. I love this!
Almonds are food for our 100 trillion microbe friends and we always need more quality friends. Did you know that your good bacteria lower your cholesterol by using cholesterol as a food source? (info in my new book) Did you know these good bacteria also reduce inflammation and protect your heart by keeping away endotoxins that can get into the bloodstream? Endotoxins are found in disease-causing bacteria that can penetrate a weakened gut lining. When endotoxins are released, our immune system sends out an alarm and creates inflammation throughout the body. You need to feed your bacteria lots of fiber-rich foods or your healthy bacteria starve to death inside your gut and then you wind up with leaky gut and a host of other problems.
So you know . . . maybe it’s not just the almonds? Maybe the almonds are feeding the bacteria along with all the pre-biotic fiber-rich foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds). Maybe all this time when we thought it was fruits and vegetables keeping us healthy, it was actually because these fruits and vegetables were feeding the good bacteria and this is what was keeping us well? We are 99% microbial. It’s what we are mostly made of, and those unseen microbial friends do a lot for us and get very little credit. So why do I love almonds? Because they feed my friends and keep me healthy. That’s really why I love almonds.
Happiness is having friends who feed you.
Here is a recipe describing how to make Almond Kefir (see below) and an extra Chocolate Peppermint Almond Kefir recipe for my Biotic Pro members. We keep and use the almond skins and don’t strain them out like other recipes containing almonds, because the skins have so many prebiotics. This also makes for a richer tasting kefir and gives you more prebiotics. Almond kefir is not going to be thick like dairy kefir as it separates because of the water, but this is okay. Just shake it up and use it any way you like. It’s your body’s friend!