(BPT) - As we head into the warmer months, we can always look forward to those seasonal staples — from staying cool in the pool to indulging on snow cones for that sweet summer feeling. How do we continue to munch on our favorites without that guilty feeling of overindulgence on unhealthy snacks? Cue, almonds — the light, buttery-flavored snack that satisfies those summer cravings with its tasty, beneficial attributes. Registered Dietitian Marisa Moore shares reasons why almonds are the perfect snack to grab, carry and enjoy all summer long — minus the guilt!
1. Almonds are versatile
Sip, crunch or spread, almonds are the blank canvas your summer was vibin’ for. The nutty, earthy flavor pairs well with other foods and they pack a crunch that’s hard to match. “When I think of almonds, I immediately think of versatility,” says Marisa. “I can crunch on whole almonds as a snack, make a creamy almond butter-based dip or sip on a frosty almond milk smoothie.”
2. They’re handy
Almonds are a pantry staple. Marisa shares she likes to keep a jar on her desk or office shelf for an easy and nourishing snack whenever she needs one. Some of Marisa’s favorite pairings include almonds with chocolate, fresh peaches or cheeses. “I snack anytime I’m hungry — between meals or simply when I want a little pick-me-up during the day,” she explains.
3. Help keep your energy levels going
There’s nothing like those summer nights. Many look forward to those evening outings; however, many find there’s not enough energy for them. Considering this, you need to consume foods that not only fuel you up, but also make you feel good. “Just one ounce of almonds has 6 grams of power-packed protein, 4 grams of fiber, 13 grams of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat,” shares Marisa.
4. They fit your schedule
Finding a wellness routine that fits within your schedule can be tricky at first. “On busy weeks, having a few meals and snacks ready to go are my saving grace,” Marisa shared. “I think it’s most important to listen to your body and find an eating routine that matches your energy needs. Whether you eat at a usual breakfast hour or if your first meal is a bit later, it’s a personal choice.”
The following is a general B/L/D plan Marisa likes to incorporate into her daily routine:
Greek yogurt or oats with seasonal fruit, almond butter and maple syrup to top it off.
Veggie-packed omelet with fresh fruit.
“I love watching almond milk swirl through the tea as I make my iced chai lattes. It’s pleasantly spicy, cool and creamy — the perfect summer sip!” Marisa exclaims.
A roasted vegetable flatbread or fish tacos accompanied with beans and rice.
5. They’re rich in antioxidant vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage, boost the body’s immune system and widen blood vessels to keep blood from clotting within them. That said, almonds include 50% of your daily value of vitamin E! “I love a snack that does double-duty,” says Marisa. In addition to the 6g of protein, good fats and fiber, a recent study looked at almonds and wrinkles — beauty from the inside out.