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Ten Benefits of Almonds + 5 Great Recipes

Ten Benefits of Almonds + 5 Great Recipes

Do you get hungry in between meals, and then overeat at lunch or dinner?

Are you interested in learning about healthy snacks which can boost energy levels throughout the day and keep you going strong?

Then look no further than almonds, a “supernut” which is packed with nutrients that bring your body an amazing array of benefits, including those below.

Almonds Support Healthy Bones

If you are after strong and healthy bones, don’t just think about dairy products! Foods like almonds are great for you as well: a single serving can give you 385mg of calcium and 386 mg of magnesium, minerals which, along with nutrients like vitamin D, strengthen your bones and make it less likely that you will develop osteoporosis (a disease marked by weakening bones and fractures) as you age.

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Almonds are Good for Joint Health Too

Stiff, sore inflamed joints can be a real problem: not only do they make it more difficult to do your work throughout the day, they can also interfere with simple activities like walking or running. And many conditions that affect the joints — like rheumatoid arthritis — can strike you when you are middle-aged or even young.

So where do almonds come in? They are rich in both linoleic and linolenic acids, fatty acids which decrease inflammation throughout the body and can reduce painful, stiff or inflexible joints.

Almonds Can Boost Your Energy Levels

Are your energy levels just not what you would like them to be? A diet which is rich in almonds can help with the problem of feeling chronically tired. This is because almonds are an excellent source of both manganese and copper, minerals which can help your cells produce more energy. The presence of vitamin B-12, helps make energy pathways through the body more efficient, so you can go all day and do what you need to do!

Almonds Reduce High Blood Pressure

Doctors have dubbed high blood pressure “the silent killer” because, though it has few warning signs, it can lead to serious problems like heart attacks or strokes. However, it is possible to control this problem naturally by carefully choosing what you eat. Almonds have been linked in several studies to lower blood pressure levels. Mostly this is due to their high levels of magnesium (which relaxes the arteries around the heart to increase blood flow and decrease pressure) and potassium (which acts on the muscles of the heart to keep blood pressure at a healthy level).

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Almonds Lower Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol is another major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes — but the good news is, this problem can be greatly influenced by your diet!

In a British study, patients with elevated LDL “bad” cholesterol levels were put on a diet which included almonds and other nuts as well as soy protein and fiber. Within two weeks, significant differences were noted in their cholesterol levels. It is believed that this is due to the combination of monounsaturated fat, fiber and antioxidants like vitamin E that almonds are so rich in.

Almonds Improve Your Digestion

If you are looking for ways to improve your digestion, you should definitely be adding almonds to your diet in order to combat this issue. Why? Almonds are rich in fiber (3.5 grams in every serving) and fiber has been proven to improve the gastro-intestinal system and it can reduce the chances of having problems like constipation.

Almonds Help You to Lose Weight

In the past, many dieters have stayed away from almonds and other nuts because they are a calorie-dense food. However, there is a growing body of evidence to show that almonds can actually help those who are wanting to achieve their weight loss goals. In one study out of Canada, it was shown that dieters on an almond-enriched diet did better than those on a diet high in complex carbohydrates, even though the overall calorie intake was the same for both diets. The patients who ate almonds regularly had lower percentage of body fat and stored water weight, smaller waist circumferences and overall lower weight.

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Almonds Support a Healthy Brain

As you age, cognitive skills like memory and learning can take a real hit.  However, important nutrients in almonds like riboflavin and L-carnitine can help improve the health of neurons and increase the number of neural pathways, which can help to reduce the risk of problems like Alzheimer’s disease.

Almonds are Great for Diabetics

Because of their unique blend of healthy fats, protein and fiber, they are a perfect food for diabetics who want to manage their condition. In several studies, regular use of almonds in the diet has lead to an improvement in several markers for this disease, including postprandial blood sugar (or the blood sugar after a meal), overall blood sugar and insulin resistance — even when a meal that is high in carbs, such as pasta, was eaten.

Almonds Decrease Your Risk of Gallstones

Gallstones are a painful complaint of the digestive system which often requires surgery — and is a particular problems for people who are middle-aged, female and have weight problems. Almonds, however, can be a game-changer; in one study of American women, it was found that those who ate almonds or other nuts at least once a week reduced their chance of getting gallstones by around 25%.

5 Simple, Delicious Recipes to Get Almonds into Your Diet

Homemade Raw Almond Milk

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    Homemade Almond Butter

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      Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Cranberries and Almonds

      Almond Cookies

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        Cranberry and Almond Muffins

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          So try some of these recipes today — and from better digestion to higher energy levels and a healthy heart– you can start reaping the benefits of almonds in your diet!

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          Brian Wu

          Health Writer, Author

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

          Boundaries are limits

          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
          • When do you feel disrespected?
          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
          • When do you want to be alone?
          • How much space do you need?

          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

          Sample language:

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          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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          Final Thoughts

          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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